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Formulaic Models for the Calculation of Child Support

Posted on in Child Support

b2ap3_thumbnail_child-support-illinois.jpgEstablishing initial child support arrangements that adequately reflect the financial abilities of both parents can often be a challenge. Having one standardized system for determining child support is an important step toward equality in payments. Federal law requires a specific system, but does not require a uniform model for all states. Two primary standards have developed, as a result, in determining child support formulas: percentage of obligor income model and income shares model.

Illinois Obligor Income Model

Under current law, Illinois employs the lesser-used system, known as the percentage of obligor income model, because of its ease and simplicity. In this model, the income of the payor, or supporting parent, after taxes and other deductions, is taken into consideration, and a percentage of this income is set as the payment based upon the number of children to be supported. However, the more money and assets one possesses, the more difficult it is to determine fair payment, especially if the custodial parent has more income or assets than the payor parent.

Irregular Income Scenarios

The Illinois Appellate Court has created guidelines for determining payments when there are additional sources of revenue to be considered. For example, monies made from stock sales should be used as income when calculating child support. If, however, stock sales do not raise overall assets, it can not be used as income and can not increase payment. Simply having assets, therefore, does not automatically assume a change in payment. These irregular income scenarios can cause confusion regarding the calculation of support payments.

Other irregular income scenarios that can change child support payments include such things as lottery winnings or settlements, business profits, or even inheritance, things that are generally not recurrent incomes. However, not all courts in Illinois have stayed constant on decisions regarding these assets.

Income Shares Model

Though it is more complicated, the income shares model may be more equitable to both parties. This model requires the incomes of both parents in question to be combined to determine an appropriate financial standard for support. This standard is then divided between the parents based upon each party’s contributed percentage of the total income. For example, if one parent made $40,000 and the other made $60,000, parent A is assigned 40 percent while parent B is assigned 60 percent of the required support.

The income shares model can also be adjusted more easily, and with increased standardization for factors such child care and shared parenting time. A push has been underway, for several years, in Illinois to move to such a system, but, as yet, little progress has been made.

Though the models guide the process, having assistance is key to smoothly determine child support. To determine how irregular income could change your payment duties, contact an Naperville divorce attorney for more information. At the Pesce Law Group, P.C., we are proud to represent Illinois families. Contact us today at 630-352-2240 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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