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The Income Shares Model in Illinois Child Support

 Posted on May 20, 2024 in Child Support

Rolling Meadows, IL child support lawyerAs the dynamics of family structures evolve, so too must the legal frameworks that govern child support. In Illinois, child support laws reflect a more equitable and comprehensive approach known as the “income-shares” model. These laws not only impact how child support is calculated but also emphasize the shared financial responsibilities of both parents in ensuring the well-being of their children. If you live in Illinois, have dependent children, and are getting divorced, contact an attorney to ensure you understand the law.

Embracing Equity Through the Income-Shares Model

One of the most important concepts found in Illinois' child support laws is the principle of equity between parents. Traditionally, fathers were seen as a family’s primary financial provider and were therefore almost always the parent who paid child support. The income-shares model instead requires figuring out each parent's monthly net income and then combining these to establish a total support obligation. This approach ensures both parents share the responsibility for supporting their children, regardless of the parent’s gender.

A Comprehensive Approach to Child Support

Under the income-shares model, the calculation of child support considers numerous factors in addition to each parent's monthly net income. Factors also include the number of children a couple shares and specific child-rearing expenses. While these expenses are typically based on a standardized schedule, they can be changed for children who have special needs.

Shared Parenting Situations Support Equitable Involvement

In shared parenting situations where children spend substantial amounts of time with both parents, the income-shares model seeks to distribute financial responsibilities proportionally, depending on the amount of parenting time each parent has. This adjustment acknowledges each parent's contributions to the upbringing and well-being of the children, helping to promote a more balanced and collaborative approach to child support.

How Does the Court Determine the Best Needs of the Child?

In Illinois, family law issues, including child support laws, are most concerned with safeguarding the best interests of the child. However, the question remains: How are the best interests of the child determined? The following are just some of the factors the Court will examine when deciding what is best for the child:

  • The needs of the child, ensuring basic and extracurricular needs are met

  • The standard of living the child enjoyed before the divorce

  • The physical and emotional state of the child

  • The child’s relationship with each parent and other siblings

  • The educational needs of the child

Contact Our Hoffman Estates, IL Child Support Attorney

Ultimately, Illinois child support laws look to maximize fairness, transparency, and shared responsibility in determining child support obligations. By adhering to these laws, parents can contribute to nurturing a supportive and financially secure environment for their children. For help with child support and any other family law matter, contact the Rolling Meadows, IL child support lawyer with The Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. Call 847.873.6741 for a free consultation.

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