How Does Parenting Time Affect Child Support?

Posted on in Illinois Family Law

Illinois child support lawIf you live in DuPage County and have been thinking about filing for divorce, you may know that Illinois law recently changed when it comes to child support. In brief, as of July 1, 2017, Illinois now follows the “income shares” model when calculating child support obligations. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505), the court calculates both parents’ combined net income, and then determines the total amount of the child support obligation from the schedule. The court then calculates each of the parent’s percentage share of that child support obligation.

How does parenting time affect each parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation? When parents share parenting time equally, the court is unlikely to adjust a parent’s percentage share of the child support obligation based on parenting time. But what about when parenting time is not shared equally between the parents?

When the “Shared Physical Care” Formula Might Apply

As you may know, “parenting time” refers to the amount of time that each parent exercises basic caretaking functions for the child. Parenting time is similar to older terms in Illinois law of “physical custody” and “visitation.” In other words, how much time does the child spend with each parent, resulting in that parent providing for the physical care and well-being of the child? The amount of parenting time for each parent—either in the Parenting Plan or in the court’s allocation of parental responsibilities—can impact the parent’s percentage of the child support obligation.

As the statute explains, if “shared physical care” applies, then it affects how the court computes each parent’s child support obligation. The shared physical care formula is used in situations in which one parent does not have the majority of the parenting time, but has at least 40 percent of overnights with the child in a given calendar year. Specifically, “if each parent exercises 146 or more overnights per year with the child, the basic child support obligation is multiplied by 1.5 to calculate the shared care child support obligation.”

Calculating Shared Physical Care Obligations

To be clear, the court determines what each parent’s share of the “shared care child support obligation based on the parent’s percentage share of combined net income.” The court then computes the parent’s child support obligation “by multiplying that parent’s portion of the shared care support obligation by the percentage of time the child spends with the other parents,” and “the respective child support obligations are then offset, with the parent owing more child support paying the difference between the child support amounts.”

When parenting time is greater for one parent than for the other—even if the parents share in making important decisions about the child’s upbringing—then each parent’s percentage of the support shifts accordingly. There is a worksheet that can help parents to determine their Shared Physical Care Support Obligation if the formula will apply to their situation.

Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Family Law Attorney

Do you have questions about how your child support obligation will be calculated? At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, we regularly assist the Muslim community in DuPage County with a wide variety of family law issues, and a dedicated Oakbrook Terrace child support lawyer can speak with you about your case today. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office for more information.



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