New Child Support Laws in Illinois
It is important for anyone who is filing for divorce in DuPage County to know that Illinois child support laws have changed. Governor Bruce Rauner signed amendments to the child support laws last year, and those changes took effect on July 1. As such, anyone who gets divorced and has children from the marriage will need to know more about the “income shares” model and how child support payments will be calculated.
Learning More About the Income Shares Model
We want to provide you with a clear example of how the new “income shares” model of child support works in Illinois, but first we want to ensure that you understand what it is. Until the new law took effect, Illinois used a child support system in which only one parent’s income—typically the noncustodial parent—would be considered for child support payments. Then, that parent would pay a percentage based on his or her income, as well as the number of children entitled to support. Recognizing that this system does not take into account the other parent’s financial responsibilities for the child, as well as different and varied models of parenting, the Illinois legislature made changes.
Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/505), child support calculations follow the “income shares” model, as we mentioned. First, the court determines what each parent’s monthly net income totals. Then it adds those figures to get a combined net income of both parents—essentially what the intact household income would have been if the divorce had not happened. Then, the court looks to the child support guidelines to determine what the appropriate amount of child support should be for the child. Then, it determines what percentage of that support obligation should be paid by each of the parents. The court does this by looking at each parent’s net monthly income and dividing it by the combined monthly net income.
The court can also take into account additional issues, though, before ordering support. These additional factors can include, for example:
- Additional expenses required for the child, such as for extracurricular activities or medical expenses; and
- Parenting time, and the amount of time that each child physically spends with each of the parents (for instance, if the child spends most of her time with one parent rather than a shared parenting situation).
How Does the Income Shares Model Work in Practice?
Imagine we have Parent A and Parent B. They are getting divorced and have one child, but they plan to have a shared parenting arrangement. Parent A has a net monthly income of $5,000, and Parent B has a net monthly income of $3,000. What will each parent’s child support obligation look like? Here is an example of the calculations the court will do:
- Court adds Parent A’s income ($5,000) + Parent B’s income ($3,000) to get a combined monthly net income of $8,000;
- Court asks what the guidelines say for this monthly net income, and determines that the parents share a child support obligation of $1,261 per month based on the table in the guidelines;
- Court divides each parent’s net monthly income by the combined monthly income to determine each parent’s support obligation;
- Parent A: $5,000/$8,000 = 62.5 percent of the monthly obligation, or 62.5 percent of $1,261, which = $788.13;
- Parent B: $3,000/$8,000 = 37.5 percent of the monthly obligation, or 37.5 percent of $1,261, which = $472.88.
This example could change if the parents did not have shared custody, or if the child had extraordinary expenses, for example.
Contact an Oakbrook Terrace Child Support Lawyer
We know that divorce and child support issues can be contentious. At Farooqi & Husain Law Office, an experienced Oakbrook Terrace family law attorney at our firm is here to help. We have years of experience assisting members of the Muslim community with a wide variety of family law matters, and we can provide you with more information about the income shares model of child support, as well as how we can help with your child support case. Contact us today.