December 15, 2016

Understanding Upcoming Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws

Child Support

The Illinois legislature has made some changes to the way child support is calculated, and it may impact your court-ordered child support. On July 1, 2017, courts will determine child support based on the “income shares” model.

What Is the Income Shares Model? How Does It Differ from the Current Law?

Under the income shares model, both parents’ income will be used to calculate child support. Each parent will be ordered to pay a percentage of the child support award based on how much income they earn in relation to the other spouse.

The income shares model is followed in a majority of the states in the U.S. In fact, Illinois will be the fortieth state to adopt this model. The goal of this new law is to mirror what support would be like if the parents remained married.

Under the old law, the non-custodial parent was to pay a percentage of his or her income and the custodial parent’s income was not taken into account.

Will My Child Support Go Up or Down? When Can I Get It Adjusted?

Each case is different, and a skilled family law attorney will be able to tell you how the new child support calculations will play out in your case. The implementation of the new model does not mean that you can return to court and ask for a new child support order. To change your order, you must show a substantial change in circumstances. The new law alone does not provide a substantial change in circumstances.

However, if you can show a substantial change in circumstance after July 2017, the court will use the income shares model to calculate your child support award.

What Else Does the New Law Provide?

The updated law touches on several other areas of child support awards, including underemployed parents. While this issue was covered under the old law, the new law is more specific. Under the new law, if a parent is voluntarily underemployed or unemployed, a court will determine child support based on the parent’s potential income.

The law also provides that if you have custody of your child for more than 146 nights, your child support award could be lowered.

Contact a Glen Ellyn, IL Child Support Lawyer

It may be that the amount you owe or receive will be changed the next time you go to court for a child support modification hearing. Our lawyer will be able to tell you what you can expect. If you have questions about the ramifications of the new law will affect your case, contact the experienced DuPage County family law attorneys at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC for a free consultation.