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When Judges May Deviate from The Child Support Guidelines

Judith Trentman Wilson, Attorney at Law, P.C. Aug. 11, 2020

Raising children in Illinois is not always an easy task. Parents need to make a number of very important and difficult decisions regarding their education, medical decisions and others. Parents also have to pay for many things for their children as well. So, there are significant financial responsibilities in addition to having to make the various decisions. This is true whether the parents are married or not, but ensuring that both parents are contributing financially can be more difficult if parents are no longer together.

It is important that both parents are providing financially though and to help ensure it happens, when parents are no longer together one may be required to pay child support to the other parent. The amount of the child support that a parent may be required to pay each month is determined by the child support guidelines. These guidelines simply use the parents income, the number of children and other factors to determine the presumed monthly obligation.

There are some situations when the presumed child support obligation is inappropriate for the family’s situation though. So, judges can deviate from the guidelines. In making the determination whether a deviation is appropriate, the judge will analyze a number of factors. These include:

  • The financial needs of the children

  • The financial resources available to each parent as well as their financial needs

  • Whether the child’s physical or mental condition requires additional finances

  • The standard of living that the child enjoyed while the parents were together

There are many parents in Illinois who are divorced or separated. In many situations one parent may have the children more than the other parent, but that does not mean that the parent should have a greater financial contribution as well. Usually in these situations the other parent will be required to pay child support to ensure both are contributing to at least the child’s financial needs. Experienced attorneys understand the complications of child support and may be able to assist one through the process.