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New child-first method for calculating child support

The State of Illinois has been working to keep kids at the center of the focus when it comes to important family law issues like parenting time. Instead of focusing on what parents want, the goal is to look at what kids need. Now the state is looking to take another step forward in putting kids first by implementing a new way of calculating child support obligations. The approach has been adopted in 39 other states thus far.

Up until now, child support was determined in large part based upon the income of the parent required to make payments and the number of kids involved. For any new cases decided after July 1, 2017, the income of both parents will factor equally into the equation. There are two major guiding principles to the income shares model. The first is that a child should receive the same financial support that they would have received if their parents lived under the same roof together. The second principle is that both parents have an equal responsibility to financially support their kids.

When looking at parental income, it will be net income versus gross that will be evaluated. This ideally will result in more fair assessments. Also factored in will be which parent a child lives with or how much time a child spends with each parent.

With ever-evolving laws for child support and other elements of a divorce, Illinois residents may benefit from talking to an attorney when they are planning to end their marriages.

Source: The Southern Illinoisan, "State of Illinois changes child support payment model; change goes into effect today," Barb Eidlin, July 1, 2017

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