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Child Support in Uncontested Divorce: the basics

“How much child support should be paid in an uncontested divorce?” As an uncontested divorce lawyer, that’s one of the most common questions I get.

That’s why I wrote this article about child support in uncontested divorce.

How to Agree to Child Support

An uncontested divorce is about agreement between the parties. They agree to all aspects of the divorce. That includes child support. A martial settlement agreement (MSA) spells out the terms of the divorce. Child support is agreed to in the MSA.

You should know that a judge must approve of the terms of your divorce. Does your divorce involve kids? The judge will want to know about the child support arrangement.

The judge does not have to approve of every MSA. If the judge does not approve your MSA, you won’t be divorced when you planned. None of my clients have had to come back to court for that reason.

Illinois child support guidelines – and deviation

Want the judge to approve your MSA? Make sure it contains child support provisions that the judge finds reasonable.

In Illinois, there are statutory guidelines for child support. Generally, if you stick to the guidelines, the judge will approve your MSA.

Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act lays out the following guidelines for child support in Illinois.

  • one child: 20% of net income
  • two: 28% of net income
  • three children: 32% of net income
  • four children: 40% of net income
  • five children: 45% of net income
  • six or more children: 50% of net income

But child support does not have to exactly follow the guidelines. Are you going to split time with your kids 50/50? Then perhaps there will be no child support paid by either party. You an also deviate from child support guidelines for various other reasons. It’s best to consult a lawyer to get guidance on whether or not a judge would approve the child support provisions you are considering.

Net income for child support purposes

I provided my clients an Illinois child support calculator. This way, my clients can estimate what amount of child support a judge might order. That amount can then serve as the basis for agreeing on the child support provision of an MSA.

Child support and spousal maintenance (alimony)

If a divorce involves both child support and spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony), there are various tax strategies that can benefit both parties. I find that many times when people contact me for an uncontested divorce in Illinois they are unaware of such strategies.

 

Moving ahead with uncontested divorce

If you are having problems agreeing on child support for your uncontested divorce in Illinois, I might be able to help. I’m experience in helping couples reach agreement to minimize agony and expenses.