July 1 is quickly approaching and when it hits, child support calculations in Illinois will be based on an income shares model rather than the current, net income model. There are multiple reasons for this switch, all of which are beneficial not only for both parents, but children as well.
In this article, we’ll discuss how the current child support calculations work, what income shares are, how income share calculations work, and what you need to know about this new law if you’re planning on getting divorced.
Current Child Support Calculations in Illinois
Under current Illinois law, child support is based on the net income of the payor, or the parent paying child support. Percentages vary depending on the number of children you have. For example, if you have one child, you have to pay 20% of your net income as child support, 28% for two children, 32% for three, and so forth.
This is a straightforward rule that is altered only when the judge deems the amount to be paid on the percentage disproportionate based on actual expenses. For example, if the payor earns $500,000 per year in net income, paying $100,000 for child support is much more than a parent would need for one child during the year in most cases. Thus, the judge may change the amount the payor must pay if the formula doesn’t quite work based on the unique circumstances of a case.
Enter the Income Shares Model
While the net income model that Illinois currently has is easy to apply, it has its flaws. For example, it doesn’t account for the income of the payee’s income, or the spouse receiving child support. The income shares model is designed to fix this problem.
The basic premise of the income shares model is that children’s expenses should be largely dependent on how much each spouse contributed to the household income while married. This is used to determine how much each spouse much pay to the amount spent on the children each year.
Let’s take an example to further demonstrate the concept. Assume you and your spouse spend $50,000 annually on your children. Also assume that you earn 60 percent of the shared income and your spouse earns 40 percent of the shared income. This means that your spouse would pay 40 percent of the $50,000, or $20,000 annually and you would pay 60 percent, or $30,000 annually.
Are There Any Strict Guidelines for Income Share Calculations?
Unfortunately, there aren’t yet guidelines or tables available regarding how the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services is to enforce these regulations. However, there should be soon, as the new law goes into effect in less than two months.
Navigate the New Child Support Calculations With Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.
Whether you’re concerned about the new child support calculations or are confused as to how income shares may work in your case, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help. Larry has over 36 years of experience in family law and will ensure you’re paying what you should as child support.
If you want to discuss child support or other divorce-related issues, contact Larry at 630-470-9990 to take advantage of your free, 30-minute consultation. If you prefer, you may also request an appointment online using our simple form.
Regardless of your questions or needs, our team is here to help. We look forward to speaking to you!