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Posted on in Family Law

IL family lawyerSome parents work in an industry where their income varies on a weekly, monthly, and/or yearly basis. They may work overtime, work on commission, or frequently receive bonuses. When this occurs, it can be more difficult to calculate the appropriate amount of child support they may be required to owe. Let’s take a closer look at how child support in Illinois is calculated when the parent who owes it does not have a steady, predictable income.

Using the Historical Average

When a parent’s income fluctuates, using the historical average of their income for a certain amount of preceding months may help determine a monthly income, which can be used to figure out a child support amount. In the event a parent’s income drastically changes, a child support modification may be necessary.

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Illinois child support lawyersChild support can be a sensitive and complex matter, regardless of the child’s age or developmental stage. Yet, when dealing with special needs children, the stakes are often higher. If you are planning on pursuing support for a child with special needs, or if you expect that a case may soon be brought against you, the following information can help you better understand the laws in Illinois. You shall also learn how an experienced family law attorney can assist with your case, and why hiring one could be crucial to the outcome of your child support case.

Illinois Child Support Basics

When determining the amount of support that a parent is supposed to pay, the courts first examine the combined income of both parents. This information is then used to determine the amount of support that is needed for the child. The courts then examine the net income of each parent to determine what their share of the support should be. Parenting time may also be factored into the equation at this point, but this is typically only done when each of the parents has the child(ren) for at least 146 nights out of the year. Otherwise, the deduction may not apply.

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Illinois child support attorneysAfter 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.

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Illinois child support lawyersWhile some married parents choose to divorce, others decide to separate. For some, this is a transition into divorce. For others, it is a chance to determine if divorce is truly the right path. Whatever the case or reason, parents who legally separate have the right to pursue child support. Learn more about this process, and how an experienced family law attorney can assist you, with help from the following information.

How Legal Separation Differs from Divorce

Unlike divorce, which is a complete severance of the marriage, legal separation does not legally end the marriage. Instead, it is a process through which couples develop a formal arrangement while living apart. Married couples do not need this arrangement to live apart, but many choose to pursue this legal documentation anyway. It gives the disadvantaged party the right to pursue financial assistance, including a request for child support and/or alimony (whenever appropriate). It also offers additional benefits above and beyond financial matters.

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