The first of the year brought several changes to Illinois family law statutes. These changes included how divorces are handled in the state, as well as changes to child custody, which is now referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities. Yet Illinois lawmakers still had work to do, and House Bill 3982 accomplished these changes. This bill, which the governor recently signed into law, will change the way Illinois family courts handle the issue of child support.
Many in the legal industry have felt that the way Illinois addresses child support was somewhat archaic. The amount is typically determined by taking a set percentage (depending on the number of children) amount of the noncustodial parent's net income.
The current guidelines are:
- One child: 20 percent;
- Two children: 28 percent;
- Three children: 32 percent;
- Four children: 40 percent;
- Five children: 45 percent; and
- Six or more children: 50 percent.
However, the new law, which will go into effect in June of 2017, uses the income shares model to determine support. This model is currently used in 38 other states to determine child support obligations.
The income shares model uses the concept that a child should receive the same proportion of income that he or she would receive if the parents were living together. In order to calculate that amount, the court adds the income of both parents together. Next, the court uses that combined income amount to determine the basic child support obligation based on a statutory amount. (As of today, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has not yet formulated those amounts.) Finally, the court determines if there are presumptive child support obligation amounts, such as daycare expenses. These add-on expenses are then prorated between the parents based on each one's proportionate share of their total income.
For example, if the noncustodial parent earns $2,000 per month and the custodial parent earns $1,000 per month, the combined income is $3,000. This means that the custodial parent's obligation will be 66.66 percent of the total amount determined by the court, and the custodial parent's obligation will be 33.33 percent.
For this example, we will say the basic child support obligation on a combined $3,000 monthly income is $500. (Again, this amount has not yet been determined by the state.) There is also a monthly daycare cost of $100, which is considered a presumptive cost, bringing the total cost of child support to $600. The obligation of the noncustodial parent would be 66.66 percent of $600, which is $399.96.
If you are struggling with child support issues, whether you are the parent who is supposed to receive the support or the parent who is paying, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today. Call Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC at (630) 793-6337 for a confidential consultation.