If you are a parent going through a legal separation or divorce, you need to understand how a child support order may affect you in the future. Generally, a parent having the custody of the child(ren) receives regular payments from the non-custodial parent to help with their upbringing. In Illinois, previously child support calculations are based on a set formula that is based on two primary factors:
- The number of children
- The net income of the paying spouse or supporting parent
Courts also used to consider several other factors, but they have less impact on the final determination of child support payments. With the new changes in Illinois child support laws have taken effect on July 1st, 2017, child support payments will now be calculated using a different model than what was used for the past three decades.
Why Make Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws
Previously, a percentage model was used for calculating child support payments. The problem with the old model was that it only considered the supporting parent’s income, instead of both parents’ income. Conversely, the new child support law takes on a new approach which takes into account the situation similar to what both parents would have offered to their child(ren) if they stayed together. This new model is known as the income-shares model, and it is being used for child support payment calculation in many other states as well.
The New Changes
The income-shares model considers each parent’s contribution to the care and expenses of the children in case of intact families. The new Illinois statute is an elaborate form of the previous child support statute, and provides courts additional factors to make judgments, including:
- Basic Child Support Obligation: The income-shares model is based on the combined value of both parents’ net income. The individual contribution is determined by proportionally dividing the child support payment, calculated from the Illinois schedule, between the parents.
- Parenting Time: The new model also considers the parenting time, which has been included in the latest Illinois divorce laws. It is used for deciding which parent will receive child support payments.
- Additional Expenses: The judge may also consider additional factors aside from the basic child support obligation. They may include extracurricular activities, child care costs, and health insurance expenses.
The basic child support obligation will be determined by evaluating each parent’s net income. Once the individual net incomes have been calculated, they will be added and become the Total Family Income. This income will then be compared to an average family with the same number of children and income, which will be present in the schedule created by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHS).
If you want to know how the new changes to Illinois child support laws can affect your divorce, you should talk to our experienced family law attorney. Contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation and discuss your case to better understand your situation.