Calculating Child Support in Illinois

The Illinois Child Support Guidelines are established by Illinois statute and are outlined in Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. By law, the guidelines set child support amounts as a percentage of the Obligor’s (paying or supporting party’s) net income.  Net income is the total of income from all sources, after taxes, Social Security (FICA), mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, certain medical costs and insurance premiums, certain prior obligations of support or maintenance actually paid pursuant to a court order and/or obligations pursuant to a court order for maintenance in the pending proceeding actually paid or payable to the same party to whom child support is to be payable, expenses to repay debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income, medical expenses necessary to preserve life or health, and reasonable expenses for the benefit of the child and the other parent, exclusive of gifts.

The court applies the child support guidelines to determine the minimum amount of child support based on percentages. The percentage will vary depending on how many children the Obligor will be responsible for, currently:

Number of children                    Percent of Obligor’s Net Income

1 child                                                              20%

2 children                                                        28%

3 children                                                        32%

4 children                                                        40%

5 children                                                        45%

6+ children                                                      50%

The Illinois Division of Child Support Services has a form available to calculate a minimum child support order (in Adobe .pdf format). Click here to download a copy of the calculation form.

Generally, courts do not allow deviation from the guidelines without good reason. Factors that the court will take into consideration for deviation may include, but not be limited to:

– the financial resources and needs of the children;

– the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;

– the standard of living that the children would have enjoyed had the marriage or civil union not been dissolved;

– the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the children;

– the educational needs of the children; and

– the financial resources and needs of the Obligor (non-custodial parent)

In addition to child support, the court may also order either or both parents owing a duty of support to a child of the marriage to contribute to such reasonable expenses as health care not covered by insurance, child care, education, and extra-curricular activities.