During typical divorce proceedings in Illinois, one of the issues that may arise is how both parents can continue supporting their children. Under state law, both parents are expected to contribute toward the well-being of their children until they are 18. In some cases, there may even be a separate agreement between the parents to continue paying for educational or other needs after any children from the marriage turn 18.
How will it be determined how much child support a parent may pay? Typically, the law assumes that any parent who has custody of a child is contributing to his or her welfare in a significant way. Child support is a way to offset the costs that the custodial parent has to pay, and it also ensures that the noncustodial parent is fulfilling his or her parental obligation. While the numbers can be modified as needed, it is common to see anywhere from 20-28 percent of a noncustodial parent's paycheck go toward his or her children.
It is certainly possible that the parents themselves determine how much each will contribute to the needs of their children. For tax purposes, the parent who has residential custody of the child gets to claim him or her as a dependent. However, there may be an agreement between the parents to split that money afterward or to alternate who gets custody and the exemption each year.
A family law attorney could help parents come to an agreement regarding child support, child visitation and other rights that each parent may have a claim to after the divorce is finalized. It is likely that any settlement that the parents come to on their own will be accepted by the court as long as it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.
Source: illinoislawfinder.com, "Your Guide to Getting a Divorce in Illinois", July 30, 2014