When Living Situations Drastically Change: New Child Support Guidelines in Illinois

Father leaving home after a divorce.
  • Apr 22 2020

Illinois judges will not change child support obligations without a substantial change in circumstances. However, if your child’s living situation drastically changes, that change could be sufficient cause for amending your child support obligations under the new model for calculating child support in Illinois. For more information, contact an Illinois child support attorney to discuss your case in detail.

Calculating Child Support Under Illinois New Child Support Guidelines

In 2017, Illinois lawmakers revised the calculation of child support obligations within the state. Today, the calculation of child support obligations is based on what parents should contribute each month for the care of their children based on their combined net monthly incomes. 

The “income shares” method of apportioning child support begins by calculating each parent’s net income using the Support Obligation Worksheet. The total of both parents’ adjusted net income is used to determine the basic child support obligation according to the Income Shares Schedule. You locate the combined adjusted net income on the schedule and use the corresponding support obligation for the number of children subject to the support order.

For example, if the combined adjusted net income for both parents totals $8,500 each month, the base child support obligation of the parents would be $1,963 for two children. If the father’s income equals 60 percent of the total income, his child support obligation would be $1,177.80 (60 percent times total monthly child support obligation), and the mother’s child support obligation would be $785.20 (40 percent of the child support obligation). 

If the children reside with the mother for the majority of the year, the father will pay $1,177.80 to the mother each month in child support payments. Health insurance costs, childcare expenses, and extraordinary school and extracurricular activities can result in an adjustment of the basic child support obligations. 

It is important to remember that the above example is a simple situation in which parents receive W2 income, and there are no issues that could change the standardized calculations. Consulting an experienced child support lawyer is advisable to ensure that you are paying or receiving the correct amount of child support each month.

How Does Living Arrangements Impact Child Support Obligations?

The above scenario also assumes that the children live with one parent the majority of the time. In a shared parenting situation, child support obligations are calculated differently from the standardized method. If each parent has physical custody of the child for at least 146 overnights per year, basic child support obligations increase by 50 percent before being divided proportionally between the parents based on each parent’s net income and the number of overnights spent with each parent.

The parent who pays child support payments pays less the more time the parent spends with the child. Therefore, changes in living arrangements could significantly impact the amount of child support you pay each month. If your child’s living arrangements change significantly, it is a wise idea to discuss the change with a family law attorney to determine if a modification of child support payments is warranted. 

Contact an Illinois Child Support Attorney for More Information

The changes in child support guidelines confused many parents. A child’s living arrangements further complicate the calculation of child support obligations. If you have questions or concerns about child support obligations, contact the Illinois child support attorneys at the Goodman Law Firm today. Our attorneys can evaluate your situation and advise you whether or not a judge might be willing to grant sole parental responsibility to you based on your ex’s inability to co-parent effectively.

Posted in: Child Support