After a slew of changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in 2016, families had to adjust to the new divorce laws. Now there are some new changes on the horizon – this time to the way child support is calculated in the state of Illinois. What will this mean for your case, and how can you effectively prepare? The following information explains further.
Old Child Support Calculations
Under the old child support calculation model, supporting parents paid a percentage of their net income to the receiving parent. That percentage was based on the number of shared children. For example, the paying parent would be obligated to pay 20 percent of their net income for one child, 28 percent of their net income for two children, 32 percent for three children, 45 percent for four children, and 50 percent for five or more children. Other factors, such as special needs, extra expenses, and healthcare costs might be added into the equation, but the formula was generally adhered to by the courts, except, perhaps, in high net worth divorces.
Examining the Income Shares Model
The income shares model is not just a new way of calculating support; it is also far more confusing for parents. Set to take effect on July 1, 2017, the new income shares model combines the income of both parents, assigns a percentage of obligation (based on the amount of money they contributed to the household during the marriage), adds in parenting time and additional expenses, and then determines the amount using a formula.
To make things even more complex, the formula will also account for nearly equal parenting time for any parent that has their child at least 146 nights out of the year. The purpose behind this is to reduce the cost for paying parents who may have to cover normal, everyday expenses just as frequently as the parent receiving support. Unfortunately, it could also create a bit of manipulation within the system. Parents who might not otherwise wish to spend at least 146 nights with their child might push for more time, just to reduce their support. Alternatively, a parent may try to reduce the number of nights the other parent receives, ideally below the threshold, to increase the amount of support they receive. In either situation, the child may experience additional stress. As such, it may be crucial that parents take every precaution they can during the divorce process, including hiring an attorney for their family law case.
Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
If you expect that your case will be impacted by the new income shares model, contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC for guidance and assistance. Armed with over 200 years of combined legal experience, our DuPage County divorce lawyers will fight to protect your child’s needs and best interests. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-932-9100 today.
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