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Experienced Child Support Representation

How is child support determined?

Financial issues relating to children have also changed. Child support changed dramatically as of July 1, 2017. Child support is no longer simply a percentage of the net income of the parent with less than a majority of parenting time. The new law requires an income share calculation. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services [HFS] created a chart that defines how much a family should or will spend on a child or children according to the parents’ combined net income and that amount is allocated between the two parents based on the percentage that each parent’s respective net income is of the parents combined net income. HFS has also published a chart that is used to determine a standardized net income calculation. However, the parties can elect to use a personalized net income approach when the standardized result is way off actual for various reasons. The income shares calculation includes an allocation of the costs of the health care attributable to the child or children and it also severely discounts the support when one of the parents has 146 or more overnights of parenting time during a year.

In any event, we now have a system of charts and a complicated calculation. HFS has an online calculator for parents to be able to assess their obligation. In cases where we used to separate the child support into two pieces; i.e. regular monthly child support and additional child support on bonuses or annual income that was not guaranteed, the courts are preferring to base the income shares support on the most recent known actual total income and then perform an annual true-up. That means that every year the parents will look at total gross income, calculate their net incomes and use the chart to come up with a new child support amount. The income shares child support results in significantly lower child support payments for higher-income families than the calculation for child support under prior laws. The charts do not go above a combined net income of $360,288 a year and at that level of income the chart dictates that child support for one child is about 7% of net income – considerably less than the 20% of net our former statute dictated. We believe that the new approach is intended to bring Illinois more in line with the rest of the country. Statistically, it has been reported, Illinois courts had the highest child support awards in the country.

Child support in all new cases filed after July 1, 2017, will be calculated using the income shares calculations. New cases and post-decree cases which were filed earlier and were still pending on July 1, 2017, are also being decided using the new statute in most counties although delinquencies for periods prior to July 1st have to be calculated according to the prior statute.

Besides child support, the judge has the discretion to order parents to share child care expenses, health expenses that are not paid by insurance, school fees, activity fees and costs. The law allows the judge to order parents to carry life insurance for the benefit of the children during the children’s minority and health insurance.

Accurate Child Support Is Essential

Even though child support laws are subject to continual updates, Marsha Cellucci has dealt with the underlying concepts and math in her years of experience and she can help you make sense of the many details and nuances that have to be considered when deciding how to address all of the children issues. Schedule your initial consultation today by contacting The Law Office of Marsha H. Cellucci online or calling 630-912-5058.