Tag Archives: child support calculation

dupage county divorce lawyerUntil 2017, Illinois child support obligations were based solely on the paying parent’s income. However, the law has changed substantially in recent years, and now the calculation considers both parents’ income to decide how the support obligation should be distributed between them. In order to understand how this income shares model will apply to your case, it is important to know how Illinois determines the income of each parent for the purposes of child support.

Understanding Gross and Net Income

The first step in calculating child support is to determine each parent’s gross income. According to Illinois law, this includes income from a variety of sources, including wages, business income, investment income, trust distributions, unemployment benefits, taxable spousal maintenance, and more. It can also include Social Security disability benefits for the child, though in this case, the parent will receive a child support credit if benefits are paid to the other parent. Gross income does not include benefits from public assistance programs like Supplemental Security Income or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, benefits paid for other children in the household, or tax-free maintenance.

After calculating gross income, the next step is to calculate each parent’s net income. In order to do so, a standardized or individualized amount of state and federal income taxes is subtracted from each parent’s gross income. If a parent is obligated to pay spousal maintenance or child support for another child outside of the current proceeding, those payments can also be subtracted. The resulting net income figures are then used in the basic child support calculation.

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IL family lawyerParents that get divorced or otherwise legally separated are still required by Illinois law to provide financial support to any children involved. When parents are no longer together, this usually requires a child support order, which is legally binding in the state. Parents that do not pay court-ordered child support may face certain legal consequences.

Still, there are instances when one parent may request a child support modification from the court on the original order. A judge will take a number of factors into consideration and then determine if there is a lawful reason for changing the support order. Even when one parent is not paying their fair share of child support, no one should ever take further action until they petition the court. If they do, they could face other legal consequences.

A Loss of Employment

If the recipient loses their job, they may not be able to financially provide for their child in the same manner as they once did until they find gainful employment. On the other hand, if the payer of child support loses their job, they may also be unable to pay the same amount of support that they once did. When either of these factors are present, either the payer or the recipient can petition the court to modify the original amount of child support.

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Illinois divorce lawyerIn many divorce cases, an ex-spouse is required to pay child support. If your ex-spouse owes you child support and you have remarried, you may be wondering whether your child support payments will change. The answer is that your remarriage may have an effect on the amount and duration of child support you will receive.

Child Support Calculations in Illinois

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act dictates how child support works in the state. It uses the net income of the non-custodial or parent who does not have legal custody of the child and the number of children they are responsible for to determine how much the non-custodial parent must pay in child support.

In addition, the court considers other factors such as the financial resources of the child, their education needs, the child’s standard of living before the divorce, and the needs of the custodial and non-custodial parents. Although both parents may agree on a certain amount for child support payments, their agreement must meet minimum requirements and be approved by the court.

A New Spouse’s Income and Its Affect on Child Support

In the past, a new spouse’s income did not play a role in changing child support payments because child support was viewed as the financial obligation of both parents and based on a child’s best interests. That being said, new spouses or step parents were not legally obligated to support their stepchild.

However, in more recent years, Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that a court may consider the income of a parent’s new spouse in determining a child support amount.

The case placed emphasis on both parents’ financial obligations to assist their child with college-related expenses. It brought light to the fact that all financial resources available to parents should be considered when calculating child support payments.

Today, the income of a new spouse can serve as a valid reason to alter an existing child support agreement. This is especially true if the new spouse’s income is exceptionally high because their additional income allows the parent to meet their needs and as a result have more money available to pay child support.

Contact Our DuPage County Child Support Lawyers

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Illinos child support lawyerIn July, Illinois put into a place a new way to calculate child support obligations. The new method takes into consideration the amount of time each parent spends with the child as well as each parent’s income.

Previously, the non-custodial parent paid the custodial parent a percentage of income based on the number of children being supported. Under the new model - called the income shares model - there are more factors, leading to a more complicated calculation that may increase or decrease the amount of child support paid each month.

In situations where one parent has a majority of the parenting time (or custody), the calculation is made as follows:

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Our DuPage County family law attorneys are prepared to offer you assistance in a wide array of cases. If you have questions about child support, read through the following information, and contact us for assistance.

Who Pays the Support?

Generally, the non-custodial parent will pay child support to the custodial parent. In other words, the parent who does not primarily live with the child will usually pay the support. Custody is determined in the best interests of the child, based on a number of factors. Parents can either agree to a custody arrangement in a settlement agreement, or a judge will make the final custody decision. Similarly, parents can agree to a child support amount in a settlement agreement. Otherwise, a judge will calculate the non-custodial parent’s support obligation.

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