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New child support guidelines for 2017

Child support guidelines for figuring how much will be paid are changing this year in Illinois. According to the Illinois State Bar Association, the new support guidelines will go into effect on July 1, 2017. These changes will overhaul how child support payments are calculated to now include both parents income and parenting time.

Prior to the changes, support was figured based on only the income of the parent who would be paying. The new guidelines are referred to as an income shares model, which means it will base support on the average amount of income a two-parent family in the state would spend on raising a child. Also, considered is how much time the child spends with each parent and the total number of children in the family.

Parental income earning potential is also used to figure support amounts. This is based on the poverty guidelines and assumes parents have the potential to make at least 75 percent of the poverty guidelines for a single person. So even if a parent is not working, he or she will be assumed to earn at least this much. If a parent does not earn this much, then they will be assumed to have the potential to earn at least this much. The bottom line here is that the new guidelines may not base calculations off the exact earnings of each parent if they are not earning as much as the poverty guidelines suggest.

There are concerns about the changes in the law, specifically when it comes to factoring in parenting time. According to WSIL TV, some are concerned that parents will be entering more custody disputes over parenting time in order to reach the set threshold for lowering support payments. In general, if a parent spends more time with a child, he or she will pay less support.

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