An upheaval in Illinois child support law

This past summer, our state legislature overhauled the way child support works. Whether you are getting a divorce now, or you divorced some time ago, these changes may affect you.

Historically, Illinois courts have named one parent the custodial parent and required the non-custodial parent to pay child support. This formula applied even when the non-custodial parent was deeply involved in parenting. The non-custodial parent paid child support based on his or her income.

Updating an unfair system

The reason the law was changed is that this formula struck many as unfair. If both parents were involved in child-rearing - say, a 60/40 percent sharing arrangement -- why was one parent socked with child support?

The old law was rooted in the supposition that men did all the work and moms stayed home with the kids.

The new law takes into consideration both the amount of parenting time each parent does, plus the income of each parent.

The new law may require revisions

Because this new way of calculating support is more complicated, taking parenting time and income of both parents into consideration, the math can be confusing. There are numerous scenarios in which parents have different levels of parental involvement and different levels of income.

Critics of the law believe that the new law fails to take into account all the possible scenarios combining the degree of parenting plus income. Many think that these are wrinkles that will have to be ironed out over time.

In the meantime, parents who know that the facts their original child support rulings were based on have changed. Many people are wondering if they can seek modifications that will make more sense.

The answer is, they can. Our firm has been successful in obtaining these kinds of modifications for clients, saving them a significant amount of money. We would be happy to analyze your situation, and what modifications make the most sense for you under this new and sometimes confusing law.

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