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New Law on Child Support Coming July 1

House divided.jpgThe tables are out and our pens are ready. As of July 1, 2017, the State of Illinois will join the majority of states in this country adopting the Income Shares Model for Child Support.

A previous blog addressed in general terms what the new law may look like. Now we have the specifics.

Who will the new law apply to?

Answer: Anyone without a final child support order as of July 1, 2017. Although, any child support order is subject to modification based on a substantial change in circumstances, the Judge will throw you out of court if you come in arguing that the change in the law itself constitutes a change in circumstances.

If you don't have a child support order, how will the court determine how much you have to pay?

Answer: It depends on how many nights a year the child sleeps over. if your child is with you 146 nights a year or longer, then there will be an adjustment downwards.

If not, here is the basic calculation.

Step 1. Determine the net income of the "residential parent" and the "non-residential parent" using the Gross to Net Income Tax Tables provided by the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services.

Step 2. Combine the Net Incomes for the two of you to arrive at a Combined Total for the two of you as if you still resided in the same household.

Step 3. Determine the relative percentages of each parent's income of the Total Net Income by dividing your respective net incomes by the Combined Total.

Step 4. Use the Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations on the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services Website to determine how much a family with the given combined net income would spend on however many children you have. 

Step 5. Determine your contribution towards the Basic Child Support Obligation based on your percentage share of the Combined Net Income. 

Step 6. If you are the non-residential parent, you will pay the amount of that computation plus your percentage of contribution to health insurance premiums.

That is the basic computation but there are other adjustments beyond the number of nights your child spends with you depending on whether you are already paying child support or maintenance to someone else by court order and whether you don't take the standard tax deduction.

If all of this is confusing to you, consult a legal professional.

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