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What Do Illinois Business Owners Need to Know About Child Support?

Posted on in Family Law

Kane County family law attorneyIn Illinois, child support is an important obligation for all unmarried parents, as it works to ensure that their children’s needs are provided for. However, child support can also be a source of confusion and consternation for parents with complicated or unusual financial circumstances. Many parents who are ordered to pay child support receive some or most of their income from self-employment or a business or professional practice that they own. In these cases, determining a parent’s child support obligation is not always straightforward.

The Basic Child Support Calculation in Illinois

Since 2017, Illinois has used a standard calculation to determine each parent’s expected financial contribution to provide for their children’s basic needs. This calculation uses an “income shares model” in which a parent’s support obligation is based in large part on their portion of the combined net income of both parents. This means that for a child support order to be equitable, it is important to have an accurate understanding of each parent’s income.

Net income not only includes income from employment, but also many other sources. Even parents whose income is primarily from wages paid by an employer will need to report other sources of income for the purposes of calculating child support, and this can include income from a side business. For parents whose primary source of income is their own business, it will be important to thoroughly review the business’s revenue and expenses.

Unique Child Support Concerns for Business Owners

The most important concern for business owners and self-employed parents is understanding what qualifies as business income. According to Illinois child support law, net business income is calculated by determining the gross revenue earned by the business and subtracting any necessary business expenses. However, the law specifies that certain kinds of expenses cannot be subtracted, including a company car, a housing allowance, or reimbursed meals for the parent, as well as other expenses that the court finds to be excessive.

Owning a business can also affect the methods available for making child support payments. Many parents who receive a paycheck have their child support payments withheld by their employer. However, self-employed and business-owning parents often must be personally responsible for ensuring that they set aside the appropriate amount to fulfill their child support obligation.

Business owners who become delinquent on child support payments can also face unique consequences. If they are subject to an enforcement action or charged with contempt of court, they may be ordered to provide the court with monthly income and expense reports to determine their ability to pay, and they can also be ordered to seek employment that would provide a paycheck from which child support can be withheld.

Contact a Kane County Child Support Attorney

If you or your child’s other parent is a business owner, you may have many questions about the effects on your child support order. At the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II PC, we can answer your questions and help you protect your financial interests. For an initial consultation, contact our St. Charles family lawyers at 847-428-7725.




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