On July 1st, 2017, Illinois will become the 40th state to adopt an income shares model for determining child support, bringing about a complete overhaul to how child support is addressed in the legal system. While legislature has been passed since 2016 which outlined how an income shares system would operate, official schedules and guidelines were still in the process of being developed.
Earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IHFS) released official schedules and guidelines, as well as calculators to estimate approximate child support obligations. In this article, you will find schedules for converting gross income to net income and calculating base child support values, as well as an outline of the income shares model.
For an in-depth explanation of how child support is calculated under an income shares model, you can refer to our previous Illinois child support calculator, or visit the official IHFS webpage on income shares.
How the Illinois Income Shares Child Support Model Works
The backbone of the income shares model is the intent to hold both parents responsible for the expense of raising children. The model is drastically different from Illinois' previous child support laws, which tends to place the bulk of responsibility on the obligor, non-custodial parent.
Previously, base values for child support were determined using a schedule which cross-referenced the obligor's net income with the number of children being supported. This number varied depending on factors such as health expenses, custody, and additional expenses, but almost never significantly.
Under a new income shares model, the income of each parent in relation to their combined income is the main determining factor when calculating child support. While healthcare, parenting time, and other elements still factor into the final child support obligation, the base obligation is directly calculated from the combined net income of both parents.
Through the schedules developed by IHFS, the income shares model uses combined net income to calculate a combined base child support obligation that is fitting for the income of the family. These base values reflect how much parents within each income range typically spend, combined, towards raising their children if in a married household.
This base value is then divided based on how much each parent's individual income contributed towards their combined income, and additional expenses or factors are then taken into consideration to calculate a final child support obligation.
Schedules for Calculating Income Shares Child Support Obligation
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has developed two official schedules to aid in calculating child support: a gross to net income conversion chart, and an income shares schedule based on net income.
For your convenience, we've included the schedules below. To calculate your basic child support obligation to use in conjunction with our child support calculator, follow these two steps:
1. Convert your gross income into net income
2. Use your net income value to calculate your basic child support obligation
Contact Dolci & Weiland Family Law and Child Support Attorneys
Illinois' new child support laws will undoubtedly bring about dramatic changes which may affect you and your family. If you have questions about how the income shares model may affect your child support or are seeking legal representation for any family law cases, please contact our law offices at (630) 261-9098 to speak with an attorney or schedule a free consultation. We are here to help.