How is child support calculated when I have multiple children with different people?

Having multiple children with multiple people can be a bit confusing for the purpose of calculating child support. First and foremost, the obligor (person paying child support) is entitled to reduce their gross income by certain deductions, including, but not limited to the following expenses: federal income taxes, state income taxes, social security, Medicare, health/hospitalization premiums, student loan debts, union dues, mandatory retirement contributions as a condition of employment and other miscellaneous deductions, pursuant to relevant Illinois statute. Obligors also can reduce their child support by the amount of any maintenance or child support they are actually paying to a third party, pursuant to an Order. There are two requirements here: (1) there must be a court order that exists at the time the subsequent child support order is being entered, and, (2) you must be paying the support amount indicated in said order, for child support or maintenance.

This sounds very confusing, but actually makes sense in a practical sense. An obligor should not have to pay spousal support or child support on dollars that he or she does not personally receive. These funds are being paid out by the obligor, without any discretion, pursuant to a court order. They don’t have a choice but to pay out these funds. So, they shouldn’t have to pay support on those dollars that they already are paying out, by court order. However, just having an order in place for support is not enough to get the deduction on a subsequent support order, the obligor must actually be paying the sum ordered.

This can be a bit confusing, especially when a child support order is entered by a parent who has the younger children. For example, let’s say Sarah has an eleven (11) year old child with Michael, and Deborah has a seven (7) year old child with Michael, for example. If Deborah goes and files for child support against Michael, and receives a court order that Michael is to pay her twenty percent of his net income, or, $400.00 per month. When Sarah files for child support, Michael will receive all of his deductions required under Illinois law, including a $400 per month deduction for the support order, if he is actually paying it. Then, Sarah’s child receives 20% of whatever remains of Michael’s net income, even though her child is older than Deborah’s child. Whoever files first and has an order entered first will receive more money than the subsequent filer.

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