Child support may be ordered to ensure that unmarried or divorcing parents share in the costs of raising their children. Typically, the parent with the majority of parenting time is the recipient of child support paid by the parent with less parenting time. Child support can be an essential resource for providing for children’s needs, but it can also be a heavy financial burden on the paying parent. This may be especially true if the paying parent has more than one child support obligation. If you share children with your current spouse and are planning to get a divorce, you may wonder how previous child support obligations will influence any additional child support determinations.
How Much Will My Child Support Payment Be?
Along with many other family law modifications, substantial changes to the way Illinois courts calculate child support were instituted in 2017. Child support is no longer simply a percentage of the obligor, or paying parent’s, income. Child support orders entered under the updated law are calculated using the Income Shares Model, which takes both parents’ income and other factors into account. Child support payments are now calculated using the following steps:
Both parents’ net income is combined in order to establish the overall financial resources available to the child.
This information is entered into an “income shares chart” to determine the cumulative amount of financial support for which both parents will be responsible. This is called the “basic child support obligation.”
Each parent’s net income is divided by the cumulative net income in order to determine the percentage of income represented by each parent
The basic child support obligation is then allocated to the parents based on each parent’s percentage of the net combined income.
In cases involving unusual circumstances, Illinois courts may deviate from the Income Shares guidelines.
Determining Each Parent’s Net Income
Illinois child support obligations are calculated using each parent’s net income. Net income is determined by deducting income taxes and certain expenses from the parent’s gross income. One of the expenses deducted from gross income for the purpose of calculating child support is any previous child support or spousal maintenance obligations. For example, consider a situation in which a father has a child from a previous relationship and is currently paying $300/month in child support payments. He also has two children with his current wife. His monthly income is $3,000. If he and his wife decide to divorce, and he is required to pay child support for these two children, the amount of support he pays will be based on a monthly income of $2,700 (or less, if there are other deductible expenses).
Contact a Wheaton Child Support Lawyer
Child support issues are not always straightforward, and a number of factors can influence the amount of child support a parent will pay. If you want to ensure that child support will be calculated correctly in your case, or you have other family law concerns, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney by calling us today at 630-462-9500.