Child Support Guidelines
The new Illinois Income Shares child support guidelines model considers both parents’ incomes when setting child support; the basic support amount is based upon the parental income available to support a child if the parents had not split up. If the children reside primarily with one parent – the mother, for example – then the new guidelines assume that the mother is directly contributing her share of the child support by paying for child-related expenses while the children are in residence. In this example, the father would be obliged to pay his share of the children’s expenses to the mother.
The theory behind the new Illinois child support guidelines is that if the children reside with both parents – perhaps 50/50 with each parent, or 40/60 – then each parent will be paying for child-related expenses when the children are with them. These expenses could include buying groceries, clothes, or shoes; certain extracurricular activities; eating out, or entertainment for the kids.
The child support guidelines don’t cover all the children’s expenses, and it would not be equitable to have one parent foot the bill for huge expenses because the bill came due when the children were residing with them. There are “big tickets” extracurricular expenses or uncovered medical expenses that have to be divided between the parents in proportion to their incomes. Travel-based football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or golf teams, for example, are not covered by the child support guidelines.
If the parenting time is split somewhere between 60/40 and 50/50 between the parents, then they are presumed to have a “Shared Physical Care” agreement. This occurs when each parent has at least 146 overnights (or 40% of the parenting time) with the child per year.
Can Child Support be Modified in Illinois?
In Illinois, child support is always modifiable – meaning the amount can be changed if one or both parents experience a substantial change in their circumstances. For example, if one parent gets a substantial raise, or if a parent has a job with a set income but the opportunity to earn significant bonuses, then those increases could mean that the amount of child support payable or receivable could be modified. If someone loses their job, on the other hand, they may no longer be able to afford their original court-ordered child support payments.
In both cases, the parent seeking to modify the child support amount would have to go to court and prove that their or their ex-spouse’s income has increased or decreased and to ask the court to modify child support amount upwards or downwards.
Child support attorney Dheanna Fikaris has years of experience in getting child support modified her clients; if you have recently experienced a substantial change in your financial circumstances, contact Fikaris and Associates to find out how we can help you.
Minimum and Maximum Child Support Amounts in Illinois
- Minimum: Child support is set at $40.00/month per child for a parent who has a gross income at or below 75% of the Federal Poverty Level. The total support for all of a payor’s children is capped at $120/month for a parent who has a gross income at or below 75% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Maximum: Income Shares Schedule Based on Net Income provides calculated amounts of child support from $755/month up to a combined adjusted net income level of $30,000/month. For high-net-worth cases exceeding this level, the court has the discretion to determine the support amount. You can access a Gross to Net Income Conversion Table Using Standardized Tax Amounts here.
With offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Fikaris and Associates can help you understand your child support options while we look out for the best interests of your children.