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Key Takeaways

·     Parenting time, or the amount of time anon-custodial parent spends with their child, is a critical factor indetermining child support in illinois.

·     The more parenting time a non-custodial parenthas, the less child support they will be required to pay.

·     Parenting time includes factors beyond physicalcustody, such as transportation and decision-making responsibilities.

·     Child support orders may be modified if there isa substantial change in circumstances.

·     Both parents have a responsibility to support their child financially, regardless of parenting time.

Illinois always aims to promote the child's best interest and recognizes the importance of both parents' involvement in a child's life. Parenting time, which is also known as visitation or custody, can be a significant factor in determining child support in Illinois. In this article, our Illinois family law attorneys will explore how parenting time impacts child support in Illinois.

What is Parenting Time in Illinois?

Before getting into how parenting time in Illinois affects child support, it is essential to understand what exactly parenting time entails. Parenting time refers to the time a non-custodial parent spends with their child. Parenting time is determined by the court and is divided into two different categories: joint parenting and sole parenting. Joint parenting is when both parents have significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time with the child. Sole parenting, on the other hand, refers to one parent making primary decisions and responsibilities with the child while the other parent has visitation rights.

Parenting time does not just refer to the physical custody of the child. Other factors that affect the child's well-being, like responsibility for transportation to and from parenting time, involvement in the child's extracurricular activities, and responsibility for making decisions about the child's education and healthcare, are considered parts of parenting time.

child with backpack and glasses on high fiving their mom.

How Does Parenting Time Impact Child Support in Illinois?

Illinois legislation has created a formula to calculate child support. Several factors, such as parents' income, the number of children, and the child's needs, are considered in the formula. Parenting time can be another factor used in this formula.

An income-sharing model is used in Illinois to calculate child support meaning both parents' incomes are considered when calculating. Income and parenting time play a factor when the court determines the final amount of child support. Therefore, the more parenting time a non-custodial parent has, the less child support they will be required to pay, and vice versa. The less parenting time a non-custodial parent has, the more child support they will have to pay.

What Does This Look Like in Real Life?

Let's say a non-custodial parent has 20% parenting time with their child and earns $60,000 per year, while the custodial parent earns $40,0000 a year. The Illinois child support guidelines would indicate that the non-custodial parent would be required to pay $905 per month in child support. However, if we look at a 50/50 split of parenting time between the parents, they would only be required to pay $564 per month in child support.

Can Parenting Time or Child Support Change?

Illinois law recognizes that situations may change over time, and both parenting time and child support can be modified to reflect these changes. Changes can include things such as a significant increase or decrease in income or a change in living arrangements. The new circumstances will be considered by the court, and may adjust child support accordingly. For more information read our article, How to Change Custody and Parenting Time in Illinois.

Parents should also be aware that Illinois law requires both parents to provide financial support for their child, regardless of parenting time. Even if a non-custodial parent has no parenting time with their child, they may still be required to pay child support. Illinois law recognizes that both parents have a responsibility to support their child financially and that child support is intended to ensure that the child's basic needs are met.

May 15, 2023
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