For many mothers, getting child support established during a divorce or separation is important for maintaining stability in the home.
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For many mothers, getting child support established during a divorce or separation is important for maintaining stability in the home. Unfortunately, this often becomes a point of contention for the parent who is obligated to pay support, but it is an important responsibility. Parents need to understand that child support is not a form of punishment for the paying parent, nor is it a free ride for the receiving parent ― it is about doing what is best for the children!
At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, we help clients achieve fair child support arrangements that meet the needs of children and parents. Our experience includes handling complex cases where parents have unique child custody arrangements, parents who have children with special needs, high-asset divorce settlements, and (all too commonly) with a parent hiding or concealing sources of income.
For decades, child support in Illinois was calculated utilizing a set percentage of the payor’s net income (i.e., income after deducting taxes and other statutory amounts) based on how many children the parties had together (e.g., 1 child = 20%, 2 children = 28%, etc.).
In July 2017, however, that law changed, and Illinois introduced what is known as an “income-sharing model.” The income-sharing model is now used in approximately 38 states. Section 505 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/505) sets forth the specifics of this law. This model is used for parties whose combined net income is $500,000 or less per year. If the parties’ net income exceeds that amount, then the court can order support utilizing other factors, such as the financial needs of the child and the lifestyle the parties would have had if they remained together.
The income-sharing model calculates child support based on the net incomes of both parties, the number of children, and the number of overnights each party has with the children each year. As a result, calculating child support is a bit more complex. Instead of just taking a percentage of the payor’s net income (the way support was calculated under the previous law), both parties’ net incomes need to be determined. Additionally, child support fluctuates based on the established parenting schedule, from which one can determine the number of overnights each party has with the children.
In addition, each party is obligated to contribute to the out-of-pocket expenses for children, such as medical expenses, public education costs, and extracurricular activities fees.
For more information about how child support is calculated, or if you are interested in seeking child support, please contact us.
Child support is meaningless if the paying parent is not following the rules or court orders. We can help with enforcement to ensure you are getting the support that you’re entitled to.
At the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group, we understand that child support can be a delicate issue for divorcing parents, and we work diligently to make sure that you and your children are awarded the amount of support that the law requires. Please contact our offices in downtown Chicago, Lake Forest, or Lisle if you have questions regarding support for your children.