What Expenses Are Addressed by Child Support in Illinois?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled---2024-02-27T135945.575.jpgIn many family law cases, child support is a crucial issue that will need to be considered. Both of a child’s parents will have a financial obligation to ensure that their child’s needs will be met. If you are a parent involved in a divorce or child custody case in Illinois, it is essential to understand what expenses child support is intended to cover. An understanding of how child support is calculated and how different expenses will be divided between parents can ensure that these issues will be addressed correctly. As you address issues related to child support, an experienced attorney can provide personalized assistance and representation to help you manage the legal aspects of your case effectively.

Basic Living Expenses Covered by Child Support

Child support in Illinois is determined by the "income shares" model. The formulas used to calculate child support consider the combined income of both parents to ensure that parents will contribute a similar amount of the income they earn toward meeting their children’s needs as they would have if they continued to live together. Basic living expenses covered by child support include:

  • Housing: Rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and utilities.

  • Food and Clothing: Groceries, school uniforms, and everyday clothing.

  • Transportation: Costs associated with commuting to school, extracurricular activities, and other everyday travel needs.

These expenses ensure that the child will be able to maintain a standard of living that is consistent with the financial resources available to their parents. A “basic child support obligation” will be calculated and divided between the parents based on their respective incomes. This amount is meant to represent what the parents would have spent to provide for their child’s basic needs if they had remained married or continued to live together.

In addition to basic living expenses, child support may be adjusted to address other types of expenses, including:

Medical Expenses

Child support in Illinois also addresses the child's health and well-being through:

  • Health insurance: Monthly premiums will typically need to be paid for health insurance coverage for children. Insurance is typically provided by the parent with access to better benefits or at a lower cost through employment. The cost of these premiums can be divided between the parents and added to a parent’s child support payments.

  • Out-of-pocket medical costs: Expenses not covered by insurance, such as copayments, deductibles, and prescriptions, are often shared between the parents in proportion to their incomes. If one parent pays these expenses, the other parent may reimburse them for a portion of the costs.

Educational and Extracurricular Expenses

Education is a priority, and there are various expenses that may be needed while children are attending school. Children may also participate in activities at school or elsewhere, resulting in additional costs. These expenses may be divided between parents, and they may include:

  • School fees: Parents may need to pay enrollment fees, purchase textbooks or other necessary supplies, ensure that children receive tutoring when necessary, or cover the costs of private school tuition.

  • Extracurricular activities: Costs associated with sports, clubs, and other activities that contribute to the child's physical and social development may be split between parents.

  • College expenses: Illinois courts may require divorced parents to contribute to their child's post-secondary education costs, including tuition, room and board, books, transportation, and medical expenses while attending college.

Child Care Expenses

For parents who work or attend school, child support can also address child care expenses, including:

  • Daycare: Parents may divide payments for daycare services during work or school hours.

  • After-school programs: Various costs may be associated with care or activities for the child outside of regular school hours, and parents may share these expenses.

  • Nannies or babysitters: Parents may choose to use an in-home provider to care for their children when they are unavailable, and they may both be required to pay for the costs of these services.

Contact a St. Charles Child Support Lawyer

Understanding what expenses are covered by child support can be a complex, confusing matter. When addressing these issues, it is important to consider the unique needs of your child and the specifics of Illinois law. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our Kane County child support attorneys can help you ensure that your child's financial needs will be met. We will provide you with the guidance and support you need as you address family law issues, helping you resolve any concerns you may encounter. Contact us at 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you.

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