Could Child Support Changes Be Next?

child support, law changes, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyWith the recent updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act taking effect this month, 2016 promises to be a year of change for families around the state. New laws regarding divorce, parental relocations, and what used to be known as child custody mean that a period of transition is just beginning, one that will likely last for a number of years. Child support, however, was not really addressed in this year’s updates, though the legislature did indicate that it may take up the issue in the near future.

Percentage of Obligor’s Income

In Illinois, most orders of child support require a parent who does not have the majority of the parenting time with his or her child—formerly the non-custodial parent—to make payments to the other parent. The payments are intended to help the parent with primary residential responsibilities to provide the child with basic necessities, including shelter, food, and clothing. The existing law provides a basic guideline for determining the amount to be paid as a function of the supporting parent’s net income and the number of children to be supported. A supporting parent is expected to pay 20 percent of his or her income for one child, up to 50 percent for six or more children. Deviations from the standard are permitted, and must be based on the courts consideration of the family’s circumstances.

Income Shares

The child support model currently used in Illinois is thought by many, including the neighboring states of Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri, to be relatively outdated. These states along with several dozen others have moved to a system called income shares, which bases child support calculations on both parents’ income rather than solely on that of the supporting parent. Most states also have incorporated a mechanism into their income shares laws to account for parenting time, shared responsibilities, and other variables. This type of approach would seem to be more equitable than basing payment obligations on just one-half of the equation.

Whether the legislature will actually take the necessary action to enact child support changes this upcoming term remains to be seen. Until such updates are made, the existing law will continue to be the guiding force behind orders for child support in the state. For more information about child support regulations in Illinois, or if you have questions about enforcing an existing order for support, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. We will review your situation and help you understand your available options. Call 847-253-3100 for a free consultation today.



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