While child support is meant to benefit a minor until reaching the age of 18, parents are often the ones most involved in concerns about the details. A child’s legal right to support from both parents exists, and support is typically expected to be paid by a non-custodial parent. The amount of support required is based on state guidelines related to a parent’s income and the number of children involved.
A parent’s net income is used to determine the amount of support to be paid, and this may include not only a salary but also commissions, bonuses, royalties, rental income, prize winnings and numerous other sources of revenue. Income tax, professional dues, health insurance premiums and reasonable business expenses are among finances excluded from calculation of child support. Support for one child is typically established at 20 percent of a parent’s net income, and a maximum of 50 percent of the net income may be ordered if there are six or more children to be supported. Factors such as transportation, medical expenses and housing may be included in a support order.
While support obligations typically end when a child reaches 18 years of age, there are additional situations in which a child may become emancipated, terminating a child support obligation. These include issues such as that child getting married or joining the military. This can also include a child moving out with an intention to become independent. If a child gets a job, the need for support may no longer exist. A judge may also include college expenses in a support order.
A non-custodial parent who owes support may find that circumstances change over time. If finances become limited in areas that were used to compute support payments, it may be helpful to meet with a lawyer to discuss seeking a modification to that order.
Source: Findlaw, “Illinois Child Support Guidelines“, August 19, 2014