A new Illinois child support calculator page from Timtab shows that the state’s legislators are not making things as easy as they could.
A Black Box Child Support Estimator
Separated and divorced parents are given the black box treatment when it comes to calculation of support payments for Illinois’ kids. Data is entered and an assessment received – with very little transparency about what happens in between.
The formula itself is fiendishly complex. At the same time, a fairly simple online form is available for parents.
The end result is that parents enter some data and then receive an assessment spat out from the official government calculator. Most parents would have little clue about the calculation method itself and how each variable in their case affects the dollar amount.
The hidden nature of the support calculations might be fine with many. However, other parents must wonder about how their income and lifestyle is being affected by these hidden computations.
Trying to Understand How Support Payments are Calculated
Timtab, a technology company that generates parenting plans, sheds a little light on how child support is calculated in Illinois. But there is still no getting away from the complex calculation that lawmakers have created by having a formula with many inputs and moving parts.
The Illinois formula is based on an income shares model. Payments depend on the combined income of the parents, not just on the income of the payer.
A parent is “probably a payer” if their share of the ex-couple’s combined income is greater than their share of parenting time. That means you are more likely to be a payer, and will pay more, the higher is your income and the fewer the number of overnights with your children each year.
The complexity doesn’t just end with the formula. Payments are also affected by things like current tax rules, spousal maintenance payments, social security benefits, child care spending, and extraordinary expenses.
Parenting Time (Overnights) Percentage Calculator
To help you calculate child support, Timtab has a handy and easy-to-use Overnights Calculator for Illinois.
You just enter the number of regular overnights you have with the kid(s) each fortnight, along with how many overnights the kids have with each parent that are not part of the regular schedule. The calculator then tallies the number of overnights annually and the parenting time percentage for you.