New Law Would Revamp Child Support Calculation Model

A significant change to the way Illinois courts calculate child support could take effect as early as July 1, 2017.

Pending House Bill 3982 proposes that Illinois child support be based upon the “income shares model,” which would consider both parents’ income and the proportion of parental income that the child would have received if his or her parents lived together in the determination of child support. Currently, Illinois child support is based upon the “percentage of income model,” which sets child support as a percentage of the child support payor’s net monthly income. In other words, only one parent’s income is considered. It’s a system that has been widely criticized as “crude”, “archaic”, and not representative of modern times where both parents are often earning income and sharing parenting time.

Illinois is currently in the minority for continuing to implement the “percentage income model”. It is one of only eight states that still currently uses it.

If signed into law by Governor Rauner, House Bill 3982 would mark the first comprehensive changes to Illinois child support laws for in more than thirty years.

The House Bill 3982 was sent to Governor Rauner for review on June 27, 2016 and, if it is signed into law, Illinois would join thirty-nine other states, Guam, and the Virgin Islands in using the income shares model to determine child support.

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