Child support is an important element of any divorce in which children younger than 18 are involved. Both parents are responsible for providing the financial support for any minor child or children of the marriage. In some situations, however, one parent will provide a sum of money to assist the other in financial matters involving the minor child or children. The purpose of child support is to assure that the parties’ child or children are able to enjoy the same lifestyle as they did prior to their parents’ separation.
It sometimes occurs that one party provides child support to the other party voluntarily and without legal pressure so that his or her children can receive provisions for a healthy future. Unfortunately, it is too often the case, that many walk away from their obligations towards child support and leave the other party at a financial loss.
A parent in financial need should always seek child support enforcement. Contribution by both parents to the children’s expenses helps involve both parties in the life of their children. Both parents have a legal obligation towards their children’s future, but every family is different and has unique circumstances that might require a child support plan. It is always best to be proactive and avoid an ugly situation, even if both parties believe they will cope without the help of an outside legal professional.
The statutory guidelines of child support in the State of Illinois show that, depending upon the number of children involved, a certain percentage of the non-custodial party’s income will be the base amount of child support. If there is only one child, at least 20% of the parent’s net income will be paid as child support. For additional children, the percentage of net income is as follows:
- 20% for one child
- 28% for two children
- 32% for three children
- 40% for four children
- 45% for five children, and
- 50% for six or more children.