Did you know that the average cost of raising a child from infancy to adulthood is over a quarter-million dollars? Between housing, groceries, extracurricular activities, and tuition, kids are expensive. Child support payments help cover child-related costs when parents are unmarried or divorced. In Illinois, child support is calculated using a statutory formula. But what happens when a parent has children from multiple relationships? Will he or she pay child support to both of his or her exes? What if the child support payments become too expensive to afford?
The parent with the majority of the parenting time, formerly called the primary custodian, is the recipient of child support. The parent with less parenting time is the payer. The amount of money a parent pays in child support is calculated using the Income Shares Formula. This formula takes both parents’ net incomes into account. The parents’ net incomes are combined, and this total is compared to the Income Shares Schedule to determine the total amount of financial support the child will need from both parents. This figure is then divided between the parents based on their share of the combined net income. For example, if a father’s net income is 60 percent of the combined net income, he pays 60 percent. The mother would be responsible for the other 40 percent.
Many parents researching child support ask, “What counts as net income?” Fortunately, Illinois legislators understand that many parents have children with more than one person. For example, a mother may have children with an ex-husband and an ex-boyfriend. For the purposes of calculating child support, net income excludes any child support or spousal maintenance obligations from a previous relationship. Any secondary or subsequent child support orders will be calculated using the parent’s income after any other child support obligations are taken out.
Illinois child support laws account for parents with multiple child support obligations. However, child support payments can still represent a considerable expense. If you are having trouble meeting your child support obligation, contact a family law attorney for help. You may be able to petition the court for a reduced payment amount.
The knowledgeable Naperville family law attorneys at J. Aldrich Law, P.C. represent both payers and recipients of child support. We can help you establish child support, petition the court for a child support modification, and much more. Call us at 630-953-3000 today for a free consultation.