Illinois has enacted a new child support system – since July 1, 2017. The new system will help switch the state into an income shares model for calculating children’s support payments. Previously, the state was using a percentage of the obligor net income model. The new model is considered more equitable than the old one by some, although the income shares model has been shown to grossly overcompensate low-income carers and produce high effective marginal tax rates.
Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is responsible for making guidelines for the child support model. However, for the new law to go into effect, the legal system has a large part to play. After the government enacted the new law, divorcing and divorced parents are witnessing several changes in the determination process for child support payments.
New Payment Formula
According to the new child support system, parents should pay a particular percentage of their net income depending on the number of children they are currently supporting. The new system has eliminated that percentage scale and the new formula will consider the net income of both parents. Now, the system combines the net income of both parents as if they belong to the same household (see income shares model). Also, parents without key parental responsibility pay a percentage of the child/children’s expenses in proportion their share of combined net income.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has to create a table that specifies the payments calculation. People are hoping the formula helps divide the parenting expenses more fairly. Theoretically, when a parent has to support the expenses of a child, and he/she is earning only 40% of the combined net income, his/her payment will equal 40% of the child’s expenses.
Other Guidelines Stipulated by New Laws
The new child support system stipulates several other guidelines that are important in determining the child support payment. They include:
- All spousal support payments that result from the divorce should form part of the recipient’s net income during the combined income support payments calculation.
- For unemployed parents, the system will consider their potential income depending on their work history and the qualification. The new minimum payment per month is $40.
- The system also considers the length of time a child spends with one parent. If a parent spends over 146 nights with one parent each year, that is a shared arrangement. The system will multiply the child support obligations with the total number of nights. The parent with higher child support amount has to pay the difference.
To know more about the child support system enactment, you may want legal guidance. Attorneys in Illinois stay abreast of the new law and will advise you on how the new system will affect the support settlement for your child. General information is available from Illinois Healthcare and Family Services.