Illinois Income Shares

Income Shares in Illinois

Effective July 1, 2017 there was a major change in the way child support obligations are calculated in Illinois. Illinois has joined the majority of states in using an “Income Shares” approached to determining child support.

The most basic premise of this new arrangement is that each parent should contribute towards the support of their child or children in a proportion that reflects each parties proportional share the total available to support. The new statute also considers the total time each parent spends with the child or children, (once a threshold of 40% or 146 days per years has been reached), the costs of medical insurance and expenses, day care expenses and “extra curricular” school expenses. The new statute also changes the definition of “net income” in such a way as to hopefully eliminate future disagreements as to the proper basis for determining support.

Needless to say, all of this adds many more variables to determining support. Where, in the past we need only two bits of data (payers net income and number of children) now we need between 10 and 20 “data points.”

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family services was posted a very helpful web based calculator to ESTIMATE support under the new guidelines. Please follow this link to access that calculator. As DHF notes, there are many factors that can result in this estimate not being accurate, but this is the best and easiest to use tool presently available.

More information, including the technical data used to determine the “shares” and frequently asked questions may be found at The Department of Healthcare and Human Services website. 

The text of the new statute can be found at the General Assembly’s web site.  (note, this includes both the old and the new statute. The new statute is the 2nd Section 505)