Providing for the Support of Children

As part of a divorce settlement or decision following a divorce trial, the divorce decree will set forth conditions involving child custody, child support, and child visitation. Many unwed parents are also in need of a child support arrangement for the support of their children.

The reason for this is very simple and if you still don’t know the answer, then continue reading. Child Support is required in most cases because in order for a person to raise a child he needs to pay for the food, education and everything else that the child will need while growing up. Unfortunately, all of these things will cost quite a lot of money and for one parent it can be really hard to pay. That’s why the child support is required, it allows that one parent to pay all the expenses for the children. It is like a simulation of a marriage because, under normal conditions, two parents would share their income and pay for their children’s education.


Getting the right amount of monthly payment from child support is often a huge problem and if you choose the wrong law firm, you can end up with a very low amount or even nothing. That’s why you always have to hire professionals such as the Steele law firm. With professionals like us on your side, you won’t have any issues getting the right amount of money from child support and you won’t have to struggle through life just to raise your child.

Our attorneys at the Steele Law Firm are considered experts in negotiating child support payments.  When the parties are unable to resolve child support issues, we can explore alternative ways of reaching a settlement such as mediation and arbitration.

Illinois law provides that both parents have a duty to contribute to the support of their child. Even in cases where one parent has the ability to support the child without contribution from the other parent, the court is reluctant to release one parent from contributing to the support of the child.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Using the Illinois child support guidelines, the attorneys at the Steele Law Firm will help you determine the proper amount of child support.  These guidelines set forth the percentage of income that the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay, based on the number of children.

These guidelines are as follows:

It is important to note that child support is calculated using one’s net income from all sources.  Net income is determined by taking the gross income and then subtracting all mandatory deductions such as Taxes, union dues, health insurance for the minor child.  Voluntary deductions, such as contribution to 401(k) accounts, are not deducted.


Income may be generated and used for child support purposes from several sources other than from employment.  For example, rental property income or income generated from investments may be considered when calculating child support.

Child Support Obligations

The obligation to pay child support continues until the child is emancipated.  In general, a child is considered emancipated when he/she reaches the age of 18.  However, if a child attains the age of 18 while he/she is still attending high school, provisions for the payment of child support are not terminated until the date that the child graduates from high school or the date that the child attains the age of 19, whichever is earlier.  If a child has special needs, including mental or physical disability, the court may order that support payments continue beyond the typical termination events.

A parent’s obligation to pay child support does not terminate with the death of the obligated parent.  Therefore, when entering an order for child support, the court will generally require the obligated parent to obtain a life insurance policy for a specific amount, with the child listed as the sole beneficiary of the policy.

Visitation Arrangements & Child Support

It is important to note that a parent’s obligation to pay child support is independent of issues related to visitation.  An obligated parent may not withhold child support because he/she has been denied visitation rights.  Each issue is addressed separately by the court, and therefore it is the obligation of a parent to pay child support pursuant to the terms of the order for support whether or not he/she is permitted to have visitation with the child.


Our firm’s attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable with respect to each step in a paternity proceeding and the resulting child support payments and parenting time issues if paternity is established.  Paternity cases can involve issues ranging from DNA testing to weighing competing presumptions as to paternity to determination of child support and parenting time.  If more than one person has filled the role of a father, the DNA test results may be only a small piece of the puzzle.

Child Support Modifications

In any divorce child support is subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the court.  Things like changes in a parent’s income, changes in the need for or cost of child care, or other major financial changes may justify a re-examination of child support.   What is in the best interest of a child will evolve over time, as they grow and their needs change.   At the Steele Law Firm, we have a great deal of experience requesting these kinds of modifications to child support and custody orders.

Contacting an Illinois Child Support Attorney

If you are dealing with an Illinois child support or paternity matter, you need the advice and assistance of a skilled, experienced child support attorney to help you, your child, and to protect all of your legal rights.

Contact us or give us a call today at (312) 893-5888 or 1-800-DIVORCE (in Northern Illinois) to learn more about how we can help you or set up a FREE consultation.

We Can Assist You With:

  • Matrimonial Law
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