In this Learn About Law podcast & videoblog, attorney Kevin O'Flaherty of O'Flaherty Law discusses the newest tools available in Illinois for the Child Support Income Shares Model. We go over the different resources offered by the state and the benefits and drawbacks of each tool.
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In this article, we will explain Illinois' income shares child support guidelines for 2019.  We will discuss many of the tools provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Human Services that will allow you to estimate child support. We explain the Illinois child support calculator, the gross to net income conversion table, the income shares schedule based on net income, the child support obligation worksheet and the shared physical care obligation worksheet.

This article will explain Illinois’ income shares child support guidelines for 2019. We will discuss many of the tools provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Human Services that will allow you to estimate child support. We explain the Illinois child support calculator, the gross to net income conversion table, the income shares schedule based on net income, the child support obligation worksheet, and the shared physical care obligation worksheet.

For some foundational information on Illinois child support laws, check out our article: Illinois Child Support 2019.

As we explain in our article Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2019, effective July 1, 2017, Illinois reformed its child support laws. Under the former law, the amount that an obligor parent was required to pay in child support was based simply on the obligor’s income and the number of children involved. 

Under the “income shares” model for calculating Illinois child support that went into effect in 2017, the total amount of child support for which the parents are jointly responsible is calculated based on the combined net income of both parents. Once this number is determined, each parent’s share of the responsibility for providing that amount of child support is calculated based on the parents’ net incomes relative to one another.

​​This means that, unlike the previous law, the new child support law takes the income of the recipient of the child support into account when determining the amount of the obligor parent’s a child support obligation.

In shared physical care situations, defined as a parenting situation in which each parent has the child for at least 146 overnights per year, the total child support obligation is multiplied by a factor of 1.5, and the time spent with the child is factored into the calculation. The more time the obligor parent spends with the child, the less the obligor parent’s obligation will be. 

The new child support schedules by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services have released the new child support guidelines and several tools that will allow parents to estimate how the new law will affect their child support obligations. 

Here are the new resources that have been released by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. You can check out the Department’s child support website here:

  • Illinois Child Support Calculator: The Illinois Child Support Estimator is an online tool used to estimate the amount of child support you can expect to receive or be obligated to pay under the new law. It automates the use of the tables and worksheets below. 
  • Income Shares Overview: This tutorial explains the new law and provides an example of how to calculate child support based on case-specific facts under the new
  • Income shares model, including how to determine the parents’ net income. The tutorial explains how to use the child support calculator provided on the Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ website. The tutorial explains how child support is calculated in shared and split parenting situations, when child support may be modified, and the Illinois child support minimums and maximums.
  • Gross to Net Income Conversion Table: This table allows you to quickly estimate your net income, upon which child support obligations are based, from your gross income. This is based on the standardized amount you will be expected to pay in taxes. Before using this table, follow the tutorial instructions to determine what qualifies as gross income. For example, child support obligations to another parent and Supplemental Security Income are not part of your gross income. 
  • Income Shares Schedule Based on Net Income: Once you have calculated the combined monthly net income of both parents, you can use this table to estimate the amount of the parents’ joint child support obligation.
  • Child Support Obligation Worksheet: Once you have determined each parent’s net income and the total child support obligation, you can use this worksheet to
  • Determine the amount of each parent’s child support obligation in nonshared physical care situations.
  • Shared Physical Care Support Obligation Worksheet: If you are in a shared physical care situation, meaning that both parents have the child for at least 146 overnights
  • You can use this worksheet per year to calculate each parent’s support obligation

It is important to note that the passage of the 2017 law does not automatically change existing child support obligations. In order to modify existing child support obligations, one parent must file a motion to modify child support and show a substantial change in circumstances as a prerequisite to obtaining an order to modify the child support. The passage of the new law alone does not qualify as a substantial change of circumstances.

However, suppose the child support obligation differs by more than 20% from the new guidelines. In that case, a substantial change of circumstances is not required to modify child support. You can learn more about child support modification here: Illinois Child Support Modification Explained.


Posted 
November 16, 2020
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