What Is Considered Income During Child Support Calculations?
If you are getting divorced or are an unmarried parent, you probably have several questions about child support. It can be hard to know exactly what you will have to pay when you are the parent with less parenting time and equally hard to predict what you will be given in child support payments as the primary custodian. Child support in Illinois is calculated based on the Income Shares Model which takes both parents’ financial circumstances into consideration.
In Illinois, the final support award is "income driven,” meaning the amount a person must pay in child support is based mostly on the income of the parties. For that reason, it is critical that unmarried or divorcing parents understand what can be considered "income" under Illinois child support law and what resources are excluded from the definition of income.
The Income Shares model for calculating child support is much different from the calculation method used prior to July of 2017. The Income Shares model uses a table to determine support obligation which is based on the amount of money it is estimated would be spent on the child if the parents were living together. That financial obligation to the child or children is then divided between the parents based on their financial and life circumstances. The parent with more parenting time (formerly called visitation) and parental responsibilities (formerly called custody) will receive the other parent’s financial obligation to the child in the form of child support.
Income That Is Considered When Calculating Child Support
When determining a child support award, the courts will consider each parent’s income. Income can include funds from:
- Salaries and wages (including tips or bonuses);
- Investments and interest;
- Contractual agreements;
- Trust or estate income;
- Capital gains, (unless the gain is nonrecurring);
- Social Security benefits;
- Military personnel fringe benefits;
- Veterans' benefits;
- Unemployment insurance and disability insurance benefits;
- Workers' compensation benefits;
- Gambling winnings;
- Income of a new spouse, to the extent that the income directly reduces expenses of the parent;
- Spousal support received from a party that is not included in the child support proceedings; and
- Employment "perks” such as a company car or subsidized housing.
Generally, child support calculations include any source of monies or resources available to each parent that can be used to help raise the child.
Child Support Attorneys Serving DuPage County, Illinois
If you have further questions about how child support is calculated and awarded in Illinois, the experienced Wheaton family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group are here to help. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at 630-871-1002.