Tag Archives: DuPage County child support lawyer

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 divorce lawyerParents are expected to provide financial support to their minor children, even in the event that they get a divorce. Child support is often a contentious issue in divorce cases. It is typically paid by the non-custodial parent that has lost time they could have spent with their children. Being asked to make payments on top of that lost time causes some parents to feel upset and frustrated. One of the first questions they will ask is how much child support they will have to pay. While no one can determine an exact amount without reviewing the facts of the case, there are some helpful guidelines to follow.

The Income Shares Model in Illinois

When determining the amount of child support a parent will have to pay once a divorce is final, Illinois uses an income shares model. The model uses a table that outlines the percentage of income that was spent on the child when the parents lived together. If a child stays a minimum of 146 nights at the non-custodial parent’s house, that parent will have to pay 1.5 times more than basic child support obligations.

When determining the amount of child support a parent must pay, the paying parent’s net income is first calculated. A parent’s net income is the earnings they take home after taxes, other deductions, and applicable adjustments have been made. This is the first step in determining how much child support a parent is responsible for paying.

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IL divorce lawyerIn Illinois, all parents are financially responsible for their minor children. When two parents are married, it is assumed that both parents will contribute to the financial needs of their child. When those parents are not married, or they get a divorce, typically one parent must make child support payments. In most situations, the parent that pays child support only must do so until the child reaches the age of 18. It is then assumed that the child can make their own living and financially support themselves.

When a child suffers from a disability, they are sometimes unable to work and earn that income to support themselves. Illinois law recognizes this and outlines certain times when child support can be extended to support a child with a disability.

What Qualifies for Extended Child Support in Illinois?

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, a disability is considered an impairment that prohibits a person from performing a major life activity. An impairment can be physical or mental and can include developmental disorders, physical handicaps, intellectual disabilities, and more. As long as the impairment is severe enough that it limits a child’s ability to perform daily tasks, support for the child may be extended.

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Illinois child support lawyer, Illinois family lawyerIn the United States, there is a trend growing at an alarming rate. Failure to pay court-ordered child support is not something that is acceptable especially when lives depend on that income. Each year, approximately $24 billion dollars are successfully paid across the country. Compare that number to the over $100 billion that remains unpaid. About 25 million parents are not receiving any support, leaving 19% of those awarded support being paid. These numbers are troubling, and lawmakers across the country are cracking down on so-called “deadbeat parents.”

Illinois Consequences

If you reside in the state of Illinois or otherwise have your support payments set up to this state, you face serious trouble for not paying on time each month. The Non-Support Punishment Act enables the state, and occasionally also at a federal level, to utilize harsh penalties to force payment. These penalties include:

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