The method used to calculate child support in Illinois is about to undergo a massive change. Starting July 2017, courts will adopt a different method for determining the amount of child support each parent is responsible for contributing.
The calculations will no longer be based on a fixed percentage of a non-residential parent’s income. Moving forward, the courts will use an “income sharing” model used by various other states.
What is an Income Sharing Model?
Under current Illinois law, the amount of money a non-residential parent has to pay for child support is calculated using a fixed percentage of that parent’s net income. For example, if there is one child involved, the non-residential parent would be obligated to pay 20 percent of his or her net income. However, calculating child support in this manner produced results that were counterproductive to the best interest of the child in many cases.
Under the new law, set to take effect this July, the courts will first determine how much money would be spent on childcare if that child was living in an intact home. Once the courts have determined how much money would be spent on that child, the court will then factor in other variables including but not limited to:
- The educational needs of the child;
- The financial needs of the residential parent;
- The amount of parenting time each parent spends with the child; and
- The type of employment of each parent.
Changes to Income Calculations
Another change in the law is how the courts define income. The new law will now explicitly count spousal maintenance (alimony) that has been ordered by the court as income for the purposes of child support allocation. In the case that one parent is unemployed or underemployed, the courts will then use 75 percent of the most recent United States Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guidelines as a presumption of that parent’s income.
Will There Be Set Guidelines for Me to Anticipate What I May Have to Pay in Child Support?
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has been tasked with developing the new guidelines to help people anticipate what they may be required to pay in child support. Those guidelines have not yet been released; however, what is known is that there is a minimum obligation of $40.00 a month that will be ordered by the court.
Can I Modify My Existing Child Support Agreement Under the New Law?
If you would like more information regarding the modification of your existing child support agreement under the new law, your knowledgeable and dedicated Orland Park child support lawyer can help. Contact Kezy & Associates to speak with Attorney Mark L. Kezy to discuss your options and map out a plan for success. Call 708-518-8200 today and schedule your free consultation.