The past few years have been very exciting in the world of family law. Why? Illinois is making quite a few changes. The method of calculating child support is about to change. Beginning July 1, 2017, Illinois will join approximately 40 other states and use the Income Shares model to determine child support payments. What does this mean? Child support payments will no longer be calculated using a flat percentage of the non-custodial parent’s net income.
Under the new law, the child support payment is determined by first calculating the net income of each parent. Then, the net incomes of the parents will be combined to determine the total income of the family. It is important to note that the new law treats parents who “share” parenting time differently. If a parent is in the physical care of a child at least 146 overnights a year, the court may first multiply the basic child support obligation by 1.5 to calculate the shared child support obligation. Next, each parent’s child support obligation is calculated by multiplying each parent’s portion of the shared child support obligation by the percentage of allocated parenting time. The parent who owes more child support will pay the difference between the two amounts to the other parent.
With these changes, there may be more litigation in the courtroom about parenting time. Only time will tell. However, the most important thing to remember with these changes is a child should be supported by both parents. When practicable, it is always in the best interest of a child for the parents to work together.