Net income for Child Support: Don't think its going to be your "Take Home" Pay

You've heard that Child Support in Illinois is calculated as a percentage of the net income of the person who has to pay. Most of us, when we think of net income, we think of how much money we are taking home on our paychecks. That is the standard definition but not necessarily the amount your child support will be calculated from. Assuming for simplicity's sake and by way of example, that the person paying child support is an employee whose paycheck doesn't vary; the net income would be figured by first looking at how much the "gross" amount of the paycheck is. That is the amount of pay before anything is taken out. From there, one would have to subtract the following to arrive at the net income, and then calculate the corresponding percentage:

  • Taxes (Federal and Illinois)
  • Social Security (FICA)
  • Retirement Dues that are mandatory as opposed to optional
  • Union dues
  • Health/hospitalization insurance premiums for the worker and his or her dependents;
  • Prior obligations of child support or spousal support ("maintenance") actually paid and where there is a court or administrative order requiring it
  • Expenses to repay debts that represent reasonable and necessary expenses for the production of income
  • Medical expenses necessary to preserve life or health
  • Reasonable expenses for the benefit of the child and the other parent, exclusive of gifts.

Common reasons why this won't always be the same as the amount reflected in your paycheck are:

  • Voluntary Contributions to a 401k or other retirement plan
  • With some exception, repayment of a 401k loan
  • Optional insurances other than health or hospitalization
  • Legal insurance
  • Employer reimbursements

Child Support is not always straightforward to calculate, especially for seasonal workers, the self-employed, people who work on commission or bonus structures or who otherwise do not always make the same amount.  If you are trying to figure out how much you will have to pay or how much you will receive in child support, it is a good idea to have an experienced family law attorney sit down with the income information to help you determine the amount. Call Carol O'Connor Cadiz or fill out a webform to schedule a confidential llinois child support assessment so that you can be prepared.

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation