Child support exists to ensure that children receive the financial support they need for their well-being from both parents. Child support payments aim to cover the necessary expenses associated with raising a child.
But does child support in Illinois cover your children’s recreational activities? This is a question that many parents find themselves asking.
Understand child support in Illinois
In 2017, Illinois implemented an income shares model for determining child support. This model considers both parents’ incomes and the number of children involved. Child support payments cover basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare expenses.
Recreational activities and child support
While child support primarily covers essential expenses, it may also include “extraordinary” expenses in some cases. These extraordinary expenses can include costs related to extracurricular activities or special interests, such as sports, music lessons or other recreational activities.
In Illinois, the court considers these activities “extraordinary” if the costs exceed the usual expenses included in the basic child support obligation. The court assesses these costs on a case-by-case basis.
If the court determines that these activities are in the child’s best interest, it may order one or both parents to contribute to these costs. The court can order this as part of the child support order, or parents may agree to share these costs independently of the child support order.
Child support modification
Child support orders are not permanent. They are subject to modification as circumstances change. If you believe your current child support order does not adequately cover your child’s recreational activities, you have the right to request a modification.
To do this, you need to prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order. A substantial change could include a significant increase in the child’s needs or a significant change in the financial status of either parent.
Whether your child support in Illinois covers your children’s recreational activities largely depends on your specific situation and the judge’s discretion. If you believe your current child support order should include these costs, consider seeking a modification. This ensures that you have the necessary financial resources to support your child’s interests and activities, contributing to their overall well-being and development.