In the near future, Illinois will shift from a system that sets child support based on hard percentages to a more open ended system that involves analyzing parenting time and the income statements of both parents.
The new system, which is set to go into effect on July 1, offers some sweeping changes to the old system. The old child support system had pretty set standards for the percentage of a paycheck one spouse owes to the other, but the new system is a move away from a one-size-fits-all system and towards an individualized, case-by-case system.
New Child Support System
Anybody who pays or who owes child support will be subject to the new system on July 1. The new system will evaluate the time each parent spends caring for the children, as well as the net income of both parents.
Some people believe it will complicate the child support system, but Illinois believes it will help ensure the financial needs of the caregivers and the child are being met. The main issue won’t be over earnings statements, as those will be rather easy to dissect. Instead, family law attorneys believe getting both sides to agree on an accurate description of shared parenting time may be difficult. For example, although a child may spend more hours of the day with one parent, the other parent may be the one paying for schooling, sports and other activities. If they are meeting financial obligations but spending less time with the children, there’s a chance they could be ordered to pay more simply because they aren’t “parenting” the child by the state’s standard definition.
But that’s where family law attorneys come in. They can build a case that paints you in a better light with the court and ensures your child support isn’t determined solely by your income and the amount of time you spend with your child. We believe the law will actually work in favor of individuals who pay child support, but it’s hard to tell exactly how it will play out when it goes into effect in a couple of months.
If you are curious about how the new law will impact your payments or the child support you receive, contact us today.