Child Support in Illinois, Continued: Coming Changes

child support, DuPage County family law attorneyIn a recent post on this blog, we talked at length about the current guidelines that family court use when calculating orders for child support in Illinois. We also mentioned that a new law is set to take effect next summer that will dramatically update the state’s approach to child support, bringing it more in line with the dynamics of today’s families.

A More Equitable Model

Beginning July 1, 2017, Illinois will switch over to what is known as an “income shares” model for calculating child support. Unlike the existing model, an income shares system takes into account the income of both parents and can be modified to consider the impact of shared parenting time. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DFHS) is currently developing the specific quantitative guidelines that will be used, but the basic principles have been set by the new law.

Both Parents’ Income

To find each parent’s share of child support, the court must first combine the parents’ net income to get a total amount. Based on that total amount, the DHFS assumes that if the family was still intact, a specified portion of the parents’ combined income would be spent on the child or children. This portion is known as the “basic child support” amount. The basic child support amount is then divided between the parents in accordance with each parent’s percentage of contribution to the total combined income. The higher earning parent, therefore, would be responsible for a larger percentage of the support obligation. Other considerations such as health care, educational costs, and childcare may be added to the basic child support amount before it is divided between the parents.

Shared Parenting

The new law also accounts for shared parenting situations when the child spends 146 overnights or more per year with each parent. When this is the case, the basic child support amount is increased by 50 percent to account the expenses of maintaining two homes in which the child lives regularly. The resulting amount—called the “shared care child support obligation”—is then divided in accordance with each parent’s income and percentage of time with the child.

When the DHFS releases the income guidelines in the next few months, it will much easier to provide a demonstrative example of how the new system will work. In the meantime, if you have concerns about child support orders or their enforcement, contact an experience Aurora family law attorney right away. Call 630-409-8184 to discuss your case with a member of the team at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. today.

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/community/chi-ugc-article-hastings-modernizing-child-support-laws-2016-05-27-story.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/PDF/099-0764.pdf

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

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