Do Illinois Courts Always Use the Statutory Formula for Child Support?

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_540435490.jpg Child support payments can vary significantly. Some people pay less than a hundred dollars a month toward child support, while others pay several thousand dollars each month. In Illinois, the exact amount a parent pays in child support is typically determined by a statutory formula described in Illinois law. However, Illinois courts have the authority to deviate from the child support guidelines in certain situations.

Courts Can Deviate from the Income Shares Formula

The Income Shares calculation method uses the parents’ net incomes to reach an appropriate payment amount. Most of the time, Illinois courts follow these statutory guidelines for child support calculations. However, Illinois law allows courts to deviate from this calculation method if using the guidelines would be unfair to either party or not in the child’s best interests.

Each situation is different. Sometimes, courts need to deviate from the child support guidelines because a child has extraordinary medical needs. For example, a child with severe cerebral palsy may need extensive medical treatment and in-home care. The child support order may need to be adjusted to account for these needs. In other cases, following the guidelines would result in a child support payment amount that exceeds the child’s needs or the obligor’s ability to pay. 

Illinois courts may also forgo the child support guidelines if using the guidelines would result in a massive financial windfall for the recipient. It is also possible for the child’s own financial resources to influence child support calculations. Lastly, if one or both of a child’s parents have an exceedingly high income, the Illinois child support guidelines may not apply. 

When determining whether to deviate from the child support guidelines, the court will consider:

  • The child’s financial resources
  • The parents’ financial resources
  • The standard of living the child would experience if the parents were still together
  • The child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs
  • The parents’ financial needs

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer

Child support in Illinois is usually determined by a statutory formula. This formula uses both parents’ net incomes to determine an appropriate payment arrangement that meets the child’s needs. However, the court can deviate from the statutory guidelines if necessary.

At MKFM Law, we know that child support matters can be complicated and frustrating. Our skilled Wheaton family law attorneys can help you establish child support, modify an existing child support order, or enforce a child support order. Call 630-665-7300 for a consultation.


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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree