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Child Support Order

Please note that the legal information presented on this page is written for those living in the state of Illinois.

What Does it Mean?

A child support order is a legally-binding court order requiring a child's legal parent to make child support payments on a regular basis.

How Does it Work?

There are two types of child support orders:

  1. Judicial child support orders, which are issued by a judge in court; and
  2. Administrative child support orders, which are issued by the Department of Family Services (HFS)

The amount owed in child support is calculated based on both parent's income. If a parents fails to make on-time payments, the amount owed becomes past-due child support.

In addition, child support orders can make a parent owe different kinds of payments, including:

Child support orders may also specify how a parent must make payments. This could be through an income withholding order, by 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 make child support payments via a check or money order.

The frequency of child support payments depends on the order. Payments could be made bi-weekly, monthly, 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 attend high school. Child support orders usually include an end date, typically a high school graduation or eighteenth birthday.

Things You Should Know

  • Child support payments can only be made by someone who is a 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 file to change (modify) the order
  • Multiple children can be on a single child support order
  • If your income ONLY comes from LINK/SNAP, SSI, or TANF, you CANNOT be ordered to make child support payments
  • SSI cannot be used to pay child support
  • A child's legal parent legal parent does not need to pay child support to file for custody or visitation rights

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