Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


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Joliet Child Support Attorney

Will County Child Support Lawyer

Family Law Attorney Serving Joliet and Plainfield Explains the Illinois Income Shares Calculation

The state of Illinois expects both parents to contribute to the financial support of their child. Prior to July 2017, the non-custodial parent was required to make child support payments based solely on the non-custodial parent's income. Starting in July 2017, Illinois switched to the income shares method, which allocates child support in proportion to each parent's share of their combined net income.

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we understand how difficult it can be for both parents and children to adjust to new financial circumstances after a divorce. When we represent you in a child support case, we will work diligently to make sure that your child receives fair financial support from both parents.

In addition to having decades of experience in Illinois divorce and family law, we are adept financial analysts. You can rely on us to ask the right questions and make sure all parental income sources and all of your child's necessary expenses are taken into account in your child support payment calculations.

From time to time, you or your co-parent may experience a significant change in income due to a job change, promotion, or changes in a self-employed parent's business. When this happens, we can help you petition the court for a modification of child support. We can also assist you with enforcement of child support if your co-parent fails to live up to their obligations.

The Income Shares Method of Calculating Child Support

Illinois' child support law (750 ILCS 5/505) declares that parents have "the obligation to provide for the reasonable and necessary physical, mental, and emotional health needs" of their children. To avoid protracted arguments over the definition of "reasonable and necessary" expenses, and for the sake of consistency, the courts generally follow state-standard guidelines to calculate child support payments. The Ilinois standard is known as the income shares method.

However, the existence of a state standard does not mean there is no room for negotiation. Children have many expenses that are not covered by standard child support. Therefore, you should be sure your attorney is aware of any special needs or unusual expenses that your children have.

Income shares calculation: The formula starts with the combined net income of both parents, defined as income from all sources minus payroll and income taxes. If one parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the court may estimate their "potential" income based on their work history and other variables.

Amount of basic support: The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has established an expected basic support expense correlated to the parents' income For example, if your combined net income totals $8,000 per month, your expected basic support for one child is about $1,300 per month for 2019. Basic support includes food, clothing, housing, transportation, public school fees and supplies, personal care and over-the-counter healthcare products, medical visit co-pays, entertainment, and other costs of daily living.

Basic support allocation between parents: Each parent is expected to pay their proportionate share of basic support. For example, suppose parent 1 has primary physical care of one child and earns $2,400 per month (30% of combined net income), while parent 2 earns $5,600 per month (70% of combined net income). Parent 2 will pay 70% of the child's basic support expense of $1,300 per month, or $910, to the other. In cases of shared physical care, when each parent has care of the children for at least 146 overnights annually (40% of the year), additional calculations are necessary to determine which parent must make payments to the other.

Necessary expenses beyond basic support: Basic child support does not include the cost of daycare necessary for a parent to work or go to school, medical insurance, and extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance. Illinois courts will generally order that these necessary and reasonable expenses also be divided by the income shares method.

Non-necessary expenses: Parents may negotiate who pays for discretionary expenses such as private school tuition, expensive summer camps, costly extracurricular activities, and post-high school education. These agreements can be added to the court order for child support at the parents' request.

Illinois Child Support Lawyer Serving Morris and Yorkville

When you need representation in a child support matter, you can count on the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. to watch over the interests of both you and your children. Contact us at 815-666-1285. From our two convenient offices in Joliet and Plainfield, Illinois, we serve clients in Will County, Grundy County, Kendall County, Yorkville, Morris, and surrounding areas.

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