A new law takes effect July 1, 2017, which will substantially modify the manner in which child support is calculated by judges in the State of Illinois. As of this writing, the State of Illinois has still not published a worksheet to be used to calculate a parent’s child support obligation under the new statute. However, it is understood that, for the first time, the income of both parents will be taken into consideration, rather than the income of the non-custodial parent only. Additionally, time spent with the minor child(ren) will be taken into consideration when calculating child support. Parents now have a greater chance of paying a lower amount of child support, if the child(ren) are with them a substantial amount of time.
A fear exists that these changes will increase the amount of litigation over parenting time so as to bootstrap efforts to increase or decrease a person’s child support obligation. The conventional wisdom is that courts will not reward parents with increased parenting time if they believe that they are requesting such time for the sole purpose of lowering their support obligation. However, this may be difficult to ascertain, and it is quite probable that, after the new law takes effect, there will be increased litigation over parenting time. In any case, the new law is likely to cause many parents who are paying support to contact their attorneys to discuss a reduction in their support obligation. This will be true especially if the custodial parent earns a considerable amount of money through their employment.
If you are currently paying support to an ex-spouse, or the mother or father of your child, and you believe you may be entitled to a reduction in your child support, please contact us as soon as possible.
John Rossi is a partner with McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC. He has been practicing in the field of matrimonial and family law for almost two decades, and acts as an appointed mediator for Will County family mediations. He also acts as a court-appointed guardian ad litem, and is an experienced real estate and probate attorney. Contact John for a consultation regarding the impending changes to Illinois matrimonial law.