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Is Child Support the Same as Maintenance?

It is not.  Maintenance is support for the spouse, whereas child support is paid to help support the children.

How is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support is calculated by determining the total amount that the parents will be jointly responsible for contributing toward the care of the child using economic tables propounded by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.  Then, each parent’s personal responsibility for contributing to this amount is determined by comparing the parents’ incomes relative to one another. The more you make relative the other parent the more you are likely to pay (or the less you are likely to receive) in child support.  The formula also takes other factors into account including how many overnights the child or children have with each parent, whether either parent pays for the child or children’s health insurance premium or child care, whether either parent supports other children from another relationship.  Because the formula takes many factors into account, the calculation is not one that can be completed easily. To help with this, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has a child support calculator available on their website.

How Does Child Support Work in Shared Parenting Situations?

A “shared parenting situation” is when each parent is responsible for the child for at least 146 overnights per year.  In a shared parenting situation, the total amount that the couple must contribute toward child care is increased by a factor of 50% and the amount of time each party spends with the child is factored into the calculation.  The more time a child support obligor spends with the child, the less he or she will pay in child support.

Is Child Support Automatically Deducted from My Spouse’s Paycheck?

The support will not be deducted from your spouse’s paycheck until an Income Withholding Order is sent to his or her employer.  After a child support order is entered by the Court, an Income Withholding Order can be sent by the State, an attorney, or a private individual.

Robert Canfield
Author: Robert Canfield