Child Support Order

A child support order is a legally-binding court order requiring a legal parent of a child, typically the child's non-custodial parent, to make a certain amount of child support payments on a regular basis. 

There are two types of child support orders: judicial child support orders, and administrative child support orders. The main difference between these two orders is whether it was ordered by a judge in court or the Department of Family Services (HFS).

Additionally, there are different types of payments a parent may be ordered to make in a child support order, including:

Child support orders may also specify how you are supposed to make your payments. This may be through an income withholding order, through making payments directly to the Illinois State's Disbursement Unit (SDU), or some alternative method. Unless you have been ordered to do otherwise, you can also make child support payments directly to the other parent via a check or money order.

The frequency of child support payments depends on the order. Payments may be made weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, semi-monthly, annually, or in one large lump sum.

Generally speaking, child support orders can only be made for children that are under the age of 18 or that are currently in high-school. Child support orders usually include a final payment date, typically a high school graduation or an eighteenth birthday.


  • Child support payments can only be made by someone who is the legal parent of the child(s)

  • A child support order can be appealed within 30 days of its being ordered through a motion to reconsider. If you want to change the amount you are paying in child support AFTER 30 days, you will need to modify the child support order

  • If multiple children are on an order, and one or more children on the order turn 18 or graduate high school, you will have to modify the order to stop paying current child support for those children

  • If your income ONLY comes from LINK/SNAP, SSI, or TANF, you CANNOT be ordered to pay an amount greater than $0 in child support

  • SSI CANNOT be garnished or withheld for the purposes of paying child support

  • One does not need to be paying child support to file for child custody and or visitation rights, so long as they are the legal parent of the child