As we explain in our article Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 2017, effective July 1, 2017, Illinois is reforming 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.
We have been eagerly awaiting the release of the new child support schedules by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Although at the time of this article, the IDHFS website for the new child support law is still under construction, the department 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:
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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