Illinois Income Shares Child Support
In 2017, Illinois joined 40 other states and territories that use the income shares model to calculate child support. The proponents of this model state that this is a fair measure of support which considers what each parent would contribute by income, and the amount of “nights” spent by each parent with the child. The older model of “percentage of net income” child support remains valid in cases set under that methodology until a modification event occurs, at which time, the new and often lower support based on income shares goes into effect.
Child support is calculated by combining both parents’ gross or net incomes to determine their combined gross/net income, and then determining what percentage of combined net income is represented by each person’s income. The Commission that set the method also set “needs” or the amount of support for one or more children on an “average” basis dependent upon parental income.
For example, if mom’s net income per month is $2,000 and dad’s net income is $10,000, the parties would have a combined net income of $12,000. Mom’s percentage would be $2,000/$12,000 or 16.6% and Dad’s percentage would be $10,000/$12,000 or 83.3%.
We then look at an income shares chart to determine the basic child support obligation. In this example, the amount on the income shares chart for one child would be $1,609 per month. The charted monthly child support number is multiplied by the party’s percentage of income. If the mother has a majority of the parenting time, dad would pay $1,609 x 83.3% = $1,340 to mom per month. In addition, dad would also be responsible for 83.3% of expenses, such as those expenses not covered by medical insurance; extracurricular activities; health insurance and the like. The remaining balance “owed” by mom is assumed to be paid in everyday expenses she incurs. Nothing is owed by her to dad.
If each parent exercises 146 or more overnights per year, the basic child support obligation is multiplied by 1.5 to calculate the shared care child support obligation. The child support obligation is computed for each parent by multiplying that parent’s portion by the percentage of overnight time the child spends with the other parent. The respective child support obligation is then offset with the parent owing more child support paying the difference between these amounts. This is so complicated that each lawyer and the court refers to one of two commonly used computerized calculation programs for clarity. The court awards child support on the above guidelines unless the court makes a finding that the guidelines would be inappropriate considering the best interests of the child, and evidence which demonstrates that a different award is required. Child support collection increased exponentially throughout the United States once the federal government mandated each state to implement collection procedures. The income shares approach suffers from the conformity imposed by routine, as it is rare to see deviations from these guidelines.
Beware Of These Issues in Child Support:
- Maintenance: When one parent is paying maintenance to the other parent, the maintenance is subtracted from the payor’s net income and added to the payee’s net income;
- Health Insurance Costs: Health insurance premiums for the child will be added onto the child support calculation and divided between the parents, based on their respective percentages of the combined income; and
- Imputing Income: If a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, child support can be
“imputed” or based on income the recipient is likely to receive.
Illinois Child Support Lawyers Serving Winnetka · Wilmette · Evanston
These child support issues are really important issues in Illinois, both for your child’s welfare and for the financial interests of all parties. Because they are important, we urge you to contact the most experienced child support lawyer you can in Illinois.
Boyle Feinberg Sharma (BFS), a team of top-notch child support lawyers located in Chicago and Arlington Heights, is committed to assertively presenting our clients’ perspective in child support cases.