Illinois Public Act 099-0764
750 ILCS 5/505
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
Currently the law allows for a fixed percentage of the payor when calculating child support in Illinois.
20% for one child, 28% for two children, 32% for three children, etcetera. However, come July 1, 2017 the law is dramatically changing to incorporate all the new laws introduced January 1, 2016; specifically the change in allocation of parenting time (750 ILCS 602.7). Under the new law there is a more equatable division of support but not at the expense of complicated calculations.
Unraveling the complicated process:
Step 1: Take the "net" income of both parents and add this together (example: $50,000 + $30,000). This becomes the "Total Family Income" (TFI).
(SIDEBAR: The thinking here is that this is the amount of money that the children would have access to if the family stayed a whole unit (did not divorce). The missed component... what about the parent that stayed home for 10, 15, 20 years? That is not taken into account because the reality is that "other net income" would not have existed to the children.)
Step 2: Utilizing a chart provided by Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) the TFI is compared to the average "intact" family (AIF) with similar income and number of children. (example: AIF $100,000 with 2 children). Then the judge compares the AIF to the TFI to determine the child support obligation.
(SIDEBAR: First, DCFS has not provided this "chart" and the estimated time of arrival is still to be determined. Secondly, this comparison doesn't take into account people that make less than the AIF, doesn't consider individual earning capacity, and places an arbitrary number into the judge's order.)
Step 3: The judge is given the liberty to adjust for additional expenses including but not limited to child care, extracurricular activities, insurance, education, and similar needs of the children.
Step 4: Offset for shared parenting. "If each parent exercises 146 or more overnights per year with the child, the basic child support obligation is multipled by 1.5 to calculate the shared care child support obligation." (750 ILCS 5/505 (3.8))
(SIDEBAR: This change incorporates the new allocation of parenting time providing the payor a reduction so he or she has money that remains in their home to tend to the child's or children's needs since they are receiving a large portion of time with their child or children.)
Though the changes to child support seem to have some holes, this is the new law, and we will do everything we can to utilize it to the best interest of our clients, whether you are the payor or the payee. In the end, every parent wants the best for their kid(s) on as fair and equal of terms as possible. We, at Meason Law Office, can and will help you navigate these waters with care and true concern for the outcome.