If you have kids and want a divorce in DuPage County, then child support will be a concern. Contrary to what many believe, you can get a fast and affordable uncontested divorce if you have kids. You just need to agree to all the necessary issues – and one of those is child support in Illinois.
That’s why I wrote this FAQ on child support and uncontested divorce in DuPage County.
If we’re agreeing, who cares what the law says?
Some people think that judges don’t care about statutory child support guidelines in an uncontested divorce. But that’s not true.
Even in an uncontested divorce – which is usually fast and affordable in DuPage County – the judge still cares what the spouses agree to for child support.
In Illinois, there must be good reason for a judge to deviate from the statutory child support guidelines – even in an uncontested divorce.
Therefore, if you want your DuPage County uncontested divorce to be affordable and quick, your settlement agreement should properly address child support.
As a DuPage County uncontested divorce lawyer, my goal is to draft agreements that the Court will accept so that everyone can move on with life.
How is Illinois child support determined?
Illinois law states guidelines for the payment of child support.
As I mentioned above, there must be good reason for a judge to deviate from statutory guidelines – even in an uncontested divorce.
Therefore, you need to understand the Illinois child support guidelines.
Generally, child support paid is a percentage of the payor’s net income. The guideline state the following:
- One child = 20% of payor’s net income
- Two children = 28% of payor’s net income
- Three children = 32% of payor’s net income
- Four children = 40% of payor’s net income
- Five children = 45% of payor’s net income
- Six children = 50% of payor’s net income
The guidelines for determining child support are in Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505)(see link).
So what is net income?
Net income has a special definition when it comes to child support. It’s not simply after-tax income – in most cases it’s lower than that.
To sum it up most simply, net income for child support purposes is something like this:
After tax income – required monthly deductions – health insurance premiums – necessary health costs – previously ordered child support – union dues – limited other costs = net income for child support purposes.
So if you are going to attempt to determine what child support would be paid per the statutory guidelines, then you should apply the proper percentage to the net income for child support purposes.
What if we want to deviate from guidelines?
As a uncontested divorce lawyer whose frequently in court in Wheaton, Illinois, I can tell you that it’s fairly common for people in an uncontested divorce to agree to deviate from statutory child support guidelines. The deviations might be higher or lower than guidelines support.
But either way, this can only be done with sufficient reason and if those reasons are properly communicated to the Court.
What if my spouse won’t agree to deviate?
An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree to everything see this article for a bit more about that.
If your spouse won’t agree to the child support deviation you want, then you can either give up on what you want, or fight about it in court. Of course, fighting in court is expensive, and time-consuming.
Realize that there is no way to force someone to agree to something. Even if you truly deserve a deviation, it won’t be a part of the uncontested divorce if your spouse doesn’t agree to it.