The child support statute changed on July 1, 2017. Child support is no longer based on a statutory percentage of the net income of the parent who is not the primary caretaker of the children. Illinois has adopted a guideline based on the combined net income of both parents. Though both parents are liable to contribute child support based on the percentage of net income a parent earns compared to the combined net income of both parents, it is presumed that the primary caretaker is spending his/her share of support on the day-to-day living expenses of the child and the other parent will only pay his/her share of to the primary child caretaker.
If a child spends more than 40% of the nights in a year with both parents, it is deemed that the parents share custody. This means that either parent could be liable to pay child support to the other parent even if the other parent spends less time with the child. Child Support must be computed for both parents, and the parent owing the most support must then pay the difference between each parents’ share to the other parent. The combined support of both parents arising from the child support table is multiplied by 150% before the parties pro-rate their support obligations.
The guideline is based on net income, which is gross income minus taxes and health insurance. There are other deductions that are allowed, such as, union dues, mandatory retirement/ERISA contributions, expenses incurred for the production of income and others deductions that are not as common. It should be noted that voluntary contributions to retirement plans are not considered proper deductions from net income.
In addition to the guideline support, medical insurance, uninsured medical expenses and to a limited extent school expenses are considered unusual expenses that both parents contribute to beyond their child support obligations. Day care is also considered an extraordinary expense. A parent who works should not be penalized by paying solely for day care and sitting expenses. Typically, day care is equally divided but again the court will consider the net income of both parents in determining the apportionment of the expenses. In addition, the court may order either or both parents to maintain life insurance on his/her life so that money is available to pay for the expenses of the children upon death. Child support normally ends at the later of the child turning eighteen or graduating from high school but no later than age nineteen unless a child is disabled.
You can click here, to review the Child Support Table for your reference.
Below are a few examples on how the statute operates:
- Mom earns $8000 net per month and Dad Earns $3,000
- The parents have one child who spends 70% of his/her nights with the mother.
- The applicable amount of basic child support under the table is $1548 per month.
- Dad earns 27.2% of the family net income and will have to contribute $422 a month.
- Mom earns 72.7% of the net income and has an obligation for support of $1125 a month.
- Since Mom is the primary caretaker, it is presumed she spends her support for the food, shelter, clothes and other expenses of the child so that Mom does not have to account for her expenses or pay anything to Dad.
- Dad will pay Mom $422 a month.
We shall assume the same facts with the exception that the child stays with Day every other weekend, one night during the week, one month in the summer, 7 days during Christmas vacation and 7 days for a vacation. Dad will spend 146 nights with the child which is deemed shared custody. Support obligations will change as follows:
- The normal child support obligations is multiplied by 150* so it becomes $2302 a month.
- Dad has overnight parenting time 40% of the year.
- Mom’s percentage of child support is 72.7%. Dad’s percentage share of support is 27.2%.
- Mom’s obligation for support is $1688.77 a month (72.7% x $2302) and Dad’s obligation is $633.27 a month (27.2% x 2302).
- Mom would pay $675.50 a month in support ($1688.77 *.4 (the amount of nights the child stays with Dad)). Dad would pay $379.96 in support which is 60% of his total support obligations.
- Since the child is with Dad 40% of the time, Mom must pay Dad $295.53 a month in support.
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