Butler Giraudo & Meister
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What judges consider when creating child support orders

Raising a child is expensive, and divorce certainly does not make it any cheaper. Child support is one way to make sure that both parents keep providing important financial stability regardless of what else is going on in life. Here is how Illinois family law deals with child support.

Both parents' incomes factor into child support payments, not just the parent who is paying. It is about a lot more than just who earns what, though. A judge will consider a parent's net pay, meaning everything that he or she takes home after taxes and other financial obligations, including money used for child support for other kids. Net income also includes any types of benefits from assistance programs.

A child's needs also influence child support. Of course support should always help provide for basic needs like food, housing and clothing. But support can cover costs for health care, extracurricular activities and even transportation. Each family is unique, so one child support order might require the noncustodial parent to cover private school tuition while another might have to pay for day care.

Parents generally just want what is best for their children, and that includes a financially stable life. Getting child support right the first time is an important part of providing that stability. This is why some parents in Illinois choose to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about their options for addressing child support during divorce. It is also possible to ask an attorney about how to modify a current order that no longer reflects a child's financial needs or parent's ability to pay.

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