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The New Illinois Child Support Law: Understanding Shared Physical Care

Posted on in Child Support

shared physical care, Illinois child support law, child support payments, Wheaton child support lawyer, divorcing coupleIllinois law recently underwent a drastic change that redefined the guidelines for determining child support following divorce. After July 1, 2017, child support payments are no longer based on the paying parent’s income; instead, both parents’ incomes are taken into consideration, providing a method that more accurately represents the way parents provide for their children.

Child Support and Shared Physical Care

While the calculation of child support under the new law is relatively straightforward, it can become complicated in cases of Shared Physical Care, in which parenting time is split between parents in an equal or near to equal fashion. This occurs when children stay overnight with both parents at least 146 days every year, which makes 40 percent of the time or more.

In Shared Physical Care situations, the Basic Support Obligation (the amount that parents would typically spend to care for their children if they had remained married) is multiplied by 1.5 to determine a Shared Physical Care Support Obligation, and each parent’s percentage share of the combined income is applied to this amount.

Each parent’s Shared Care Child Support Obligation will be determined by multiplying his or her share of the Shared Physical Care Support Obligation by the other parent’s percentage of overnight stays. Of the two resulting figures, the lower amount will be subtracted from the higher amount, and the result will be the amount of child support that the parent with the higher amount will pay to the other parent.

An Example Scenario

For an example of how this would work in practice, consider the case of a divorcing couple named James and Heather who have two children. James makes $2,500 each month, and Heather makes $3,500 each month. The children stay with James 160 nights each year, and they stay with Heather 205 nights each year.

Using the Gross to Net Income Conversion Table and Income Shares Schedule provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the Basic Support Obligation is $1,405. James’ percentage share of the combined income is 41.3 percent, while Heather’s percentage share is 58.7 percent.

The Shared Physical Care Support Obligation is $2,107.50 ($1,405 x 1.5). James portion of this obligation is $870.40 ($2,107.50 x .413), and Heather’s portion of the obligation is $1,237.10 ($2,107.50 x .587).

To determine the Shared Care Child Support Obligation, each parent’s portion of the obligation will be multiplied by the other parent’s percentage of overnights. James’ percentage of overnights is 43.8 percent (160/365) and Heather’s percentage is 56.2 percent (205/365). Thus, Heather’s Shared Care Child Support Obligation is $541.85 ($1,237.10 x .438), and James’ Shared Care Child Support Obligation is $489.16 ($870.40 x .562). Subtracting $489.16 from $541.85 results in $52.69, which is the amount that Heather will pay James each month in child support.

Contact a Wheaton Child Support Attorney

As you can see, there are a number of factors which play into determining the correct amount of child support under the new law, and calculating the amount of payments can be somewhat complicated.

If you are planning to divorce or are in the midst of the divorce process, the experienced family law attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand the updated child support law and make sure it is applied correctly in your situation. Contact a Wheaton child support lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/IncomeShares.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/IncomeSharesOverviewPublicVersionRC.pdf

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