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Illinois Updates Child Support Calculations


Over the summer, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a number of important updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Most notably, the updates will alter the way that child support is calculated, shifting toward the increasingly-popular “income shares” model used by 39 other states. The law will enter into effect on July 1, 2017.

The income shares model is one component of the state’s shift toward the shared parenting model. Currently, the parent who does not have residential custody of their child pays a fixed percentage of their income to the parent with residential custody, and the income of the residential parent is not considered. Under the income shares model, the court will craft a child support obligation that the parents share. First, the court will determine the income of the entire family using the net incomes of both parents. This family income will be compared to a chart (not yet published) that shows the basic childcare expenses for families with similar incomes and sizes. This chart will provide the total basic child support obligation to be shared between the parents based on the net income of each parent. This basic support amount can be augmented to include expenses for a child’s extracurricular activities, special education needs, or healthcare costs.

The above calculation will be used for families where the care of the child falls largely to one parent. Illinois courts will use a different structure to calculate child support where parenting is shared. The court will consider parenting to be shared where each parent has custody of their child for 12 out of every 30 nights in a month, or at least 146 nights each year. At this point, child support will be calculated based on the amount of time the parent spends with their child. The court will also multiply the product of the child support calculation as described above by 50% to account for the increased costs of having two households that each care for a child for roughly the same amount of time.

If you are seeking an attorney you can trust for a family law case in Illinois, such as a divorce or determination of custody, contact the effective and dedicated Chicago-area family law attorneys at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee for a consultation, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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