How is Child Support Determined in Illinois?
Going through a divorce is tough, but it can be even tougher when there are children involved. There are many more considerations to take into account when divorcing with minor children. When a divorcing couple has a child, there will need to be a custody agreement between the parties. The parties can agree to an arrangement, if they are able to come to an agreement. If no mutual agreement can be reached, the court will determine what the appropriate custody arrangement is. Depending on the custody arrangement, one spouse will likely owe child support to the spouse with the greater amount of custody.
The calculation of child support in Illinois changed as of July 1, 2017. Prior to the change, child support was calculated based off a percentage of the net income of a parent making the payment. The percentage was a set amount, depending on the number of children the payment would be supporting. However, in an effort to make child support payments more fair and consistent, Illinois changed the procedure for calculating child support.
In Illinois, there is now a three-step approach to calculating the amount of child support that a person owes.
- Calculate the net income of both parents. Instead of relying solely on the income of the spouse making the payment, both parents’ income will be considered in determining the payment amount.
- Determine the average amount spent on supporting children. Illinois Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) publishes a chart that combines that the parents’ net income and makes an estimate of what the cost is to support a child.
- Determine each parent’s respective share. Each parent is responsible for the percent of the estimated amount of support required, proportionate to the percentage of income they contribute to the total net income of both parents.
The person who spends the majority of the time receives payment from the other parent in the amount established by the steps above.
Other Considerations of the New Law
This modification to the Illinois child support statute was passed to make sure that child support payments are fair to both parties. The aim is to consider the income of each party so that everyone is in the best position to care for and supply support to the child.
In addition to taking into account both parents’ income in determining child support payments, there are other consequences of the change in law. The chart published by FHS takes into account the changes in net income that can happen. The chart takes into account that an increase in net income would result in a decrease in the percentage of net income that is paid in child support.
If you have questions about child support payments and your obligations to pay, contact Hamilton & Antonsen, Ltd. The experienced Joliet family law attorneys can answer your questions and explain the options available to you. If needed, we can perform any work needed to change your child support payment or modify custody agreements. Contact us today to find out how we can help.