Understanding Child Support2017-10-13T20:23:23+00:00

Illinois is an Income Shares Model state when it comes to determining child support. The philosophy is that children are entitled to the standard of living based upon both parents’ monthly income. The court may order one or both parents a duty of support to a child to pay an amount reasonable and necessary for support. (See 750 ILCS 5/505(a) for full text of the law).

To determine the amount of child support that the obligor (parent paying the child support) is required to pay, the court usually applies the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (“DHFS”) income shares child support guidelines. (The court will not apply these guidelines if it is against the child’s best interest).

The DHFS income shares child support guidelines aids in calculating child support. There are two worksheets that may be used: (1) the support guidelines worksheet (use this one when physical care of the child is not shared between parents) or (2) shared physical care support obligation worksheet.

The basic child support computation is as follows:

Add up each parent’s net income to get a combined adjusted net income.

  1. Calculate each parent’s percentage share of adjusted net income by dividing his or her respective individual adjusted net income by the combined adjusted net income.
  2. Locate the combined adjusted net income amount on the Income Shares Schedule Based on Net Income. Based on the number of children, this amount will correspond with a basic child support obligation amount in the table.