Child support payments are used to cover the cost of a child’s housing, food, education, and other needs. However, if one parent is not truthful about his or her income, the child may not receive the full support they need. Illinois child support orders are calculated using the Income Shares method, which takes both parents’ earnings into account. Parents who lie about how much money they make inevitably skew the calculations, resulting in an unfair child support arrangement.
Illinois Child Support Calculations
Prior to 2017, Illinois based a parent’s child support obligation on the paying parent’s income and how many children needed support. For example, if the paying parent (obligor) had two children, 28 percent of his or her income was earmarked for child support.
Recognizing the limitations of this method, Illinois switched to the Income Shares approach in July 2017. The new method seeks to more accurately reflect the amount of financial support a child would have if both parents were still together and sharing costs. Both of the parents’ net incomes are added together and then the combined income is compared to the Income Shares schedule, which provides the basic support obligation (BSO). The BSO is the total amount of money that an average family would use to pay for child-related needs. The BSO is divided between the parents based on each parent’s percentage of the combined income. For example, If a father’s earnings represent 70 percent of the parents’ combined income, he pays 70 percent of the BSO.
The parent with the least amount of parenting time pays his or her share of the BSO through child support. The parent with more parenting time (previously called the custodial parent) pays his or her share by providing housing, groceries, and covering other child-related costs.
Financial Dishonesty Can Affect Child Support Dramatically
Unfortunately, some parents try to manipulate the child support order by failing to disclose income or lying about income. For example, a parent who hopes to decrease his or her obligation may fail to disclose earnings from a second job. On the other hand, a self-employed parent who hopes to receive more child support may underreport his or her earnings.
If you believe your ex-spouse is not being truthful about their income, contact a lawyer who can help you take the next steps. You and your attorney may be able to obtain pay stubs or tax returns from your ex. If he or she is self-employed, request records of their business expenses and income. In some cases, forensic accounting or discovery tools such as depositions may be necessary to uncover undisclosed income.
Contact a DuPage County Child Support Lawyer
If you believe your child’s other parent is lying about income in order to influence child support, contact our Wheaton child support lawyers for help. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.