Guide to Illinois Child Support
If you are a non-custodial parent in Illinois, you will be required to pay child support according to IL child support guidelines.
Custodial parents may be able to seek Illinois child support enforcement to make sure that their child gets the support they are legally entitled to.
This guide will teach you about IL child support and the rights and responsibilities of both custodial and non-custodial parents. You’ll also learn about changes currently under consideration that could significantly change Illinois child support laws.
IL Child Support Guidelines
In Illinois, child support is determined based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. These guidelines are a minimum, rather than a maximum, for Illinois child support.
Under these IL child support guidelines, a non-custodial parent will pay a minimum of 20 percent of his or her income for one child, 28 percent for two children, 32 percent for 3, 40 for 4, 45 for 5, and 50 percent of income for six or more children.
In some situations, these guidelines may be modified. Typically, this will occur only if the court feels that imposing the normal Illinois child support guidelines would be inappropriate given the best interests of the child.
When calculating a non-custodial parent’s obligation for IL child support, net income will be used. Net income is considered by Illinois child support guidelines to be total income minus income and payroll taxes, union dues, mandatory retirement contributions, health insurance, other child support obligations, medical expenses, and expenses to repay debts.
IL Child Support Enforcement
If you are a custodial parent and the non-custodial parent of your child is not paying his or her Illinois child support obligations, you may be able to have the state enforce the court order in a number of ways.
In some cases, deadbeat parents can be held in contempt of court and fined or even jailed for failing to pay IL child support. You may also be able to have your child’s non-custodial parent pay by wage garnishment if you have been unable to obtain scheduled Illinois child support payments.
IL Child Support Laws
Currently, Illinois child support laws are being discussed by the state legislature. Instead of a strict percentage model, the state is considering having child support guidelines that follow the “income shares” model.
This model allows non-custodial parents to pay significantly less if their income is much less than that of the custodial parent.
While parents who already have IL child support court orders would generally not be able to see their support obligations changed by the new law, it would represent a significant change for people with new child support judgments.
The income shares model is already used by many states, and legislators believe that it might represent a fairer way to obtain Illinois child support payments. While state legislative committees have recommended this change, it has not yet taken effect as of the writing of this article.
You may want to talk to an IL child support attorney about the current status of the law and what it might mean for your child support obligations.
Child support payments are managed by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services and work to establish paternity, order child support, and help to modify child support payments if there is a change in the financial status of either parent.
In the event of non-payment by the non-custodial parent, their assets can be seized and professional licenses suspended due to non-payment. Sizeable assets include savings and cd accounts. A collections agency may also be involved, depending on the size of the debt.
The primary means of child support collection is through income withholding from the non-custodial parent’s employer. Like other states, Illinois will freeze accounts or withhold tax refunds and lottery winnings for non-payment of child support.