How to calculate child support in Illinois

Illinois Child Support Guidelines 2018: How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois

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Updated on:
July 10, 2018

As we explain in our article Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2017, 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 new “income shares” model for calculating Illinois child support, 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 net incomes of the parents 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 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 has released the new child support guidelines as well as several tools which 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:

  • Illinois Child Support Calculator: The Illinois Child Support Estimator is an online tool you can use 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 net income of the parents.  The tutorial explains how to use the child support calculator provided on theDepartment of Healthcare and Family Services’ website.  The tutorial explains how child support is calculated in shared parenting situations 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.  Be sure to follow the instructions in the tutorial to determine what qualifies as gross income before using this table. 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 non shared 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 per year, you can use this worksheet to calculate each parent’s support obligation.

‍It is important to note that the new law will 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, if the child support obligation differs by more than 20% from the new guidelines, a substantial change of circumstances is not required to have child support modified.  You can learn more about child support modification here: Illinois Child Support Modification Explained.

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Child Support

Bonnie Matheney

6/29/2017 09:44:48 am

Your overview states that the max is based on a combined adjusted “gross” income of $30,000. However, the Income Shares Schedule is based on Combined Net Income and maxes out at $30,000. So the max is really on a combined “net” income of $30,000, not “gross”. The gross to net schedule to determine each parties respective net income maxes out at $30,000 gross per individual.

Reply

Kevin O'Flaherty

6/30/2017 01:08:00 pm

Thanks for your comment, Bonnie. I'm not seeing that in my overview. Are you maybe talking about the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services website tools that I link to?Either way, thanks for reading and commenting.

Reply

Trell ware

7/1/2017 05:01:58 pm

Now if you have 2 kids from multiple families and your on child support for only 1 does the law still ignore that you have 2 kids or do they take that into account with the new law... next im looking at the chart me and my wife make 5500 and 80% of that is mine do i just look at the chart and find 5000 range to see my support order or what it might be

Reply

Kevin O'Fllaherty

7/7/2017 09:00:46 am

This article should answer your question, Trell. Thanks for reading.https://www.oflaherty-law.com/learn-about-law/how-is-child-support-calculated-for-multiple-families-in-illinois

Illinois Child Support Guidelines 2018: How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois
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