Russell Knight

Russell D. Knight has been practicing family law as a Chicago divorce lawyer since 2006. Russell D. Knight amicably resolves tough cases while remaining a strong advocate for his client’s interests.

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  1. […] govern their relationship with the child just as a divorcing couple would. This document includes child support and other financial issues relating to the child. When it comes to property, it’s a different […]

  2. […] this duty is calculated as child support is not so […]

  3. […] Child support in Illinois is calculated based on a complicated formula where both parents’ incomes are used to calculate the non-custodial parent’s obligation to the custodial parent. […]

  4. […] is issued after a prima facie showing that the order was violated (which can be any allegation that child support is missing or late) the alleged violator must prepare for a hearing on the petition for rule to […]

  5. […] draft will follow the law as written in Illinois. We will be splitting assets and debts up 50/50. Child support and maintenance will be calculated pursuant to Illinois […]

  6. […] like parenting time, child support, maintenance and selling a house need to get resolved well in advance of the final divorce […]

  7. […] with the children.  I go into the details of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act throughout my website so people can research what will happen and what their options are for their divorce in […]

  8. […] ILCS 5/510(c)   Life Insurance And Child Support Can the court order life insurance to guarantee child support? There is no Illinois statute saying that the court can secure child support with life insurance […]

  9. […] After all, you will have read through the articles on my website and the websites of other lawyers about all the other financial aspects of divorce.  You’ll know your assets will be divided approximately 50/50 or “equitably” which is almost never more than 65/35.  You’ll now that maintenance will be 33% of your income minus 25% of your spouse’s (or vice versa).  You’ll have gone to the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services website to total the estimated child support. […]

  10. […] the bankruptcy is taking care of those issues already.   The issues based in income, like child support and maintenance remain in […]

  11. […] the big thing you cannot agree to without the approval of the court is child support.  The modification of a child support obligation is a judicial function, administered by the court […]

  12. […] the greater income in the final determination of maintenance and child support.  Maintenance and Child Support are determined by calculating the parties gross and net incomes respectively.  The higher your […]

  13. […] the child support law changed in January of 2017 we now calculate child support based on an income shares model which uses both the non-custodial parent’s income and the custodial parent’s income.  […]

  14. […] Child support is designed to provide additional funds to the “residential parent” from the “non-residential parent.”  That is, child support is for the extra food, shelter and clothing the resident parent is spending on the child.  But what happens when the child no longer lives with the residential parent after a Chicago, Illinois divorce?  Is the non-residential parent still obligated to pay child support or can the non-residential parent ask that child support be stopped. […]

  15. […] Child support is taxable to the child support payor and not taxable to the child support receiver.  That’s it. […]

How Do I Calculate Child Support In Chicago, Illinois?

How do I calculate child support in Chicago, Illinois?

Effective July 1, 2017, courts in the State of Illinois implemented changes to how child support is to be calculated. Going forward, child support obligations will be calculated using something called the “Income Shares Method”. The formula no longer uses a straight percentage to calculate income. Instead, it calculates child support incorporating both the non-custodial and the custodial parent’s income.

  1. Standardized Net Income

To calculate child support under the new law, the courts now ask that both parents disclose their gross monthly incomes by completing a Financial Affidavit and supplying copies of recent paystubs. After these initial disclosures are made, the gross income amounts are converted into “Standardized Net Income” amounts, determined by a standardized chart published by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services. You can view a copy of this chart online at , or by performing an internet search for “Standardized Net Income Chart Illinois”.

  1. Combined Net Income

These standardized net amounts for both parents are added together to calculate what the courts refer to as the parents’ “Combined Net Income”. This figure represents both parents’ total combined income.

  1. Income Shares Table

The next step is to refer to another document published by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services titled “Income Shares Schedule”. We take the Combined Net Income calculated in step two above, and correspond it accordingly with the appropriate figure on the chart. This will later be used to determine the final amount the payor will owe. This dollar figure reflects the total child support amount that the parties will need to contribute together for the minor child. You can view this chart at, or by performing an internet search for “Combined Net Income Chart Illinois”.

  1. Percentage

Calculate the percentage of the total Combined Net Income each party earns. So, for example, if the Petitioner earns $75,000.00 a year and the Respondent earns $25,000.00 a year, than the Petitioner would earn 75% of the Combined Net Income, and the Respondent would earn 25% of the Combined Net Income.

  1. Calculating the Final Amount of Child Support Owed and Payable

The final step is to take the amount determined from the Income Shares Table in step three, and the Payor’s percentage of the Combined Net Income calculated in step four. The obligor shall pay the percentage of the total income from the Income Shares Table equal to his percentage contribution to the parties’ Combined Net Income. So, for example, the Petitioner from step four who earns 75% of the Combined Net would be expected to pay 75% of the total from the  Income Shares Table. This would be his child support amount. The Obligee shall not pay herself any child support (obviously).

CAVEAT: Please note this is a general calculation for cases where there is no shared parenting time and both parties are simply W-2 wage earners. Your specific situation may require additional calculations or different considerations. For example, if you have 50/50 custody, child support is calculated differently.

Most lawyers just use the online calculator to estimate the child support but your attorney should always take the formal steps to calculate child support as listed above.

The child support calculation is not the last step.  The child’s expenses and any possible child support arrearages must also be calculated but those are done in a less mathematical manner.

There are still many factors like what happens to a bonus or other surprise income (or losses of income).  Contact my Chicago, Illinois law office to learn more about how much child support you will be paying or receiving.

If you’d like to read this article in Spanish, click here.