On July 1, a new child support model went into effect for child support cases in the Illinois. The new model doesn't automatically apply to child support orders that were issued prior to the July 1 start date, so if you already have an order, you should continue to follow it.
Illinois has done away with basing child support on the number of children and a specific percentage of the paying parent's income. Instead, the state has moved to an income shares model, which proponents claim is a fairer option and better for the children.
Gross versus net income
Instead of using the gross, or pre-tax income of each parent, the new income shares model for child support uses the net, or take home, income of each parent. This is a big benefit since it takes the actual money a parent has. If the gross was used, parents who had to pay more in taxes were left with a lot less money than those who had minimal taxes.
Cost of raising a child is considered
The income shares model factors in the cost of raising a child. The amount used isn't some random number that considers children of all economic statuses. Instead, the cost of raising a child that is considered is tailored to the economic status of the parents. That is, middle class child support cases would be based on what the average middle class family spends to raise a child.
Time with each parent is factored in
The amount of time that the child spends with each parent is factored into these cases. This means that the recipient parent might not have as much child support coming in if the paying parent remains very active in the child's life and has the child often.
Parents' income comes into the picture
Each parents' income is determined and then it is determined what percentage of the total income each parent makes. This percentage is used in deciding what percentage of the child raising costs each parent should have. A parent who makes 70 percent of the parental income would likely pay 70 percent of the child raising costs, but some of that percentage might come from what the parent spends on the child when the child is at his or her home.
As you can tell, this new income shares model is going to take some getting used to. If you are facing a child support case now, make sure you find out how it can impact your case.