Effective July 1, 2017, the State of Illinois is completely revamping the way child support is calculated by adopting the “income shares” approach to child support. Prior to July 1, Illinois only looked to the child support payor’s income and did not directly consider the recipient’s income. The new, “shared income” approach requires the Court to consider both parent’s incomes as well as the amount of time the child or children will be spending in each separate household.
The income shares model is now utilized by 40 states and is considered to be a more equitable child support model, because it is based on data that measures the actual costs of raising children across different family income levels and then divides the costs based upon both parents’ net incomes. The new model also considers how much time the child or children spend in each separate household.
The new model directly takes into account spousal support or maintenance paid by one parent to the other. So in the event that one parent pays maintenance to the other, not only is the maintenance paid deducted from the paying spouse’s net income for the child support calculation, but is also included in the income of the recipient spouse. Additionally, the new statute requires the parties to share the cost of health insurance premiums for the child or children, regardless of which party is providing the insurance.
Although the new statute takes effect July 1, 2017, it does not automatically apply retroactively to older cases. It does, however, apply in the event of a substantial change in circumstances of either of the parents or the children. To see if the new statute may apply to your situation, contact one of the family law practitioners at our office for a free consultation.
Ray McSteen is a partner with McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. He has devoted his practice exclusively to the field of matrimonial and family law for over twenty years.