Effective on July 1, 2017, Child Support calculations will be modified in Illinois. Specifically, the new law will modify two sections of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ("The IMDMA"), specifically 750 ILCS 5/505 and 750 ILCS 5/510.
Currently, the courts typically award minimum percentages of the non-custodial parent's net income, regardless of the income of the custodial parent. For instance, if there is one child, the court will usually order 20% from one parents net income as child support; for two children it is 28% of the net income; three children is 32% of the net income; and four children is 40% of the net income. The new law changes these guidelines with an "income shares" model, which takes into account, the other parents income.
Under the "income shares" model, the court is instructed to refer to economic tables, provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to calculate how much money will be allocated for the care of the child if a similarly situated couple were living together based on the combined income of the couple, the cost of living, and the number of children. Each parent is responsible for their prorata share of this amount based on their respective incomes (or potential incomes if the parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed and the court assigns a figure). Depending on the incomes of the parents, this may cause some parents to pay more and some to pay less in child support, than under the previous law.
Shared parenting (where each parent has the child(ren) for at least 146 overnights per year) is treated differently. In a shared parenting situation, the amount of time that each parent spends with the child, will factor into the amount of child support each parent is responsible for. The more time spent with the child(ren), the less your child support obligation will be compared to the other parent. Time spent with the child does not become a factor until the 146 overnights per year is met.
In order to qualify for a child support modification under the new law, you will need to show a “substantial change in circumstances.” The fact that the law changed will not count a substantial change. Substantial change can be many things, such as, reduced pay, more time spent with child(ren), illness in the family, additional medical needs, etc.
To change your child support, you will need to file a petition to modify your child support. A petition can be filed to increase the amount or decrease the amount of child support and must state the reason, which is the substantial change) for the request.
If you think you qualify for an increase or decrease in child support, call the child support modification lawyers in Illinois, at Larson & Greenberg Law Group. We offer a free consultation and will discuss your options.