JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW OF SULLIVAN TAYLOR & GUMINA, P.C.
WILL YOUR CHILD SUPPORT CHANGE?
Illinois’ New Alimony Laws
As kids go back to school, parents may experience several changes. Schedules may change, transportation responsibilities may change, and even the day-to-day dynamics of your family may change. Frequently, people who are on the fence about divorce make a decision this time of year as the kids go off to school. Some of these people want to file, and they know it’s the best thing for their family and children. But they also know that, by doing so, they’re going to
But that all changed this summer with the new way that Illinois calculates child support. I’m not a huge fan of how the legislature got this done, but I do think it’s going to be better and fairer for many people. Under the new system, which began on July 1, instead of a percentage that increases with each child, the court will combine each party’s income and use that number to calculate the amount a noncustodial parent must pay for child support. Before, the income
risk paying a large amount of their income every month to someone who may or may not use it for the kids. Unfortunately, in Illinois, the parent with primary custody hasn’t always been held accountable for their actions.
of the custodial parent didn’t matter, and that meant that you could have someone barely scraping by and still paying significant child support to a custodial parent with a better job and more stable income. In most cases, the new law will result in people’s child support obligation being reduced, and if the payer has more than one child, it could mean a significantly smaller child support obligation than under the old system. I think it’s a change that’s long overdue. If you’re someone who’s been thinking about getting divorced and who might have to pay child support, it’s a much better time to do so than it was just a few months ago.
IF YOU’RE SOMEONE WHO’S BEEN THINKING ABOUT GETTING DIVORCED AND WHO MIGHT HAVE TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT, IT’S A MUCH BETTER TIME TO DO SO THAN IT WAS JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO.
If you’re someone who’s already paying child support, however, don’t get too excited. The new way of doing things will not affect you unless your child support needs to be recalculated for another reason, like a raise, job loss, or another big life change. The law was written so that the change in the statute by itself is not enough to trigger a recalculation of any existing child support agreements. This is bad news for a lot of people hoping to get some relief from a large child support obligation. If this is your situation, give us a call and let us help you out. As always, you have options. -Joseph Emmerth
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