New legislation related to child support will completely change the manner in which child support is calculated in Illinois.

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infographic_Divorce and Income Shares Legislation

New Law

Public Act 99-764 was signed into law by Governor Rauner in August 2016. The law is set to go into on July 1, 2017. The new law changes the way that child support is calculated in Illinois. The new law was part of a comprehensive overhaul of divorce laws and a shift to viewing things as “parental responsibilities” rather than being focused on “custody.” The new law relies on several factors including the amount of parenting time that a parent spends with his or her child. Child support lawyers can help determine the new amount of child support that may be ordered after the new law takes effect.

Old Law

Until the new law takes effect on July 1, 2017, the old law will continue to remain in effect. The old law used a formula to determine the amount of child support and was based on the number of children to be supported and the parent’s net income. For example, if a parent had the following number of children, the amount of child support that he or she would be required to pay would be the following percentage of his or her income:

  • One child – 20 percent
  • Two children – 28 percent
  • Three children – 32 percent
  • Four children – 45 percent
  • Five or more children – 50 percent

Income Shares Model

Illinois’ new child support system is based on the income shares model, currently used in 39 other states. This model is based on the idea that both parents are responsible for the financial support of the children. Parents pay for a proportionate share of the child support obligation commensurate with their income. For the basic child support obligation, the parents’ incomes are added together. The amount of child support to be paid by the non-custodial parent is based on the total support obligation and multiplied by the paying parent’s portion of income. For example, if the noncustodial parent earned $3,000 a month and the custodial parent earned $2,000 a month, the combined total income is $5,000. If the child support guideline showed that the total support obligation for a child based on this amount of income is $1,250, the non-custodial parent would be responsible for 60 percent of this obligation, or $750. Parenting time is also considered under this model.