When parents go through a divorce, they must determine how to divide the cost and responsibilities associated with raising their child(ren). Child support is sometimes awarded to the parent with the most time with the child, but even still, there may be added expenses not covered by the supporting parent’s legal child support obligation. Learn how you can determine who should cover child-related expenses after your Illinois divorce, and discover how a seasoned family law attorney can assist you with the entire process.
Child Support in Illinois - Understanding the Obligation
Under state law, children have the right to receive emotional and financial support from both of their parents. Child support helps to ensure that financial need is met. However, not all parents are obligated to pay. Instead, the state uses the income of both parents, the average cost of raising a child, and the amount of parenting time awarded to each parent in order to determine how much support (if any) is owed.
Extra expenses, such as healthcare costs, fees for extracurricular activities, and special equipment for a special needs’ child may be added in when calculating the amount of support that is owed, but parents do not always request to have them added. There may also be other child-related expenses that are not considered to be a part of the calculation. For example, parents may verbally agree to split the cost of back-to-school clothing and supplies, but this agreement may not be included in the divorce decree or child support order. College savings may not be included in the calculation either (even if there is an existing account that must be divided between the married parties), so parents may have to come to an agreement outside of court to ensure their child has the money they need to complete their education.