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When a married couple with children divorces, child support is typically ordered to help the parents share child-rearing costs. If you are considering divorce, you may wonder which parent will be the recipient and which parent will be the payor of child support. You may also want to know how much these child support payments will be. In Illinois, child support is calculated using the income shares model. Each parents’ income and other information is used to determine a child support payment amount that is fair, reasonable, and provides for the child’s needs.

Income Shares Model for Calculating Child Support

Prior to 2017, child support payments were calculated based solely on the paying spouse’s net income. Now, both parents’ net incomes are used to determine child support. Illinois adopted the Income Shares model for child support in order to hold both parents accountable for financially supporting their child. The new calculation method largely bases child support on the difference between the parents’ income. The closer the parents’ incomes are, the less the support payments will be.


child support, Wheaton family lawyerChild support is designed to help a child of divorced or unmarried parents to benefit from both parents’ financial support. Illinois considers it the right of the child to receive child support, so support payments are totally separate from issues of parental responsibility and parenting time. If you are a parent who is getting divorced or you share a child with someone you are not currently married to, you probably have several questions regarding child support.

If you are the parent with less parenting time, you may be wondering how much your support payments will be. If you are the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities, or the custodial parent, you likely want to know what you will receive in child support. As with many aspects of family law, the issue of child support calculation can become complex.

Income Shares Model is Used to Calculate Child Support in Illinois

The laws regarding child support in Illinois have changed dramatically in recent years. Previous to July 2017, child support amounts were almost entirely dependent on the paying parent’s income. Now, the amount that a parent pays in child support is calculated based on the Income Shares Model. This is a more comprehensive means of calculating support that takes both parents’ income and financial circumstances into consideration. The new model also takes shared parenting into account. If a child spends at least 146 overnights a year with each parent, the method of calculating child support is slightly different.


child support, DuPage County family law attorneyUnmarried or divorced parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children just as married parents do. Unfortunately, some children are forced to live without the monetary support they need when a parent does not pay his or her court-ordered child support. Illinois courts do not take child support nonpayment lightly. Stern laws have been enacted to enforce child support orders and punish parents who do not pay. If your child’s other parent is not paying child support, read on to learn about your options under Illinois law.

Child Support Is Only Enforceable When It Is Ordered by the Court

If you and your child’s other parent only had a casual agreement that they would pay you a certain amount of money in child support, it is going to be much more complicated for you to collect this payment. Illinois courts can only step in and enforce support obligations when there is a court-authorized, legally-enforceable child support order. Fortunately, there are several ways you can acquire this court order.

If there is a question as to the biological relationship between your child and the other parent, you may need to establish paternity before you can collect child support. This can be done via a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form or by filing for an administrative paternity order either with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services or your local family court. After legal parentage has been established, you will be able to pursue child support.


child support, claiming dependents, filing taxes after marriage, Illinois family law lawyer, property divisionThe end of a marriage always brings a number of serious changes to one's lifestyle, social circles, and personal finances. One of the first steps after the process completes is adjusting to a single income. Additionally, when tax time arrives, divorcees might run into a series of new challenges.

Every person's finances and taxes are unique, which is why, according to Money Crashers, one should always consult an accountant before filing. Consulting a family attorney may also prove helpful—even before the divorce completes—because a divorce lawyer can provide some insight into how the process affects taxes.

How the IRS Views Divorcees 


Choosing the right divorce attorney is crucial to avoid problems down the road. There is much more to a divorce than just getting a court decree that terminates the marriage. Any divorce decree will at the very least contains a sustainable custody and visitation schedule that will survive the test of time.

Fortunately, an experienced divorce attorney will make sure that the divorce decree accounts for each minute detail, no matter how unimportant it may sound. A properly prepared joint parenting agreement, for example, will contain a calendar setting forth the daily visitation schedule, specify which parent has visitation during which holidays and calls for periodic reviews.

Moreover, an experienced divorce attorney will make sure that child support obligations are realistic in the long term so they can truly benefit the children. A good divorce attorney will have a practicing understanding of other areas of law, like estate planning, which may affect the divorce or support obligations. The attorney will rely on that understanding to ensure best outcome for the client and their children.

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