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Calculating Child Support: A Brief Overview

Calculating Child Support: A Brief Overview

Child support in Illinois is now determined primarily on the income of both parents. In addition to income, the statutory calculations also require the court to consider the number of children each party has and the amount of parenting time (counted by overnights) each party has with their children on an annual basis.

Under the “income shares” model for calculating Illinois child support that went into effect in 2017, the total amount of child support for which the parents are jointly responsible is calculated based on the combined net income of both parents.  Once this number is determined, each parent’s share of the responsibility for providing that amount of child support is calculated based on the net incomes of the parents relative to one another. As stated by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services:

Child support set by income shares is based on the typical cost of raising a child or children in a family with the same combined income and same number of children. The incomes of both parents are combined and the number of children the parents share are identified. The amount those parents would spend in raising their child or children is identified within an independent, statistically valid table of expenditures. That is the Basic Support Obligation. The obligation is then assigned to each parent according to their proportional contribution to the combined income.

​​This means that, unlike the previous law, the new child support law takes the income of the recipient of the child support into account when determining the amount of the parents’ child support obligation.

How Child Support is Calculated in Illinois

The basic overview of the guideline child support calculation has been determined based on national census data, which is averaged to determine what two parents (with a specific combined net income) will spend to raise however many children they have had together. There is a detailed conversion table the law requires us to consult to determine this support amount.

Once the child support amount is established, it is then divided between the parties based upon each party’s contribution to their total net income and the amount of parenting time they have with their children. If the parties share equal parenting time—or something in the range of 50-50 to 60-40—then there are additional factors in calculating the support amount and the way it is apportioned between the parties.

In addition to guideline child support, the court may order one or both parties to contribute to the children’s health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket medical expenses, daycare costs, extracurricular activity costs, and other expenses specific to the family.

Have Other Questions about Child Support in Illinois?

The attorneys at Manassa Bojczuk, P.C. are experienced in all types of divorce matters, including those that involve the complicated methods of calculating child support amounts in Illinois. To schedule a free consultation at our Barrington or Crystal Lake offices, contact us today.