How do child care expenses factor with Illinois child support?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | family law |

Any family law case in Illinois will be difficult, but when there are children involved, it adds several layers of complexity to the case. For parents who strive to help their children adapt to the new circumstances, disputes and acrimony are a difficult challenge. There are basic guidelines the state will use to determine how much should be paid in child support. However, many cases have aspects that will require a deviation from those guidelines. One that commonly arises is paying for child care. Child support laws specifically address this.

What is considered child care expenses?

Parents who are working, going to school or receiving vocational training and need child care may need extra payments to cover for child care. If, for example, a parent is attending school to try and advance in a current job or to create new job opportunities and the child needs care during educational hours, there must be a safe place for the child to be during this time. Even if the child is being placed in a specific program when school is not in session, that will be factored in when deviating from the child support guidelines for child care.

The expenses will be prorated when determining how much will be paid. This is based on the parents’ income. It can be added to the basic child support payments if the parent is not paying for the child care or program directly. The amount paid will be sufficient so the child is getting quality care. If the payments vary, then an average will be calculated for the past 12 months. Future child care expenses can be considered when parents are unemployed at the time or are not in school. Substantial changes in circumstances can warrant a modification in the order to pay for child care.

Parents should think about child care in a family law case and have assistance

Understanding state family law for deviations in this context is a priority to reach a reasonable outcome and ensure the child receives the care necessary. Since child support can be costly and the needs of the child and the parents can fluctuate, this is frequently an area for disagreement. The best interests of the child are paramount, but parents should still be protected when they are expected to pay for extra costs or need more than the guidelines say. For those issues and any other concern that arises with support, having advice and guidance is vital to reach an acceptable resolution.