Are child support costs fixed or variable in Illinois?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

For those seeking to get a firm handle on what child support is all about in Illinois (the duties, offsets, exemptions, judicial considerations, time limits, enforcement mechanisms for noncompliance and so forth), the metaphor of a swamp might be useful.

Swamps are murky. What might seem firm footing suddenly becomes slippery. What seems fixed and obvious going forward can suddenly change materially based on suddenly altered circumstances.

That is fundamentally true with child support matters as well. Things can seem to be perpetually in flux. What might strike one spouse as equitable can be deemed a grossly unfair and even punitive exaction to the other.

In a nutshell, child support law in Illinois is a topic centrally marked by subjectivity. In response to this blog post’s above-posed headline question, the answer is most decidedly that child support parameters and considerations in the state are variable.

That is, the support entitlements and duties applicable in one case might be markedly different from what results in another. The term “cookie cutter” is inapposite to the topic of child support in Illinois, as well as everywhere across the United States.

The reason for that is, at bottom, rather obvious: Every family is different. Income levels and job status vary from family to family. So, too, does the number of children who must be provided for. Additionally, some children are dependent on parental support for longer periods than are others.

And there is yet another factor that routinely influences support outcomes in a material way, namely, a judge’s discretion.

We will discuss that judicial involvement, along with other matters centrally relevant to child support in Illinois, in our next blog post.

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