Child Support

I represent clients out of offices in Chicago and Wheaton, in cases throughout Cook and DuPage Counties, in setting child support, child support enforcement, modification (increase/decrease), and related issues, including post-high school/college expense contributions, uninsured medical expenses, extracurricular expenses and support for disabled adult children.


Child Support Basics

Each child's parents have a legal obligation to financially support the child. That obligation lasts until the child reaches "the age of majority", in Illinois, 18, unless the child is still attending high school, in which case until the she/he graduates, but in not past the age of 19. Child support  can be terminated early if the child marries, joins the military, or becomes self-supporting.

In Illinois child support is set using the Percentage method. Whatever approach is used, courts look at a variety of sources to determine the paying parent's income and ability to pay. Income may include wages and the following items:

  •  Investments, stocks, and pensions
  •  Government payments and benefits like disability, social security, veteran unemployment payments
  •  Goods and services that come with a job or are given by family members, friends or new spouses
  •  Gifts and inheritances
  •  Income from rental property
  •  Overtime, seasonal, or part-time second jobs

People who receive welfare payments or who are unemployed without wages will usually be ordered to make a small monthly payment. A court may assign an income different than the one a paying parent appears to have if they believe they are capable of higher earnings.

Child Support Amount

Typically, the following statutory minimums will be used to establish the support amount.

No. of Children Vs % of Net Income


Enforcement of Child Support

Once child support is ordered, it can be enforced through a variety of measures. The most common is a petition seeking to hold the non-paying parent in contempt (Petition for Rule to Show Cause). If the failure to pay is willful, the parent can be sentenced to jail until/unless she/he purges her/his contempt by paying a certain amount toward the back child support. Other enforcement tools include garnishing assets, taking tax refunds, suspending driver's and other licenses.

Modification of Child Support

Typically, child support can be modified (upward or downward) upon showing a substantial change in circumstances. Such changes include a substantial increase/decrease in the paying parent's income and substantial increase in the child's expenses.

Additional Support for Children

In addition to child support, the following can be required:

  • Uninsured medical expenses. Child's medical expenses not covered by insurance are often split 50/50.
  • Medical insurance premiums. The party paying child support often provides for the child's medical insurance, but the cost is subtracted from the parents income before calculating child support.
  • Daycare expenses. Daycare necessitated by work is often split 50/50.
  • Post-high school expenses. Assuming the child has the aptitude and desire to attend a post-high school educational institution such as a community college, university, technical school, the parents and child can be ordered to contribute based upon their abilities.
  • Disabled adult child expenses. Parents may have to continue to pay child support for an adult child that is unable to provide for him/herself.

A Strong, Reliable and Convenient Ally In Your Corner

I have offices in DuPage County and downtown Chicago, with offices by appointment throughout the Chicagoland area. I am always available, providing you my mobile number and responding to calls and e-mails same day whenever possible. I do not accept cases I do not intend on handling attentively and well. My aim is to do the worrying for you so you can go on with your life. Please contact me to learn more. It would also be helpful if you complete and submit the Family Law Questionnaire.