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What Does Child Support Cover & What Else Do I Owe?

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What is and is not covered by child support in Illinois is mostly determined by the agreement created in court upon separation. While the amount to be paid by the non-custodial parent is often based upon the income of both parents, other factors, including varying state guidelines, are also taken into consideration.

That said, covered expenses may also vary. As a result, it’s important to understand your financial obligations in your state. You should also work with your family lawyer address any question or concerns regarding child support.

What Expenses Are Covered By Child Support?

In Illinois, the child support calculator generates a support figure that is to be used for basic necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter. The specific calculation takes into account the number of children in the family and both parents’ incomes. Additionally, the court may allocate other expenses between both the custodial and non-custodial parent. These expenses include:

  • Transportation Costs
  • Extracurricular Activity Fees
  • Childcare Payments
  • Education and Religious Expenses

A judge also will divide responsibility for uncovered or uninsured medical expenses. These medical expenses may take the form of co-pays, prescription costs, special care and even emergency treatment.

How Long Does Child Support Last?

The obligation to pay child support typically ends once the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later. However, there are exceptions. Financial support may be awarded after the child is no longer a minor. For example, if a child has a disability and is unable to financially support themselves, a court can extend child support payments beyond the age of 18.

Additionally, a more common means of post-minor support may require the parents to pay additional support in the form of educational expenses for when the child attends a technical institute, community college or four-year university.

In this instance, post-minor child support would pay for things such as:

  • Room and Board
  • Dues and Tuition
  • Transportation, Books and Fees
  • Registration and Application Costs
  • Health Insurance
  • Medical Expenses
  • Allowance for Living Expenses

A judge will evaluate such orders on a case-by-case basis. Parents’ incomes will determine the post-minor contributions at the time .

Is Child Support Tax Deductible?

Child support is not tax deductible. This means that the parent paying the support does not receive any sort of deduction in state or federal taxes for the amount they pay, regardless of how long they pay or how many children they pay for.

Additionally, the parent receiving the payments will not pay tax on any support they receive. This is because the court will calculate child support payments based on the parties’ after-tax, or net, income.

How Can I Amend My Support Order?

A child support order can have a significant impact on each parents’ long-term financial obligations. As a result, it is important to clearly establish these obligations when drafting the agreement. This will help to avoid any future misunderstandings and conflict.

If you are unhappy with your current arrangement or require an amendment to your child support in Illinois, seek the help of a skilled family law attorney. At Strieker Law Firm, we represent clients in a variety of divorce and separation scenarios. Our team works with you to help alleviate stress when it comes to your financial obligations. Contact us to set up an appointment.