Child Support

Although Child Support Law is a Straightforward Issue in Divorce, it Remains a Point of Contention – Especially with the New Laws

While child support is a basic right granted to a child of any relationship, it remains one of the most contested issues in any divorce.

The concerns of both parties include:

  • If you’re the receiving parent with the majority of the parenting time, you will always want (or expect) more child support.
  • If you’re the paying parent, you simply want to pay what is necessary and in the best interest of your family.

At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., we’ve been carefully handling these matters and disputes for over 35 years. Regardless of whether we’re representing the receiving or paying parent, we thoroughly calculate child support payments to come to an agreement that is fair for both parties. As such, you can look to our firm as your trusted partner, no matter your position in a divorce proceeding.

So, What is Child Support and How is it Calculated? 

Child support is as it sounds: It is regular payments provided from one spouse to the spouse granted the majority of the parenting time (i.e. custody).

However, the guidelines dictating the amount of child support are no longer as straightforward as they once were. The old child support law, which allocated support based on the number of children from the marriage, is no longer. This means that there aren’t any set percentages a parent has to pay for child support based upon the number of children from the marriage. For example, pursuant to the old child support law, this is how support was calculated:

  • One Child – 20% of net income
  • Two Children – 28% of net income
  • Three Children – 32% of net income
  • Four Children – 40% of net income
  • Five Children – 45% of net income
  • Six or More Children – 50% of net income

However, the child support law was amended as of July 1, 2017 and now reflects what is referred to as the “income shares” model of support.

The basic premise of the income shares model is that both parents are paying to support the child, so the amount the non-residential parent (a.k.a. the parent the child is not living with) has to pay should also take into account the amount of money the other parent is paying as well. The amount of time the child spends with both parents is another relevant factor. And, though the details of the law are too complex to set forth here, and a formula is used to arrive at the specific amounts to be paid, the end result is a more equitable burden both parents share for the child’s expenses.

If the Laws Say Child Support is Calculated a Certain Way, What is There to Dispute? 

Most often, the definition of “net income” is hotly disputed during child support calculations. According to Illinois state law, net income includes all income earned minus:

  • Federal and state income taxes
  • FICA – This includes costs like social security and Medicare
  • Retirement contributions (only those which are mandatory)
  • Union dues
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Life insurance premiums, but only if ordered by the court to guarantee payment
  • Existing child or spousal support payments
  • Costs necessary for the repayment of debt

There are several other issues that can emerge as well, including:

  • How parental responsibilities are allocated
  • Disputes over current income and earning potential
  • Additional expenses that diminish income, such as tuition for minor children, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, etc.

Our firm is experienced in these matters and others and will protect your interests in any divorce proceeding. We consider it our responsibility to ensure payments are fair and just for both parties and will defend your interests in negotiations or at trial, whichever your case necessitates.

If You Have Questions or Concerns Regarding Child Support Law or Payments for Your Divorce, Contact Our Team  

With over 35 years of experience in family law matters, our firm offers a communicative approach and robust understanding of new Illinois child support laws to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

If you have questions regarding children and payments in your divorce or would like to set up a free, 30-minute consultation to address your needs and concerns with Larry in-person, please contact us at 630-470-9990 or fill out our convenient online form.

We look forward to speaking with you and representing your interests in child support calculations and other matters of your case.


Common Child Support Law Questions:
How Long Does Child Support Last?

Whether you are to pay child support or you are to receive payments, it’s a central issue in any case. After all, children are (and should be) the first concern in any divorce, especially because they must be provided for physically, financially, and otherwise.

One of the most common questions is how long it must be paid. As you may suspect, there are laws in Illinois that govern this and as such, you can have a clear answer of what to expect from child support payments.

In this article, we discuss how much child support must be paid as well as for how long so you can better understand the financial implications of your divorce.

How Long Must I Pay/Will I Receive Child Support? 

Like the legal guidelines above that dictate what most spouses pay for child support, the length of the child support obligation is fairly straightforward as well.

Most supporting parents are ordered to pay child support until each child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school. In certain cases, for example if the child has special needs or there are other special circumstances, this may differ.

While you can expect to pay or receive child support until each child graduates from high school, it’s important to remember that the amount may change over time. Let’s say that you lose your job and don’t make as much at your new job. Your child support obligation will decrease based on your new net income, though you will have to return to Court to receive this reduction.

Ensure Child Support Payments in Your Divorce are Handled Properly With Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.!

If child concern is a major concern in your case, as it is in many cases, the professionals at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help! Larry has over 35 years of experience in family law matters, meaning he will ensure you receive the proper amount of child support or are paying the correct amount in the best interest of your child(ren).

Still Have Questions About The New Child Support Laws?

To learn more about child support in your divorce please contact us at 630-470-9990 to request your free, 30-minute consultation or submit your request online. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you better understand how child support will work in your unique circumstances!