Illinois made numerous changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) at the beginning of 2016. Now, with barely any time for families to adjust, lawmakers have made additional changes to a specific family court matter. This time around, it is a change to how child support is configured. Perhaps these alterations are meant to complement the numerous child-related changes made back in 2016, but what they may do is confuse families and create a potentially sticky situation for the children themselves.
An Overview of the Coming Changes
Set to take effect on July 1, 2017, the new law abolishes the way that child support used to be configured. Instead of being calculated on hard percentages for the number of shared children, the model will now require that both parents submit income information. This data, along with the amount of time that each parent spends with the child, will now be used to configure each parent’s financial contribution to the child’s upbringing.
Potential Benefits but More Complex
On the one hand, child support contributions that are based on the new income and shared parenting time model could benefit families – particularly if both parents share nearly equal parenting time. On the other hand, this new model stands to complicate what used to be a fairly straightforward process. Shared parenting time adds yet another variable to the configuration process, possibly making it more confusing. Of course, complexity is not the real issue here; instead, it is how the new changes may ultimately impact some children.
The Downside of the New Model
Although the new model may lead to more support for some receiving parents, or a more manageable child support obligation for some paying parents, the real concern here is how the new model may impact children. In some cases, the change may be negligible, but in those with similar earning parents with nearly equal parenting time, the child support amount may be low or nearly non-existent. In some situations, this could impact the child’s living conditions. Another major concern is whether some parents may fight for the 146-day threshold to reduce their child support obligation instead of focusing on the well-being of their child.
Contact Our Experienced Wheaton Child Support Attorney
As the changes begin to take hold, parents will need experienced assistance navigating the increasingly complex child support configuration process. Committed to your child’s best interests, Abear Law Offices can help. Schedule a personalized consultation with our experienced Wheaton child support lawyer to get started. Call 630-904-3033 today.