Income Shares Model for Child Support

March 17, 2017

By Associate Attorney Lauren Goyette

Starting July 1, 2017, Illinois will join the majority of the country and start using the income shares model to calculate child support. This new model is a more comprehensive way to calculate child support and it fairly distributes the cost of raising a child between both parents. The goal of the new model is for the child to be raised as if the family unit was intact. 

The income shares approach will look at the cost of raising a child in the parents’ area based on their combined net income. The three main factors the model considers are 1) the net income of both parents, 2) additional expenses ordered by the court, and 3) the amount of parenting time each parent spends with the child(ren). Some examples of additional expenses the court can order are extracurricular activities, child care, and health insurance. The support obligation of each parent will be prorated to each parent based on how much they contribute to the combined net income. The non-custodial parent will pay their full amount of support to the custodial parent.

If the parents have shared parenting time, where each parent spends at least 146 overnights with the child a year, support is calculated differently. In this instance, the total child support obligation will be multiplied by 1.5 to account for the duplicate expenses of having two households. Then the parent who contributes more to the combined net income will pay the difference in support to the other parent.

The new law alone does not allow you to file for a child support modification, but there are factors that can allow you to do so. Each case is different, but the new model could lower, raise, or mimic current support payments. If you have questions about how the new income shares model can affect your child support payments or child support payments that you receive, call Illinois Advocates today.