Before major changes to Illinois’ child support laws in 2017, parents could calculate their child support obligations according to the paying parent’s income and how many minor children they had to support. Today, Illinois uses a new method called the “income shares” method. Parents getting divorced, as well as parents who are modifying an old child support order given before the change in the law, will have payments calculated according to both parents’ net incomes and parenting time allocation. If you are paying child support to more than one person, it is important to understand how the income shares method impacts you.
What Is Illinois’ Income Shares Method?
The income shares method combines both parents’ net income to determine what financial resources would be available to a child if the parents were still married. The combined net income and number of dependent children are then located on the Illinois income shares chart to determine the overall child support obligation for which both parents are responsible. Finally, payments are affected by the percentage of time a child spends with each parent.
How Do Other Payments Affect New Child Support Obligations?
To prevent someone from being overwhelmed or impoverished by multiple child support payments, a parent’s previous child support and spousal maintenance obligations are deducted from that parent’s gross income when calculating a new support obligation. For example, if someone makes $100,000 a year and is paying $20,000 in combined child and spousal support payments to an ex-wife, his net income for the purposes of a new child support order will be $80,000....