New Child Support Payment Formula Takes Effect

child support payment-DuPage CountyA new Illinois law signed last year that affects the way child support payments are calculated took effect earlier this summer. The new formula takes into account a number of variables previously not considered when divorcing couples and their attorneys negotiated child support payments to be paid by the noncustodial parent.

Details of the New Formula

Under the old law, child support was based only on the income of the noncustodial parent. Proponents of the change maintain the calculation now takes into account the actual cost of raising a child, and how those costs are divided between the custodial and noncustodial parent. The new model also places a greater emphasis on the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren).

While a judge ultimately decides the amount of child support to be paid, the new law provides clear guidelines to help determine the proper amount. Among the criteria to be considered under the new “income-shares” model are:

  • Net monthly income of both parents are determined and added together. Gross income was no longer considered an accurate reflection of one’s “take home” pay.

  • Amount of visitation days spent with the noncustodial parent are totaled. If a child spends 40 percent or more (overnight) days each year with the noncustodial parent that detail would lower the payment.

  • Normal costs associated with raising children, including housing, food, clothing, transportation, ordinary extracurricular activities, entertainment, and education also are calculated.

  • Which parent provides health care coverage of the child and that cost.

  • Number of children impacted by the divorce.

  • Amount of spousal support paid as part of the divorce decree.

  • The amount of child support paid as part of a previous divorce or other legal obligation.

  • Whether or not children are receiving Social Security Dependent Benefits.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is confident the new model is not only equitable when it comes to finances, but removes the emphasis from money and places it on spending quality time with the children.

However, since the new model places more emphasis on time spent with children, there is concern that parents may attempt to manipulate the calculation—for example, demanding the children spend a holiday at their residence even though that parent is at work and not actually spending time with the visiting children.

Obtain Child Support Payment Advice from an Experienced Illinois Divorce Lawyer

Whether your divorce is final or you are just starting the process, knowing your child support responsibilities is an important detail. Understand how your income and other details factor into determining child support payment with the assistance of a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney. The Law Offices of Matthew M. William, P.C. apply the strengths of new statutes to benefit our clients.


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