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What Can Child Support Payments Be Used for in a Divorce?

 Posted on April 16, 2020 in Child Support

Lombard, IL child support attorney

Child support refers to the money paid by one parent to the other parent to help financially support their child after the parents get a divorce. However, these types of payments may also be appropriate for couples who never married but had a child together. Typically, child support is paid to the parent who was allocated the majority of the parenting time with the couple's child. In Illinois, child support is based on both parents' net incomes, and an “income shares model” is used to calculate the amount of the payments. Child support arrangements must be approved by the court. Payments are typically made on a monthly basis, and a parent can face penalties if the support payments are late or if support is unpaid.

Child Support Uses

Overall, child support is intended to maintain the child’s well-being and guarantee all of his or her basic needs are met. The basic child support obligation determined using the income shares method is meant to cover the following types of expenses:

  • Shelter: This includes rent or mortgage payments, as well as utilities (electricity, heat, water, etc.) for the child’s primary residence.

  • Groceries: Food is essential to stay healthy, and child support can ensure that a child's nutritional needs will be met.

  • Clothing: Children grow quickly, and child support is meant to ensure that they can continue to have new clothes when necessary.

There are a variety of other expenses involved in raising a child. In addition to what is ordered under the basic support obligation, parents may be required to split additional costs, including:

  • Childcare: Children may need to attend daycare or before- or after-school programs while parents are at work, and parents will be required to divide the costs involved.
  • Educational expenses: Books, school supplies, and school uniforms or other required clothing are considered necessities for the child’s education.

  • Extracurricular activities: The child may be involved in sporting activities in or outside of school, attend summer camp, or land a role in the spring musical, all of which may require fees, supplies, or other related expenses.

  • Medical treatment: Doctor visits, glasses/contacts, medications, or dental care may be necessary to ensure the child’s health and well-being. One parent may obtain coverage for the child under his or her health insurance through work, and the parents will be required to divide the costs of these premiums, as well as any other out-of-pocket costs.

Enforcement of Child Support 

Illinois divorce law states that all parents must provide for their children. Therefore, even if a child is not living under one parent’s roof, that parent is still required to make monthly child support payments, unless the court has stated otherwise. If he or she is unable to keep up with the scheduled child support payments or would like to modify the order, he or she must notify the courts immediately to avoid facing penalties. Punishments can vary depending on the severity of the non-payment. An Illinois parent may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for failure to pay child support for six months or if more than $5,000 is owed.

Contact a Dupage County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce when children are involved can be complex. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child support payments, it is important to seek professional legal counsel. A compassionate and dedicated Wheaton child support attorney from A. Traub and Associates will help you navigate the proceedings, regardless of whether you are the parent ordered to pay support or the one receiving it. Call our office today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a consultation.


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