Following the lead of other states, Illinois is implementing major changes to the way child support gets calculated. The changes are meant to make the way the state calculates child support similar to those other states and to result in fair child support payments.
According to the new changes, in order to calculate child support, the incomes of both parents will be considered, as well as the amount of time each parent spends with their children. The changes also eliminate the use of hard percentages to determine how much one parent should pay the other, a formula the state has used for years. The changes might result in lower payment amounts, some lawyers warn, but these amounts should be fair. For parents who earn similar salaries, shared parenting time might be a particular significant variable that can affect the amount of payment.
Lawyers also warn that the negotiations between parents could become more complicated, particularly when the issue of parenting time is on the table. The perception that more time spent with the kids might lead to lower payments might drive some parents to focus on reaching a threshold of 146 days only to lower the payments, losing sight of the best interests of the child. The results could be longer custody battles. The belief is that it might take a little time for residents to adapt to the new rules, and that at the beginning of the implementation, things might be messy. However, the changes have been received in a positive light overall.
Parents who are going through a divorce and negotiating child support and custody might find these changes to the rules unfamiliar. They might choose to consult lawyers who can explain the changes to the law and the implications for their particular case and assist them in negotiating for a fair amount.