Most parents divorcing in Illinois have a good understanding of what child support is, but many, like you, have no idea how the precise payments are determined. Adding to the confusion is how one noncustodial parent with two children pays one amount while another noncustodial parent with two children pays a completely different amount. This happens because Illinois courts take several factors into account when calculating child support payments.
First and foremost, child support is intended to cover a child's basic needs such as food, housing, clothing and other necessary items. The support usually ends when the child becomes an adult at age 18. When courts begin to calculate child support, they use the guidelines set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. However, as most people know, each case is unique and that is the reason child support payment amounts vary from family to family.