How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois 2020

How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois 2020

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
October 31, 2019

In this article, we take a deeper look into child support in Illinois.  We will describe:

  • How to calculate child support in Illinois 2020
  • What is the “income shares model” for child support calculations in Illinois
  • How is Child Support Calculated Differently in “Shared Parenting Situations” in Illinois 2020?

How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois 2020

First, lawyers representing each party will present parenting plans from each parent to the court.  Then, based on the evidence, a judge presiding over your case will determine what your child is entitled to for support.  Once the decision is made, the money and responsibilities will be allocated to each parent appropriately so the child is provided for in the best way possible.  The judge will also take each parent’s gross income and time spent with the child into consideration, to be as fair as possible to everyone in the family.

To calculate your own child support amount, you need to know the “gross income” and “net income” of both parties.  You will also need additional financial information from both parties.  If that information is not available to you, use the knowledge you have in order to get an estimate, if you want to do your own calculations.  The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family provides several different tools to help you calculate an amount for support.  You can also follow the link for the Illinois Child Support Estimator.

What is the “Income Shares” Model for Child Support Calculations in Illinois?

In 2017, Illinois adapted the “income shares” model for child support, which is utilized for support calculation in 40 states.  Adapting the “income shares” model is the most recent change to child support law since the federal tax reform of 2016.  Under the previous law, child support was calculated based on the payor spouse’s net income, as well as a set percentage that had been pre-determined by the government, depending on the number of children the parties had together.  The spouse receiving support would get 20% of the payor’s net income for one child, 28% for two, 32% for three and 40% for four.  This is no longer the case.  Economic tables are used in collaboration with an assessment of the combined income of the parents, cost of living, and number of children involved.  Under the “income shares” model, the difference in income between the parents will have the greatest effect on calculations.  The closer the income of the parents, the less the payee spouse will receive in child support.

How is Child Support Calculated Differently in “Shared Parenting Situations” in Illinois 2020?

According to the state of Illinois, a “shared parenting situation” is defined by each parent spending at least 146 overnight stays with their child.  The state recognizes this as “equal time” with the children, and therefore, child support payments are reduced.  The more time the payor spouse spends with the children, the less he or she will have to pay for support.  However, it is important to remember that the amount of time spent with the kids will only be considered by the court if the minimum standard of 146 overnight stays is met.

For a more detailed look at child support and the “income shares” model, see our article entitled Illinois Child Support 2020 | Recent Changes to Illinois Support Law..

If you think you qualify for the “shared parenting situation” model and want to learn more, check out the Income Share Child Support Calculator.


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