INCOME SHARES MODEL

INCOME SHARES MODEL

ILLINOIS IMPLEMENTS INCOME SHARES MODEL ON JULY 1, 2017
Income Shares Model Effective in Illinois on July 1st, 2017 As of July 1st, Illinois has experienced a significant change by implementing the income shares model for determining child support. The methodology, used by 39 other states, ensures a child receives the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have gotten if the parents had not divorced or separated. 

While this new model has gone into effect, parties are given the opportunity to apply an alternative formula as long as the court finds it to be reasonable. Prior to the income shares model, Illinois utilized the percentage guideline formula requiring the payor to pay a percentage of their net income regardless of the actual child rearing costs, which was often viewed as inaccurate or inequitable.

The new rules give some much-needed clarity around defining gross, net and business income and the usage of “standardized tax,” versus “individualized tax” in calculating a parent’s ability and obligation to pay child support. These new guidelines are not designed to be “one size fits all,” and the Court has the authority to deviate from them. Factors the Court may consider include, among others:

• The child’s best interest and physical needs,
• Additional expenses incurred for a child,
• Income in excess of the table created by DHFS, and/or
• Each party’s respective parenting time with the child, with adjustments made only when a parent has the child for 146 or more overnights per year.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (“DHFS”) created atableto define the appropriate proportions of parental income under these new guidelines setting the combined support amount based upon the number of children (up to six) and net income.

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