What is the Income Shares Child Support Model in Illinois?

What is the Income Shares Child Support Model in Illinois?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Anyone who is going through a divorce or a breakup with minor children from the relationship will need to understand how an Illinois court will make a child support determination. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), Illinois courts use the “income shares” model to determine each parent’s child support obligation, which is the most common model for calculating child support in the U.S.

Indeed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the income shares child support model is currently used in 41 states, as well as in Guam and the Virgin Islands. But what is this child support model and what will it mean for your child support obligation? A child support lawyer in Chicago can provide you with the information you need.

Children Should Not Be Penalized By Parents Living Separate from One Another

The primary concept behind the income shares model for child support is that “the child should receive the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have received if the parents lived together,” according to the NCSL. Accordingly, “in an intact household, the income of both parents is generally pooled and spent for the benefit of all household members, including any children.” So what does this mean for the actual methods behind the income shares model and how an Illinois court will calculate child support?

Generally speaking, the income shares model requires a court to combine the incomes of both parents and use that total combined income to determine the total child support obligation based on the Illinois Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines are essentially a table that calculates the total child support obligation based on income and number of children, making the process streamlined across family situations.

Calculating Child Support Based on the Income Shares Model in Illinois

How does the income shares model work specifically in Illinois? Illinois begins by finding the adjusted net income of each parent and combining those adjusted net incomes to obtain a combined adjusted net income. To obtain each parent’s adjusted net income, the court will convert each parent’s gross income to net income with a standardized income conversion chart and can take into account issues like previous child support obligations from another marriage or relationship.

Once the court has the combined adjusted net income, it looks to the Guidelines to determine the basic support obligation. It can adjust that basic support obligation based on certain needs like childcare or school expenses. It then determines each parent’s percentage of the basic support obligation based on the percentage of each parent’s adjusted net income in relation to the combined adjusted net income, the number of overnights with each child (i.e., parenting time), and other relevant factors.

Contact Our Chicago Child Support Lawyers

The child support process can be complicated, but our experienced child support attorneys in the Chicago area can assist you. Do not hesitate to get in touch with our firm for more information about how your child support obligation is likely to be calculated in Illinois. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more.