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How is Income Determined in an Illinois Child Support Case?

Posted on in Child Support

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.

What Is Considered Income During Child Support Calculations?

It is important for parents to understand what can be considered "income" under the Income Shares model and what financial resources are not considered income. When calculating income for child support orders, Illinois courts most often include funds from:

  • Salaries and earnings;
  • Tips and bonuses;
  • Unemployment insurance and disability insurance benefits;
  • Interest from investments;
  • Capital gains;
  • Pensions;
  • Trust or estate income;
  • Contractual agreements;
  • Military personnel fringe benefits;
  • Social Security benefits;
  • Veterans' benefits;
  • Workers' compensation benefits;
  • Gambling winnings;
  • Gifts;
  • Spousal support from a previous relationship; and
  • Certain employment benefits including subsidized housing or a company car.

In short, income from any revenue source can be considered when calculating child support. It is important to understand, however, that child support calculations are based on each parent’s net income. According to Illinois law, net income is a person’s total income from all revenue sources minus allowable deductions for state and federal taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Divorce Attorney

At Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC, we realize that child support proceedings can be complicated and stressful, but we are equipped to help you find solutions. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney to discuss your case. Call 630-665-2500 for an appointment.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/ChildSupport/parents/Pages/IncomeShares.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

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