When a couple divorces and children are involved, there are often issues of child custody and child support that need to be resolved. These two issues are often related since the parent who has primary custody of the child is typically the one who receives child support from the other parent.
In the past, Illinois law was fairly straightforward when it came to determining how much a parent was supposed to pay in child support. It was based solely on the income of the non-custodial parent, with the parent paying 20% of his or her income in child support for one child and 28% for two children. For three children, the parent would pay 32%, and it would max out at 40% for a person with four or more children.
Illinois now has a new formula that is not as straightforward, but it could lead to a parent paying less in child support. On July 1, 2017, the income shares model was adopted by the state. More than 40 states already use this method, which comes on the heels of new child custody guidelines that replaced the word “custody” with “parenting time.”
What it means is that both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration. Even if the noncustodial parent’s income increases, the amount will not change. The new model also takes into consideration any other payments that the parent makes, such as health insurance premiums and extracurricular activities. Visitation time is also a consideration.
The goal is to make it more equitable for all involved. There should not be a money advantage, considering that the child is (hopefully) being treated the same in both households.
Child Support Modifications
Once a child support payment plan is in place, there are ways to modify it. Situations change, and sometimes the non-custodial parent is unable to continue making payments for some reason. The parent may lose his or her job or become disabled.
Changes can be made through the legal process of child support modification. This often requires going to court and having the judge hear your side of the story. You can try coming to an agreement on your own with the other parent, but this method is often unsuccessful.
Whatever you do, do not ignore the situation and simply stop paying child support. You will go into arrears, which means the unpaid child support will pile up. This can lead to penalties such as fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
Get Help From an Illinois Child Support Lawyer Today
Child support is a tricky area of family law. Some parents try to avoid it altogether. Some pay as little as possible, while others may pay too much.
There are some parents who want to pay more, but simply can not due to their income. These new changes to Illinois law may help. Child support lawyer Richard J. Forst from Forst Law Offices can help you come up a favorable solution. To schedule a free consultation, call his Orland Hills office at (708) 873-1623 or fill out the online form.
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