Illinois Child Support Lawyer

Understanding Illinois Child Support Guidelines

While many issues are subject to negotiation in divorce, the amount of child support you pay or are entitled to receive is determined by a formula which considers net income and the number of children supported, as shown in the following table:

Number of childrenPercentage of payor's net income paid as support
One child20 percent
Two children28 percent
Three children32 percent
Four children40 percent
Five children45 percent
Six or more children50 percent

The court can deviate from these guidelines in certain circumstances, including high-income payers. We are a family law firm serving clients in Peoria and Tazewell counties in Central Illinois. We have experience helping the parents of children with special needs seek an appropriate amount of support.

Modifications of Child Support in Illinois

Once determined, child support may be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if the payor of child support loses his job or is forced to take a lower-paying job, child support payments may be reduced. If the payor receives a promotion or raise, child support may be recalculated so the children will benefit. Child support generally continues until the children reach age 19 or graduate from high school, whichever occurs first.

College Expenses

Illinois has a separate statute that gives a divorced parent standing to file a petition asking the other parent to contribute to college, vocational school or other post-high school expenses, even though the child has reached adulthood. Generally, the student must attend the college or tech school right after graduating from high school, and the cost of the school must be reasonable, considering the household incomes of both parents.

To receive support, the child must be enrolled as a full-time student in good standing and making good progress toward a degree. The child will likely be required to assume some financial responsibility, such as applying for financial aid and working a summer job to help with expenses. Courts will not consider a request for contribution to college expenses until the child is enrolled so that the actual cost is calculable.

Unlike an award of child support, which is strictly based upon the payor's income, a college expense order may be based upon the court's consideration of the entire household income of each parent, including the income of any new spouse.

Child Support Consultation

To arrange a consultation with attorney Susan Butler, Kelly Giraudo or Tamara Meister, call 309-263-1204 (Morton) or 309-407-3332 (Peoria), or complete the contact form on this site.