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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

calculating child support, support orders, Oak Brook Family LawyerIf you are an unmarried or divorced parent, there is a strong possibility that you are now or will soon be subject to an order for child support. Illinois laws, like those in other states, may require either, and in some cases, both parents to contribute financially to the support of their children. With rare exceptions, the parent who does not maintain primary physical custody is generally required to pay support to be calculated as prescribed by law.

Child Support as a Percentage of Net Income

The basic formula used by the court for calculating child support orders takes into account two factors. The first consideration is the payor's net income, which is determined as his or her total income minus allowable deductions, such as taxes, Social Security, mandated retirement contributions, union dues, insurance premiums, previous support orders, and other appropriate expenditures. Secondly, the number of children being supported must be considered. The minimum amount of support to be paid will generally be:

  • 20 percent of the payor's net income for 1 child;
  • 28 percent for 2 children;
  • 32 percent for 3 children;
  • 40 percent for 4 children;
  • 45 percent for 5 children; and
  • 50 percent for 6 or more children.

Other Relevant Factors

The court may also take into consideration a number of other factors that can impact the needs of the child or the ability of the payor to meet the recommended obligations. These can include:

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divorce mediation, alternative dispute resolution, Illinois Family Law AttorneyFor many couples, deciding to end their marriage is among the most difficult choices they will ever have to make. Divorce inevitably brings with it a wide variety of emotions and the process itself may be wrought with challenges. An increasing number of couples, however, are finding that there may be alternatives to a hotly-contested divorce played out over several months in litigation, especially for those who may be able to work together. Often, mediation can provide the opportunity to reduce the stress of divorce, while meeting the needs of all parties involved.

What is Mediation?

Couples who seek mediation in their divorce typically do so based on a commitment of cooperation to provide the best post-divorce situation for themselves and their family. During mediation, both spouses meet with neutral third party, or mediator, to work out the details of their divorce. In certain situations, spouses may choose to hire their own legal counsel for the mediation process, but many cases are negotiated without separate attorneys. Once an agreement is reached with the help of the mediator, it is turned over to the court for approval and completion of the divorce.

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spousal maintenance, spousal support, Oakbrook Divorce AttorneysLast year Illinois enacted a new law to simplify the process of calculating spousal maintenance payments, sometimes known as alimony. Previously, the law did not provide courts with standardized guidelines for determining a party's maintenance obligations. That meant, under the old approach, courts considered maintenance on a case-by-case basis with inconsistent results. The new calculation is a two-step process, whereby the court:

  • Subtracts 20 percent of the receiving spouse's income from 30 percent of the payor's income to find the amount of maintenance to be paid; and
  • Calculates the length of the maintenance award based on the duration of the marriage.

This relatively simple mathematical process reduces much of the uncertainty associated with alimony.

Step One: Are You Entitled to Maintenance?

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Posted on in Child Custody

child custody, parental rights, Illinois Family LawyerIn Illinois, it is possible for you to become your spouse's child's legal parent by adopting him or her after you marry his or her parent. This is known as a stepparent adoption. Stepparent adoptions, like other types of adoption, are covered under a state law known the The Adoption Act.

Adopting your spouse's child involves a very different process than adopting a child through an agency or a private adoption and in most cases, it is a much easier process to complete. If the child's other parent is involved in his or her life, he or she must consent to the adoption. Additionally, there are certain obligations that you must fulfill to complete the process.

The Stepparent Adoption Process

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domestic abuse, order of protection, DuPage County Family LawyersDomestic violence can be deadly. An estimated 1,300 deaths are attributed to domestic violence every year in the United States. In addition to these deaths, approximately two million injuries are reported to be a result from this type of violence every year. Domestic violence transcends racial, socioeconomic, religious, and regional boundaries. Although domestic violence is commonly portrayed as being perpetrated by males against their female partners, individuals of either gender in both same- and opposite-sex relationships can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. Call the Illinois domestic violence hotline at 1-877-863-6339 to get help from an expert who can guide you toward one or more of the organizations in your area that serve victims of domestic violence. After you have done so, consider filing for an order of protection against your partner and speaking with an experienced family attorney to begin the process of ending your marriage.

The Cycle of Violence

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