As explained in our prior article, effective July 1, 2017 child support will be evaluated using the “income shares” model. This is a substantial change from the way child support is calculated now. Currently the amount of child support to be paid by the obligee (person required to pay child support) it is determined pursuant a fixed percentage of the obligee parent’s net income based on the number of children to be provided for. For example, currently when there is only one child to be supported to Court sets the support obligation at 20% of the payee’s net income; if it is two (2) children then it becomes 28%; three (3) children the support obligation is equivalent to 32% of the obligees income
A reader commented on our article asking to expand on non-minor educational expenses and parental resources of the new child support law and to elaborate on if the non-custodial’s new spouse’s income considered a potential resource and if it can be requested. The reader also asked if there has been any recent cases that will define this other than the Drysch Case in 2000.
The “parental resources” the Court’s will now be focusing on will be determined largely based upon each party’s respective income. Under the “income shares” model the definition of income will not change. Income will still be defined as income from all sources minus statutory deductions. What will change is how the income will be apportioned between both parties in conjunction with the values set forth in the “child expenditure table”. Educational expense will be one factor taken into account by the “child expenditure table”.
Courts typically will not consider a new spouses income as a potential resource, because child support calculations only take into account the incomes of the biological parents of the child. The income of the new spouse is therefore irrelevant to any support calculations.
As the “income shares” formula will not be applied until after July 1, 2017 of this year there is no pertinent case law on point with this. It will take several months at least before any helpful precedent will be set through case law because the court’s have not yet to attempted to interpret and apply the “income shares” formula for child support calculations.
3/11/2017 06:07:41 pm
Thank you for taking the time to answer this question Sean. It sounds like the "income shares" portion could still create some uncertainty until July. Hopefully clarification will come as the new change rolls out. Thank you again!!
3/19/2017 02:04:38 pm
Hello again Kevin and Sean.I have continued to research and have found that there have been a few more cases involving the educational expenses question. Here are 2 cases besides Drysch...... I have not seen any wording in the July 2017 rule changes that includes "biological parent" for support or educational non-minor expenses..... could these following cases still be relevant and cited after July 1, 2017? “To the extent that the current spouse of the payee has income or assets which are or can be used to contribute to the living expenses of the payee, his or her income and assets should be considered by the court in making its determination regarding the amount the payee is able to contribute to the child’s education. Certainly, we are not saying that the new spouse of a parent is obligated to pay for the child’s education, but only that to the extent the new spouse contributes to the expenses which would otherwise be paid by the parent, the new spouse’s income and assets are relevant.” Street, 325 Ill. App. 3d at 114. Cianchetti, 351 Ill. App. 3d at 835.Citing Street, the court declared that “[a]lthough [the mother’s] new husband is not obligatedto pay for her children’s tuition, and his income should not be used to determine her ability topay tuition, it is properly used to examine the extent to which her income can be freedthrough reliance on her husband for support.” Cianchetti, 351 Ill. App. 3d at 835 (citingStreet, 325 Ill. App. 3d at 114).
3/22/2017 06:44:59 pm
Thank you for your continued interest in our blog. You seem to be very diligent in your research on this matter.
As a general rule any case that is on point and relevant to support an argument can be cited. However, it is up to the Court's discretion as to the weight they will put on the precedent or persuasiveness of any particular case cited.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you an absolute answer to your question because each case is very fact specific and you have provided no additional facts concerning your case that may have bearing on any decision a reviewing court may make. I cannot give a fully informed position regarding a case's application and relevance to a particular set of facts without knowing what those facts are. Additional there are many other factors to consider such as the county the case is in, the history of the case, the tendencies /beliefs/potential biases of the Judge hearing the matter.
You seem to have a very specific argument in mind and the cases you have cited may be on point with your case and argument or they may not. At this time I do not have enough information to fully make that determination.
However, I would be happy to discuss this matter with you in person and learn more about your legal position and what you are seeking to accomplish. Please call our office to set up a time for me to meet with you in person so we can discuss the particular facts of your case in more detail.