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Are Child Care and Medical Expenses Included in Child Support?

 Posted on January 26, 2024 in Child Custody

Blog ImageChild support is a critical component of many divorce cases, as well as child custody cases involving unmarried parents. Child support orders put in place by family courts ensure that both parents will continue to contribute to the financial needs of their children. Many parents who are involved in these matters may wonder what expenses may be included when calculating child support. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on what factors will be considered when determining child support obligations, and they can also provide effective representation for parents to ensure that other issues related to their children will be handled correctly.

How Is Child Support Determined?

In Illinois, child support payments are determined based on guidelines provided in state law. These guidelines take into account various factors such as each parent's income, the number of children they share, and, in some cases, each parent’s amount of parenting time. The purpose of child support is to ensure that both parents are contributing to the costs of raising their children. The formulas provided in Illinois law will be used in most cases, although deviations from the guidelines may be appropriate in some situations, such as when one or both parents earn high incomes or when children have extraordinary needs.

Expenses Covered by Child Support

At the most basic level, child support payments are intended to cover necessities such as food, clothing, housing costs, and transportation. The guidelines in Illinois detail how a “basic child support obligation” will be determined, and this amount is meant to represent how much the parents would have spent to provide for their children’s needs if they had remained together.

Beyond the necessities covered by the basic child support obligation, other additional expenses might also be considered. These expenses may be divided between the parents, and they may be added to a child support order. Additional expenses may include:

Child Care Expenses

If child care services are required while a parent is working or pursuing educational opportunities, the costs of these services may be divided between the parents. Child care expenses can include daycare fees, nanny salaries, before and after school programs, summer camps, and other similar costs. A child support order may be adjusted to address child care expenses that are necessary to ensure that a parent can pursue or maintain employment. To help reduce these costs, other arrangements may be made, such as child care provided by grandparents or extended family members or adjustments to parents’ schedules so that one parent can care for children while the other parent is working.

Medical Expenses

The health and well-being of children are top priorities for any parent. Medical expenses play a crucial role in ensuring that they can remain healthy and receive any necessary treatment. Medical costs associated with children may include health insurance premiums, co-pays for doctor visits or prescriptions, expenses related to dental and orthodontic treatments, vision care, therapy sessions, and any necessary medical equipment. Typically, health insurance premiums will be divided between parents and added to child support payments, and arrangements may be made for how other medical expenses will be addressed.

Educational and Extracurricular Expenses

Various costs may be required when enrolling children in school and ensuring that they can succeed in their educational pursuits. School fees, private school tuition, the costs of books and supplies, tutoring, or any other educational programs may be shared by parents. If children will be involved in activities such as sports, music lessons, dance classes, theater programs, scouting, or clubs, parents may also be required to divide the expenses involved.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Child Support Attorney

If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities regarding child support, including what expenses may be shared by you and the other parent, Farooqi & Husain Law Office can help you understand how Illinois law will apply in your case. We will advocate for solutions that will provide for your children’s needs while also ensuring that you will have the financial resources to cover your own expenses. To learn how our DuPage County child support lawyers can help with your case, contact us at 630-909-9114 to schedule a consultation.

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