Since 1984, child support payments were calculated using the percentage shares model in Illinois until 2017. Public Act 99-0764 was signed into law by Governor of Illinois on August, 12, 2016, announcing a new way of calculating child support in divorce cases. On July, 1, 2017, the new law was put into effect, modifying two sections of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), 750 ILCS 5/510 and 750 ILCS 5/505.
Now, Illinois family law uses the income shares model that has been enforced in several other states as well. One of the most notable changes is the shared parenting provision, affecting how the amount of child support obligation is determined for each parent.
A Brief Overview of the Income Shares Model
In the percentage shares model, child support calculations were made by taking into account a percentage of paying parent’s income and multiplying it with the number of children the spouses had during the marriage. However, the income shares model considers the cost of raising a child in the similar way as it would if the parents and children remained in a single household. It analyzes the incomes of both parents, and determines the most suitable percentage of child-rearing costs that should be paid by a parent. Three important factors affecting the child support calculation include:
- Basic child support obligations
- Parenting time
- Additional expenses
The income shares model puts the responsibility of upbringing a child on both parents, assigning an appropriate amount of contribution to each parent based on their specific circumstances. However, things can become a little tricky when both parents are given equal amount of parenting time or shared parenting time, i.e. 50/50.
How Child Support is Calculated for Shared Parenting Time
Shared parenting time is the most significant change introduced to Illinois child support law, affecting the way calculations are made in certain situations. According to the new law, if a parent is keeping the child for at least 146 nights in a year, the court will add a shared parenting adjustment to the child support determination. This adjustment is calculated by multiplying the basic child support obligation by 1.5. This means that both parents will receive increased cost of child-rearing in their child support.
After that, the total amount of contribution is assigned to each parent by taking into account their combined income contribution. Now, this amount is multiplied by the time (in percentage) spent by the child with the other parent. The obligation of each parent is offset. Ultimately, the parent who owes higher amount of child support compared to the other parent is required to cover for the difference calculated between the two.
Calculations for child support can become difficult when shared parenting time is involved. Consulting with an experienced child support attorney can help you develop a clear understanding of your situation and get an idea of how much you will be paying in child support. Contact Casement P.C., to schedule a free consultation today.