The Effect of Parenting Time on Your Obligation for Child Support

child support, DuPage County child support attorneyAre you a divorced parent who struggles with the limited amount of parenting time that you have been allocated with your child? Such a situation is understandably frustrating for anyone. Even parents who are fortunate enough to share parenting time equally often do not feel that it is enough. These parents are not being selfish; rather, they truly believe that the time they spend with their children offers substantial benefits for everyone involved. There is, however, another frustrating element of shared parenting time that effects many parents: child support. It can be very disheartening to assume responsibility for your child half of the time or more but still be required to make child support payments.

No Current Correlation

As the law in Illinois exists today, there is no statutory relationship between child support requirements and parenting time or parental responsibilities for divorced or unmarried parents. The considerations for each are completely independent of one another, at least as far as the letter of the law is concerned.

In determining child support obligations, a court may order either or both parents to pay support, but customarily orders payments to be made by the parent with less parenting time—previously known as the noncustodial parent. To establish the amount of the payments, the court is required to consider only the supporting parent’s income and the number of children to be supported. The law provides the court with discretion to deviate from its provided formula based on the resources and needs of each parent and the child, as well as the standard of living created in the marriage. Such concepts are rather vague and still do not specifically make reference to parenting time or parental responsibilities.

Changes Are Coming

By this time next year, however, things will look very different for parents who share parenting responsibilities. A few months ago, Illinois lawmakers passed a measure that introduces a new approach for calculating child support—one that more accurately takes into account the entire family’s circumstances rather than just that of the supporting parent. The specific guidelines are still in development, but the new law will require the court to consider the income of both parents, as well as the amount of time each parent has been allocated with the child, among many other factors. The intent is to provide a more equitable model of calculating child support to reflect the changing reality of today’s families.

If you would like to know more about the upcoming changes to the law, contact an experienced child support lawyer in DuPage County. Schedule a confidential consultation at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., by calling 630-409-8184 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/sections/younglawyersdivision/newsletter/Young%20Lawyers%20Division%20August%202016.pdf

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