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Illinois is using a new child support formula starting July 1

The child support model that Illinois uses has long hinged on the income of the paying parent and the number of children that had to be supported by the income. As of July 1, the child support model is changing to the income shares model.

The income shares child support model is said to have interests of the child at heart. It considers the overall cost to raise a child in the economic class the parents are in. This means that the amount would be different for a person in the top 1 percent than it would be for a person who is in the upper middle class.

Instead of thinking of the paying parent's income and number of children as the sole means of determining child support, the income shares model considers the income of both parents.

The total of both parents' income is equal to 100 percent. From there, the percentage of each parent's income related to the total income for both parents. This means that if the total income between the parents is $100,000, the parent who makes $75,000 would have 75 percent of the income, while the parent who makes the other $25,000 would have 25 percent of the income. This information is used to determine what child support the paying parent must cover.

Another point that is considered in this model is how much time the child spends with each parent. If the higher earning parent has the child more than the other parent, the other parent might still have to pay child support if the child spends considerably more time with the higher income parent.

Some people claim that this isn't a fair child support model; however, it is the new way of doing things in Illinois. While it isn't retroactive and doesn't apply to new child support orders, you should learn how you are going to be impacted by this change if you have a pending or future child support case.

Source: The Southern, "State of Illinois changes child support payment model; change goes into effect today," Barb Eidlin, July 01, 2017

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