Child support orders are established to ensure that children aren't financially affected by the circumstances of their parents' relationship. The logic behind these orders reinforces that children need the income of both parents to cover necessary expenses such as food, shelter, clothing and medical fees. Either parent may be ordered to pay child support by the court, but usually the non-custodial parent - the parent who does not live with the child - is required to pay a monthly fee to accommodate the said child's needs. As straightforward as this idea seems, the logistics of calculating child support that satisfies all parties is difficult, especially by means of Illinois' current child support law.
For over 30 years, Illinois has abided by a simple and arguably outdated method of calculating child support. It solely focuses on net income of an obligor and the number of kids he or she is responsible for, disregarding other comprehensive factors (like the custodial parent's income) during calculations. Judges have applied uniform metrics to each case that represents a minimal amount of what may be ordered. In accordance with the Illinois Statutory Guidelines, here is the current model utilized to calculate payments:
- One child - 20% of net income
- Two children - 28% of net income
- Three children - 32% of net income
- Four children - 40% of net income
- Five children - 45% of net income
- Six children or more - 50% of net income
But current and oncoming child support obligations will change for Illinois parents upon the enactment of House Bill (HB) 3982. Effective on July 1, 2017, the new approach, called the income shares model, will completely alter the fashion in which child support payments are calculated in the state. Rather than focusing on the net income of one parent, the model will provide an estimate based on the money allocated to a child in a similar family where the parents reside together. The amount of money parents pay in similar households to support their child, the amount of time the child spends with parents, and the cost of living are factors that will soon be considered when calculating payments.
For example, let's say that an obligor has two children, and it takes $60,000 a year to adequately provide for two children based on the combined income of both parents. If the mother makes 60% of their combined income and the father makes 40% and the father is required to pay child support, he would pay 40% of the $60,000, or $24,000 a year.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is working on new tables and guidelines to supplement this law. Whether the new regulations will spike or lower child support payments for parents operating under the current law isn't possible to predict right now.
Child support orders are complicated. Each child is different and has distinct needs, your order should reflect these needs. Consult with Benassi & Benassi today for your chance at a fair outcome and a plan that will center around the best interest of your child.