When discussing Illinois child support, the laws follow “shared income”. Essentially, this means that the state looks at the income of both parents when determining child support. With this formula, the court calculates support based on their incomes. In addition, the court factors in the number of overnights that the child will spend with each parent.
Subject to court approval, parents maintain the option to develop their own alternative child support agreement. If parents opt to follow this route instead, they don’t rely on the standard formula. Furthermore, parents decide the allocation of funds, as opposed to the court.
Factors to Consider in Your Illinois Child Support Agreement
When crafting an Illinois child support agreement, parents often start with Mediation or Collaborative Divorce. Through these services, parents work together to come up with a plan for child support. Once the agreement is formed, the court needs to approve it. Holistically, the court approves agreements if the plan is consistent with statutory guidance and in the best interests of the children.
Mandatory Requirements for Agreements
For Illinois child support agreements, the court holds several mandatory requirements. Notably, these requirements include:
Additional Support Issues for Agreements
Aside from the mandatory requirements, Illinois child support agreements also resolve additional support issues. In the event of “additional support issues”, parents should include those expenses, in addition to basic child support expenses. By doing so, parents have a much more thorough agreement from its inception.
When discussing additional support issues, they may include:
- Health insurance premiums.
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Extracurricular school activities.
- Music lessons, dance lessons, acting lessons, etc.
- Childcare costs that are due to a parent working.
- Educational expenses that may be outside of the statutory formula.
- Other expenses related to a particular child.
Overall, the statutory formula has changed over the years. While the state legislature constantly works to correct their formula, parents need solutions in the meantime. Along that note, neutral financial professionals may assist with creating the child support agreement. However, the ultimate plan entails a child support arrangement that maximizes resources for all and makes sense for the family.
Modification to Illinois Child Support Orders
Children’s needs change over time. For example, parents changing employers may alter the original income. Because of this, there may be a mechanism to modify Illinois child support orders. With this path, the court allows parents to return to court for help if the parents cannot resolve how to handle the changes. Generally, parents find more satisfaction when they reach a resolution outside of the costly court process.
In addition, parents occasionally return to Mediation or the Collaborative Divorce team for assistance in changing the support order. For legal guidance with your child support agreement, contact the family law firm at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions, LLC.