One of the most pressing financial issues in divorce typically involves child support. Whether you are currently going through a divorce and have concerns about how the court will handle child support, or need assistance obtaining support from the child’s other parent for different reasons, an experienced Illinois child support lawyer can assist you. Financial support is one of the primary means for a parent to provide for their child financially, and in Illinois both parents share the child support obligation in accordance with their respective incomes.
Do you have questions about child support in Illinois? An advocate at the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates can help.
Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505) governs child support matters in the state. It is important for parents in Illinois to recognize that the state recently changed the way it calculates child support. In previous years, child support was paid by one parent (the non-custodial parent) to the other parent (the custodial parent) for support of the minor child. The new child support laws also emphasize the parent-child relationship and the obligation of both parents to support their child.
Illinois now uses an “income shares” model for child support. This means that the court combines both parents’ net incomes, and determines a child support amount from the guideline tables. The percentage of each parent’s contribution depends on different factors, including the parent’s particular income, and how many days the child spends with each of the parents.
How does the income shares model work in practice? Imagine that Parent #1 and Parent #2 both have been allocated parental responsibilities and share equally in parenting time and important decision-making about the child’s upbringing. Parent #1 has a monthly net income of $2,000, and Parent #2 has a monthly net income of $1,000. Together, the combined monthly net income is $3,000. The parents can then go to the Income Shares Schedule, which lists the amount of child support based on the total net income and number of children.
If the parents have one child, the Schedule tells us that the child support obligation is $643 for one child, $979 for two children, $1,181 for three children, $1,319 for four children, and so forth. Let’s say the parents have two children. In that case, the court will impute the child support obligation at $979 per month. Since the parents share equally in parenting time, each parent’s obligation is not shifted due to the number of days of parenting time. However, the court can look to the parents’ individual incomes and say that Parent #1 owes 2/3 of the support obligation while Parent #1 owes 1/3 based on their net incomes. As such, Parent #1 would have a monthly support obligation of $652.67, and Parent #2 would have a monthly support obligation of $326.33.
An experienced Illinois child support attorney can answer any questions you have about the “income shares” model, or about child support more generally. Contact the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. for more information.