If your spouse is unemployed and you are headed for an Illinois divorce, you may wonder whether you will receive any child support at all. Even when there are no earnings to factor in, your child’s other parent will probably still have to contribute to the expenses of raising your child. According to the Illinois statutes, there are a number of sources of income that are used in the calculation of child support.
When your spouse lost his or her job, the employer may have offered severance pay, or there could be unemployment benefits. The court will use these in the total amount of income your spouse receives. Retirement benefits are also included.
An injury or disability could have made it impossible for your spouse to return to work, but any workers’ compensation benefits or disability payments he or she has coming in are included as income. However, Supplemental Security Income will not be included in the calculation. If your spouse is receiving child support for a child that is not yours, that money cannot be used to pay child support for your child.
Payments your spouse receives from a trust count as income that may be used to pay child support, as can any royalty amounts, dividends, interest, capital gains and money from rental properties.
Being purposefully unemployed to lower child support obligations may backfire on your spouse, as a judge may rule that he or she will pay based on an amount that a person in that field could reasonably be expected to earn.
This information is provided to give you a basic idea of the income sources the court may use to calculate child support. However, it is general in nature, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.