Many families in Illinois are just learning about the new “income shares” model for child support that took effect on July 1, 2017. As we have previously discussed, Illinois child support used to work in such a way that the custodial parent paid child support to the noncustodial parent. This was known as the “percentage of obligor net income” model. Now, however, the state uses an “income shares” model. This means that the net incomes of both parents are taken into account. The law was reshaped to reflect the model used in many other states, but it also reflects the relatively recent changes to Illinois child custody laws. Rather than using terms like “child custody” and “visitation,” the law has shifted to using terms of “parenting responsibilities” and “parenting time” to reflect the close and important relationship between parents and their children.
So what do these changes mean in practice? In other words, what does the income shares model look like, and how do courts consider the income of both parents in making child support determinations?
The guideline calculation for the income shares model of child support is initially the same for all parents regardless of income or situation. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services provides information about the new income shares model and how calculations work. Once the guideline amount of the child support obligation is determined, it can be adjusted based on factors that are specific to a particular family’s situation. Let us go through the way the calculation works:
If you want to calculate the amount of the child support obligation, it is relatively easy for parents in Chicago to calculate the total child support obligation, but it can be much more complicated to determine the percentage of each parent’s obligation without the help of a family law attorney.
How would you calculate the total child support obligation? Let us give you an example:
When a court calculates the percentage of each parent’s obligation, it takes into account a number of factors, including but not limited to:
The court then adjusts the percentage of each parent’s obligation accordingly.
Do you need assistance with child support? An experienced Chicago child support attorney can help. Contact Arami Law to get started.
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