Helping Illinois Parents Negotiate Child Support in Divorce and Paternity

Northbrook Divorce Attorneys

Northbrook and Chicago attorneys balance the legal formula with your actual needs

Chicago child support law dates back to 1985 and doesn’t address many current-day considerations about payment and enforcement, including the single parent’s need for daycare, the generous federal income tax credit for child support, and how much a parent spends when visiting or sharing custody versus the payment for child support. It can pay to have an experienced Chicago legal firm like The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. build and present your argument.

How child support payments are calculatedshutterstock_440455198

Child support is the monthly payment the noncustodial parent pays to the parent with residential custody of the child. Very often it is the father who is paying, but much depends on both parents’ net income.

Child support is meant to provide funds for food, clothing, housing, transportation, medical care not covered by insurance, and other expenses. The noncustodial parent is often required to contribute additional funds for daycare, extracurricular activities and private school expenses.

The noncustodial parent’s child support payments are based primarily on net income. Judges in Chicago use the following reference points:

Number of children % of net income











6 or more


Working from this starting point, the experienced Chicago child support lawyers at The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. can help you negotiate the child support payment that is appropriate to your specific circumstances.

What counts toward net income?

Net income is all income from all sources, minus the deductions permitted by Illinois law. See our discussion of How to File for Child Support for a more detailed treatment on what counts as income and what does not.

Can child support be modified?

The state of Illinois recognizes that circumstances change and you may need to pay or receive more or less child support as your child’s needs change or your income fluctuates. Your divorce order will typically specify a two-year period of time before the payment amount may be revisited. The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. helps you understand how to increase or decrease child support when circumstances dictate.

Can someone be excused from paying?

Child support is crucial to the child’s upbringing, so payments are strictly enforced and almost impossible to dodge. The obligation is almost always not dischargeable in bankruptcy proceedings, for instance. And unemployed and imprisoned parents are required to pay — after all, the child’s needs do not cease during the parent’s indisposition.

Child support usually terminates when a child becomes “emancipated” by virtue of getting married or attaining the age of majority, 18, but this age limit can be pushed back to the completion of high school. It can also be pushed back to the date the child graduates from college or made indefinite if the child has learning disabilities.

Enforcing child support

As an incentive for compliance, Illinois mandates that interest accrue on all unpaid obligations. If a parent continues to fall behind, the other parent can petition the court to enforce payment. The Chicago child support lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. knows how to enforce child support payments; we also have plenty of experience with Illinois child support calculations and help take care of the math.

Child support from a tax perspective

Child support is not includible in the income of the receiving spouse, nor deductible from the income of the payer. However, when both alimony and child support payments are being made, it is possible to make the entire amount count as income to the receiving spouse and as a deductible cost for the payer. Unallocated family support, as this concept is called, can result in more money for both spouses if it is done according to strict Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Hire an attorney who knows child support’s many angles

From net income determinations and hidden assets to tax-advantaged child support settlements, the Chicago child support lawyers at The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. help you make your case and eliminates as many surprises as possible. Call us at 847.897.5288 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.