If you are paying or receiving child support, you may be able to seek a modification under the new support guidelines that went into effect in July.
In Illinois, you can seek a child support modification if your financial circumstances or your child’s needs have changed since the last support order. You can also seek a modification if the amount you pay or receive will change significantly under the new rules.
What has changed with respect to child support?
Illinois’ child support guidelines changed in July of 2017. The amount of child support you are obligated to pay or are entitled to receive may increase or decrease under the new guidelines.
In the past, child support payments were calculated based on the net income of the payer. That parent paid a percentage of his or her net income based on the number of children being supported.
The new formula considers the income of both parents, not just the payer. As a result, a parent who earns a greater percentage of the combined net income has a proportionally greater responsibility for support.
There are several other changes that could affect your payments:
- If a parent is unemployed or underemployed by choice, his or her support obligation will be calculated based on estimated income.
- If you pay alimony, your net income will be reduced by the amount of your alimony payments, potentially reducing the amount you pay in child support.
- Health insurance is added to the support calculation and the cost is shared by both parents based on their percentage of the combined net income.
- If both parents have the children at least 146 overnights per year, the actual number of overnights that each parent has will be taken into consideration when calculating child support.
- If a parent is subject to an additional child support order since the last one, those payments will be subtracted from their net income.
Your payments won’t change automatically based on the new guidelines. You will need to obtain a new support order through the court. Child support calculations can be complex, and an experienced lawyer can ensure your payments are calculated correctly.