How much will I have to pay in Child Support?

In Illinois, Child Support is based on the net income of the non-custodial parent and the number of children the to whom the parent owes support. Courts typically apply the percentages listed in the table below to determine the dollar amount of support.

Number of Children Guideline Percentage of Net Income
1 20%
2 28%
3 32%
4 40%
5 45%
6 or more 50%

Step 1: Calculate your net income

Start by adding up income from all sources, including jobs (full and part-time), self-employment, business income, rent paid to you, etc. This is your gross income. Next, deduct the amount you pay in taxes, insurance, retirement contributions, and any child support or maintenance paid to anyone else. This is your net income.

See this page for a complete list of allowed deductions for child support: %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Step 2: Apply the Child Support Guidelines

Illinois Law requires the court to calculate the “Guideline Child Support”  before determining a final amount. However, in my experience, most courts simply order the guideline amount without applying any of the deviation factors discussed in Step 3.

To calculate the Guideline amount, multiply your net income from Step 1 by the corresponding percentage found in the chart at the top of this page.

Step 3: Adjust the amount using deviation factors (optional)

In rare cases, a court will make a specific finding that the guideline amount is inappropriate. In that case, it may consider the deviation factors listed below and order a different amount (higher or lower) than the Guideline Child Support calculation.

Deviation factors, listed at 750 ILCS 5/505(a)(2), the court may consider are:

  • the financial resources and needs of the child;
  • the financial resources and needs of the custodial parent;
  • the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not been dissolved;
  • the physical and emotional condition of the child, and his or her educational needs; and
  • the financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.

It is important to note that the amount of time that each parent spends with the child, or the number of nights that the child sleeps at each parent’s house is NOT a factor for deviation from Guideline Support. 

Worksheet to Estimate Child Support

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has created a worksheet to assist individuals predict the amount of child support they will be required to pay: Please note that this worksheet only contains the most common deductions and that you may be entitled by law to additional deductions. For case-specific questions, please call my office at 312-564-5373 for a free 30-minute telephone consultation.