What Is the New Law on Child Support in Illinois?

What Is the New Law on Child Support in Illinois?

Child support laws aim to ensure that both parents contribute financially to the upbringing of their children, regardless of their relationship status. Recently, Illinois introduced a new law regarding child support that aims to provide greater clarity and fairness in determining financial obligations. Here is an overview of the new law and answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to child support in Illinois.

The new law, effective July 1, 2017, is known as the Income Shares model and replaces the previous Percentage of Income model. The Income Shares model calculates child support based on the combined net income of both parents and the number of children they have. This model recognizes that both parents have a financial responsibility towards their children, irrespective of custody arrangements.

FAQs on the New Child Support Law in Illinois:

1. How is child support calculated under the Income Shares model?
Child support is determined by considering the combined net income of both parents and referring to the Illinois Schedule of Basic Child Support Obligations, which outlines the appropriate support amount based on income and number of children.

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2. Will my previous child support order automatically change?
The new law generally applies to new child support cases or modifications to existing orders. If you wish to modify your existing child support order, you can petition the court for a modification.

3. Can child support be modified under the new law?
Yes, child support can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant increase or decrease in income, changes in parenting time, or changes in the child’s needs.

4. How does the new law handle shared parenting time?
The new law recognizes that both parents have parenting time and calculates child support accordingly. However, if parenting time is shared equally, additional factors may be considered in determining child support.

5. Will the new law affect my ability to receive or pay child support?
The new law aims to provide a fair and balanced approach to child support calculations. If you already receive or pay child support, the new law will ensure a more accurate determination of each parent’s financial responsibility.

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6. Can child support be terminated if my child turns 18?
Child support typically terminates when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, there are exceptions such as if the child has special needs or is still in high school.

7. What happens if I fail to pay child support?
Failure to pay child support can result in various consequences, including wage garnishment, suspension of driver’s license, interception of tax refunds, and even potential jail time. It is important to meet your financial obligations to avoid legal complications.

8. Can child support be enforced across state lines?
Yes, child support orders can be enforced across state lines through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which ensures cooperation between states in enforcing child support orders.

9. How can I seek assistance to establish or modify child support?
To establish or modify child support, you can seek assistance from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services’ Division of Child Support Services or consult an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process.

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In conclusion, the new child support law in Illinois brings greater clarity and fairness to the determination of financial obligations. It aims to ensure that both parents contribute their fair share towards the upbringing of their children, regardless of the custody arrangement. If you have any further questions or need assistance, it is advisable to consult a legal professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances.