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How Is Child Support Calculated?

Determining child support can be complex and frustrating. It is natural to be concerned about the wellbeing of your child and how their financial needs will be met. The child support process is often lengthy and emotional, but enlisting the help of an experienced divorce attorney can help. At Ward Family Law, LLC, our team is here to help explain child support calculations in Illinois and advocate for your needs and the needs of your children. 

What Is Child Support?

Child support is ongoing financial payments provided by a parent. The amount of financial support will vary with each case and depends on the child’s needs, the overnight time each parent has with the children, and the respective incomes of each party. Additionally, each case will determine how often the child support payments should be made, such as weekly or monthly contributions. Illinois requires both parents to support their child financially, but only one parent may be required to provide regular child support payments depending on the weighing of all factors and circumstances.

Illinois abides by the child’s best interests, meaning they will advocate for supporting the child’s well-being any way they see fit. Child support is intended to support the child’s wellbeing and provide help with expenses such as medical care, housing payments, food, and educational expenses. Payments are intended to be used for the child’s needs and not for the personal needs of a parent. 

Did Illinois Change Its Child Support Laws?

In 2016, Illinois changed the law regarding the calculation of child support payments. Previously, the individual paying child support had a minimum percentage of their income that was allocated for child support payments. This law did not consider the custodial parent’s income and failed to use a combined income calculation. The new policy established in 2016 changed to having an income shares model. 

How Is Child Support Calculated in Illinois?

In Illinois, child support payments depend on the payer’s net income, overnights of each parent with the children, and the number of children needing support. Thus, every calculation for child support will vary on the specific case. However, Illinois has established a basic calculation to make the process easier. 

First, the court will examine each parent’s net income, which is the amount left after allowable payroll deductions. Each parent’s net income will be examined individually and combined to determine the overall net income. The court will then determine the percentage of each individual’s income that’s present in the overall combined income. The combined net income, in addition to the individual percentage for each parent, helps determine the exact child support assigned to an individual. The spouse’s incomes, number of children, and how much overnight time each parent has with the children are all combined into an income table that calculates how much child support is owed. This new calculation method is known as an income shares model, as each parent’s income is used to determine child support. 

Contact Our Team Today

There are many factors that go into the determination of child support, so it can be difficult to know what to expect during the process. Contact our team today if you have questions about child support calculations in Illinois. Our experienced attorneys will advocate for your family and guide you through each step. 

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