How child support is calculated in Illinois

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2023 | Child Custody |

The formula used to determine how much noncustodial parents in Chicago and around Illinois should pay to support their children changed in 2017 when the state adopted the income share model. Before 2017, only the noncustodial parent’s income was considered when child support was calculated. Under the income share model, child support is based on the incomes of both parents and how many nights they spend with their children.

How child support is calculated in Illinois

When judges in Illinois issue child support orders, they consult a chart that provides a guideline figure based on the combined net incomes of the parents involved and the number of overnights they have with their children. Judges may deviate from the guideline figure in some circumstances. A noncustodial parent who is caring for other children or an elderly relative may be ordered to pay less. If the child has special needs, the judge could increase the monthly payment.

Modifying child support in Illinois

A parent who pays or receives child support in Illinois may seek to have the child support order modified if their situation changes significantly. Modifications can only be requested every three years, and they are only granted when the change in circumstances is likely to be permanent. When child support is ordered in high asset divorce cases, a significant and permanent change in circumstances could result in a much higher or lower monthly payment.

The needs of the child

Illinois now uses the income share model to calculate child support. This model bases the child support payment amount on the incomes of both of the parents and the parenting arrangements in place. Judges may deviate from child support guidelines when the suggested payment would not meet the needs of the child or would place an unreasonable financial burden on the noncustodial parent.