Child Support for Unmarried Parents
If parents are unmarried, the parent responsible for the child has a right to receive child support. Child support payments are usually based on the guidelines described in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. In addition to guideline child support, the non-custodial parent may be required to contribute to educational expenses, medical insurance, medical expenses, daycare, summer camp, extra-curricular expenses, and college expenses. Learn more about child support and how it’s calculated below.
Establishing Parentage in Illinois
What is parentage? Essentially, it’s a documented legal relationship between a parent and their child. Parentage can be established in Chicago whether a couple is married or unmarried with one of the following:
- – Order of Paternity from the courts
- – Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form (completed by both parents at the hospital)
- – Administrative Paternity Order from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Child Support Services
After a child’s parentage has been determined, one parent may be required to pay the other parent child support. Parental responsibilities and parenting time (known formerly as custody and visitation), however, must be established by the courts.
How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in IL?
Once paternity has been established, one parent can seek child support from the other. If you were found to be the parent of a child, the other parent can receive child support from you based on Illinois’ “income shares” model, which was established in 2017.
- – This new model takes the income of both parents into account, and combines both incomes into a “Total Family Income.”
- – This figure is then compared to the estimates of average intact families of a similar size with a similar income. This is how the basic child support estimate is reached and can be modified to include other expenses like educational costs, healthcare costs, and extracurricular activities.
- – The statute offers guidance on the types of expenses considered under each category and how the court should factor expense into its decision, based on both parents’ shared or separate child support obligations. The court will deem one or both parents responsible for a certain expense in proportion to their income in the Total Family Income figure.
Learn More About Unmarried Child Support from Conniff & Keleher, LLC
Whether you’re seeking child support payments from the other parent, or you have questions about establishing paternity, Conniff & Keleher, LLC can help. Contact us to set up a consultation at our Oak Park or Chicago office.