Home                             Search                                                                                Anita Alvarez , State's Attorney

Office Overview | Victim Services | Press Room | Community Resources | What's New | Careers | Juvenile Justice | Contact


Getting
Support
Applying for
Support
Establishing
Parentage
Court
Locations
Collection/
Enforcement
 

Child Support Enforcement Division
Getting Child Support


Establishing & Modifying Child Support: Most Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Amount of child support calculated?

Pursuant to Illinois law, the courts determine the minimum amount of child support based upon a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income. The following guidelines are applied per household:

  • Support for one child is set at 20 percent of the non-custodial
    parent’s net income;
  • Support for two children is set at 28 percent of the non-custodial
    parent’s net income;
  • Support for three children is set at 32 percent of the non-custodial
    parent’s net income;
  • Support for four children is set at 40 percent of the non-custodial
    parent’s net income;
  • Support for five children is set at 45 percent of the non-custodial
    parent’s net income;
  • Support for six or more children is set at 50 percent of the non-custodial parent’s net income.

Net income is defined as the total of all income from all sources minus certain deductions specified by Illinois law.

The court has the power to deviate from these guidelines. In order to justify such a deviation, the court must consider the best interests of the child in light of evidence, including but not limited to one or more of the following relevant factors:

  • 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 educational needs;
  • The financial resources and needs of the non-custodial parent.

Are you entitled to retroactive support, which is child support back to your child’s birth?

You may be awarded child support back to the child’s date of birth. The court must look at the following factors before deciding to award you retroactive support back to the child’s date of birth:

  • The father’s prior knowledge of the facts and circumstances of the child’s birth;
  • The father’s prior willingness or refusal to help raise or support the child;
  • The extent to which the mother or public agency bringing the action previously informed the father of the child’s needs or attempted to seek or require his help in raising or supporting the child;
  • The reasons the mother or public agency did not file the action earlier; and
  • The extent to which the father would be prejudiced by the delay in bringing the action.

Can child support be modified?

Yes. Child support can be modified by filing a petition for an increase or a petition for a decrease. An order for child support may be modified by either party upon a showing of substantial change in circumstances.

However, as a participant in the IV-D Program, you can petition the court for an increase without making a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, provided 36 months have passed since the entry of your last child support order and there is a difference of at least 20 percent between the amount of the existing child support and the increased amount of child support. This difference cannot be less than $10 per month.