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Update: Child Support Law Changes in Illinois


Child support in Illinois is currently calculated according to percentages. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act sets forth a percentage of the paying parent’s net income that must be paid according to the number of children a family has. For example, if there are three children, the parent paying child support must pay 32 percent of his or her net income to the payee, or parent receiving the support.

In July 2017, this percentage model will change to an income shares model. Read on to learn what this means and why Illinois has decided to make the change.

What is an Income Shares Model? 

Before you panic and think that the income shares model is a new, untested way of calculating support, know that there are already 41 states that have adopted this model. As such, it’s a more precise way to calculate support than the current percentage-based system used in Illinois.

The income shares model uses economic data to determine how much parents spend raising their children based on their combined income and how many children they have. After determining how much is spent, the method divides the amount being spent between both parents based on their income and assets.

Why Make the Change?

There are several reasons why Illinois has decided to switch to an income shares model, including:

  • More Accurate for Certain Families – Most percentage and income share models will yield similar support amounts for most families. However, in families where the parents are earning significantly different incomes, the income shares model is an accurate, more appropriate way to calculate support.
  • Accounts for Shared Parenting Time – Percentage-based calculations assume the children live with one parent and simply visit the other parent. Income shares models accounts for differences in support when children are split between parents (i.e. one child lives with the mother and another child lives with the father).
  • Accounts for Disparate Incomes – The percentage model is often adjusted for parents who make significantly more or less than is actually needed to provide for their children’s needs. In this sense, the percentage model is inaccurate and in need of frequent adjustment. The income shares model is designed to account for these differences in income without interference by the courts.
  • Proportionate Expenses – Because income shares models account for both parents’ incomes rather than just the payor’s income (i.e. the parent paying support), it’s a proportionate, equitable way to apportion child support expenses. After all, the payee (i.e. the parent receiving child support) will likely still be contributing to the children’s expenses. The income shares model accounts for this.

Talk to a Naperville Divorce Attorney About Child Support and Other Divorce Issues

If you’re considering divorce and have questions about the upcoming changes to child support or other factors in your case, contact Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.. Larry has over 35 years of experience in divorce and family law and will help explain the law and how it will work in your case should you file after July 2017.

Contact Larry for your free, 30-minute consultation by calling 630-470-9990. If you prefer, you may also request your free consultation by filling out our online form. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you navigate the divorce process.

More Information on the 2017 Illinois Child Support Income Share Update 

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.