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How do I calculate child support in Illinois?

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If you are a parent getting a divorce from your children's other parent, things are likely to get contentious. Most parents want the largest share of time with children, as well as a say in how children are raised and cared for during their years as minors.

Illinois courts, as well as the best parents, want what is best for the children. So another large consideration during the parents' divorce is how much money will go to the children's upbringing. Child support pays for food, clothing, medical care and other essential costs of raising children safe and healthy.

How much money is set aside for child support?

Illinois law sets minimums based on the number of children in a household. If there is an only child, 20 percent of net income is a common amount. Two children warrant 28 percent of net income, and the scale goes up to 50 percent of net income for six or more children.

What is 'net income' according to Illinois law?

Net income is very similar to what you would report on your income tax. It includes salary, commissions on sales, bonuses, income from investments, disability payments and other income from financial arrangements.

When is child support no longer paid?

Child support is not mandated under Illinois law once the child turned 18, or if the child gets married or joins the military. These other reasons are referred to as "emancipation."

Child custody and support may be complicated legal issues. An attorney is recommended to represent your interests in a divorce involving children.

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Child Support Guidelines," accessed Jan. 31, 2018

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