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The scope of child support

Illinois parents who are divorced or separated are still expected to provide for their children’s needs. In many cases, this financial support is paid as a result of a child support order being issued by a court having jurisdiction. Child support covers the noncustodial parent’s share of many different expenses related to the care of the children. Essentially, the goal of child support is to provide children with the same standard of living they had when the parents were together.

Monthly child support payments should be enough to provide for the child’s basic necessities as well as their educational, medical and entertainment costs. Family court judges use state guidelines to calculate the amount that each parent should contribute toward the expenses of their children. The courts rarely require custodial parents to prove how they spent the money that they received as child support payments. Instead, custodial parents are trusted to use the child support they receive to provide appropriate care for their children.

Child support is often used to pay housing costs, including the mortgage or monthly rent payment where the child or children live. It may also cover transportation costs, including the family car payment, gas or car insurance. Some parents use their child support to pay for extracurricular activities or child care costs needed so the custodial parent can work.

A family law attorney can explain the guidelines and tell a client approximately how much they can expect to pay or receive in child support every month. If the child’s or the parents’ financial situation changes after the initial order is made, the attorney can help a client file prepare a request for a modification to adjust the child support accordingly.

Source: Findlaw, “What Does Child Support Cover?“, December 22, 2014