What Does Child Support in Illinois Cover?
Any divorced parent has to be ready for the likelihood of paying child support. However, not many wonder exactly what child support is earmarked for under Illinois law. It may be to your advantage to ask—sometimes, if it can be proven that support is being misused, there may be consequences that can affect you, your ex-spouse, and your children.
Formulas and Requirements
Illinois changed its child support formula in 2013 and 2015, bringing it in line with more of the states in terms of the method of calculation. The guidelines now establish a rough minimum that can be ordered per child in Illinois family courts. However, it is important to remember that such numbers are minimums, not maximums. A host of different factors, such as each parent's current and future earning potential and any unique needs the child may have, are factored into a court's determination of the level of support required.
Illinois's relevant statute on child support states two important truths, namely that the duty of support is owed by the noncustodial parent to the child, not to the former spouse, and that support must be used for the “reasonable and necessary educational, physical, mental and emotional health needs of the child.” The crux of the statute lies in the definition of ‘reasonable and necessary' needs, and it is a definition that has been argued over extensively.
Are My Child's Needs Being Met?
Each parent must provide the support necessary for the children while they are exercising their parenting time. The noncustodial parent must also contribute sufficient support to the custodial parent so that the children are able to have roughly the same quality of life with one parent as they would with the other; the best interests of the children are paramount.
In rare cases, Illinois courts have even ordered a very wealthy custodial parent to pay child support to a very poor non-custodial parent so that the parties' children would not be forced to undergo a difficult transition from relative comfort to privation each time the noncustodial parent exercised their parenting time.
In the end, the state will not monitor a parent's use of support money unless a parent raises an allegation that a child's needs are not being met.
Get a Good Lawyer on Your Side
Consulting an experienced attorney can be a great help in deciding which course of action to pursue. The Wheaton, Illinois child support attorneys at MKFM Law are happy to help answer any questions you may have. Contact us today at 630-665-7300, or use our web form to schedule an appointment.