How Does Illinois Allot Child Support for Second Child From a Different Mother?
By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC
Calculating child support in Illinois can be complex even when there are relatively few complicating factors to take into account. One issue that can make the calculation of a child support obligation more difficult is a prior child support obligation.
In other words, how does an Illinois court calculate a total child support obligation when one of the parents is already paying a child support obligation for a child from a prior marriage or relationship?
In order to understand how Illinois allots child support for a second child from a different mother, it is essential to understand first how the “income shares” child support model works under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Once you have a clearer understanding of the “income shares” model, you can learn about how a court will consider a prior ongoing child support payment in determining the present child support obligation.
How the Income Shares Child Support Model Works
Under Illinois law, child support is calculated using the “income shares” model, which takes into account the incomes of both parents and then determines each parent’s portion of the total child support obligation. Although Illinois used to require the non-custodial parent to make child support payments to the other parent, this system is no longer used.
Instead, the court will first determine each parent’s net income, combine the net incomes to determine a total net income.
They will then use that net income to determine the total child support obligation based on the Illinois Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines streamline the child support process by basing the total support obligation on the total net income and number of children to be supported.
Once the child support obligation is determined, the court will decide each parent’s responsibility for a portion of the obligation based on the parent’s income and other relevant factors. For example, if one parent has significantly more overnights with the child and has been allocated substantially more parenting time.
Perhaps because the other parent lives out of state, for example—the parent with less parenting time and fewer overnights may be assigned a larger portion of the total child support obligation.
Now that you understand a bit more about how a court determines child support, you are likely wondering: how does the income shares model affect a parent’s child support obligation when determining support for a second child from a different mother?
Courts Use Net Income to Determine the Child Support Obligation
As we noted above, when courts determine a child support obligation based on the “income shares” model, they use a parent’s net income — and not gross income — to determine the support amount. Net income is the amount of money a person earns after taxes have been taken out, and after other deductions.
Accordingly, net income is not the parent’s total named salary for the year in an employment contract, but rather the amount of money a parent actually has once all taxes and expenses have been taken into account.
One of the deductions from gross income is a prior child support obligation. As such, if you are already paying child support for a child from a previous relationship, that amount of child support will be deducted from your gross income, and the support you pay for the second child from a different mother will be based on your net income after the deduction of your previous child support obligation.
Contact a Chicago or Skokie Child Support Attorney
Do you have questions about calculating support? An experienced Chicago and Skokie child support attorney at our firm can assist you. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC for more information.