Fair Child Support For High Income Families

Sometimes the payor of support is a high income earner will argue that the application of the statutory guidelines would result in a support amount far exceeding the possible needs of the child. The high wage earner may also argue that the statutory percentage child support amount provides a financial "windfall" to the residential parent in Chicago.

Unfortunately, Illinois, unlike some other states, does not provide a statutory solution to high earner child support cases. So parties, and judges, consider the following:

  1. First and foremost it will be an issue as to what are the actual needs of the child. The residential parent will have to produce evidence, e.g. bills, invoices, receipts, etc., proving the cost of caring for the child.
  2. On the contrary, the residential parent will argue the "standard of living" which the child would have enjoyed if the parties had remained married. Again, evidence is key to establish the standard of living.
  3. What is a "high wage earner?" Unfortunately, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides little help. Is a person a "high wage earner" if he or she earns $200,000.00, $250,000.00, $300,000.00, $350,000.00, etc. What is the threshold under which a judge will impose the statutory guidelines or over which a judge will consider deviation from the guidelines? The answer is each judge has his or her own opinion as to where the threshold rests. For judge A the threshold it is $200,000.00. For judge B it is $300,000.00. This is where an experienced family lawyer can provide guidance as to what a particular judge's position may be.

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