New Child Support Law Takes Effect July 1, 2017
Beginning July 1, 2017, the child support law of Illinois will see significant changes. Under the current law, a parent with a majority of the parenting time with the children (custodial parent) receives a set percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income, no matter the custodial parent’s income or the children’s actual needs. Often times this results in a windfall to a custodial parent in situations where the custodial parent is gainfully employed and/or where the non-custodial parent earns significant income.
With the new law taking effect July 1, 2017, Illinois will join 39 other states that utilize the “income shares model” for child support. Under this new law, the parties’ incomes are combined, and a “total child support”, also known as the “basic support obligation”, is determined by a table, which can be found here. For example, if the parties have two minor children together and the mother earns a net monthly income of $5,000, and father earns a net monthly income of $3,050, the parties’ combined net monthly income is $8,050. Utilizing the aforementioned table, the “basic support obligation” for the two children is $1,904 per month.
Under the new law, the $1,904 monthly child support obligation is to be split in accordance with each parent’s portion of the combined monthly income. Therefore, since the mother accounts for approximately 62% of the combined monthly net income ($5000/$8050 = 62.11%), she will be responsible for 62% of the “basic support obligation” for the minor children, or $1,181. Similarly, the father will be responsible for 38% of the “basic support obligation” for the minor children, or $783, since the father accounts for approximately 38% of the parties’ combined monthly net income. In this situation, if the mother is the parent with a majority of parenting time, the father would pay $783 to the mother each month for child support. If the father is the parent with a majority of parenting time, the mother would pay $1181 to the father each month for child support.
There are a number of other expenses that can be allocated between the parties under the new Illinois child support law. The schedule of parenting time can also have an impact on the calculation of the “basic support obligation” and each parent’s respective obligations. Be sure to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer or family attorney to learn the details and intricacies of the new child support law in Illinois.