In Illinois, parents no longer have “custody” of minor children. Instead, parents claim “parenting time” and “decision-making authority” for their kids. These terms replaced custody in 2016 when Illinois made drastic changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA).
Some parents believe if they share an equal amount of parenting time, the estimated child-related expenses should be the same, and that neither party should pay child support payments. However, Illinois court disagree.
Let’s explore the influential factors for determining child support payment amounts,
and why equal parenting time may not negate its necessity.
Child Support Calculator in Illinois
During the legal overhaul in 2016, Illinois shifted focus away from what was most comfortable for the parents to what is in “the best interests of the child.” This verbiage repeats itself continually throughout the new laws, including in the determination of child support payments. The law holds both parents accountable for the support of the child, rather than the formerly-titled “non-custodial parent.” Now, calculations include how much each parent financially contributed to the household during the marriage, which allows children to enjoy the same amount of financial support as when the parties were married and living in the same home. Factors a judge will consider include:
- Income of each parent;
- The number of overnight visits with each parent; and
- Extraordinary care expenses.
Equal Parenting Time Requires Financial Support
The intention of child support is to allow children to enjoy the same lifestyle in their two separate homes as they experienced when their parents lived together. However, in the majority of situations, both parents do not have the same income, and after divorce, any income they shared becomes distributed between running two households rather than one. Therefore, even in situations in which parenting time is split equally, a support payment becomes required from the higher-earning parent to the other.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Attorney
If you and your ex-spouse have questions regarding child support requirements, you are not alone. The recent change to the income-shares model requires some adjustment. A DuPage County child support attorney can help answer any questions and assist you in creating a payment agreement that fits your situation. The experienced attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group are ready to assist you today. Schedule your complimentary consultation with our office at 630-871-1002 to find out we can serve you.