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What is Most Important to Know About the Income Shares Method in Calculating Illinois Child Support?

 Posted on July 25, 2023 in Child Support

Joliet, IL child support lawyerChild support is a critical aspect of divorce and separation cases as it ensures the financial well-being of a child after her parents break up. Each state has its own set of guidelines for calculating child support, and in the state of Illinois, the “income shares method” is used. 

Understanding key aspects of this method is crucial for both parents. In this blog, we will delve into the most important things to know about the income shares method and how it affects child support calculations in Illinois. For matters relating to this important issue, contact an experienced family law attorney to be your guide through this process and other important parts of your divorce.

Definition and Purpose of the Income Shares Method 

The income shares method is designed to estimate the amount of money that would have been available to support a child if her parents had continued living together. It assumes that both parents share financial responsibilities for a child, and that their incomes should be combined and allocated to support the child’s needs after the divorce. Each parent pays their fair share of child support, depending on how much money they make. 

Elements Considered in the Calculation  

When determining child support using the income shares method, courts take into account several factors. This includes the pre-tax income of both parents, such as wages, salary, bonuses, pensions, and other sources of income. It also considers the costs of child health insurance, childcare, and education expenses. 

Shared Parenting

Illinois law recognizes the importance of shared parental responsibilities, and the income shares method reflects this. Child support calculations are influenced by the amount of time a child spends with each parent. The more time a parent is responsible for a child, the less likely they are to make significant child support payments. 

Pre-Existing Child Support Obligations 

If either parent already pays child support for children from a previous relationship, it affects calculations under the income-shares method. Any child support already being paid is taken into account when determining the child support obligations in a present case. 

Deviation from Guideline Amounts

While the income-shares method establishes a formula for child support calculations, courts have the authority to deviate from the guideline amounts under certain circumstances. These deviations may occur if special needs of the child exist, or if parents have shared custody of the child resulting in more equal financial responsibilities. 

Change in Financial Circumstances

The income-shares method takes into consideration that the financial circumstances of either parent may change over time. This means that child support orders can be modified, but only if a substantial change in circumstances is proven. 

Contact a Will County Family Law Attorney

To ensure your rights are respected, contact the Joliet family lawyers with Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Call 815-666-1285 for a free consultation. 

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