There are currently 38 states that calculate child support using the “income shares” formula. Nine states in the U.S. do not use the income shares formula—Illinois being one of them. Instead, Illinois uses a formula called “percentage of obligatory net income.” Since the 1980’s, the obligatory net income formula has calculated income based on the following factors:
- The number of children subject to the pending action
- Income of the non-custodial parent
- Cost of family health insurance paid by the non-custodial parent
- Amount of child support paid by the non-custodial parent for children from any previous marriage
- Amount of alimony paid by the non-custodial parent to a spouse from any previous marriage
If you’re curious to see a rough estimate of what your child support payments will be based on these factors, there is a free calculator at AllLaw.com. Remember, each support case is different and the calculator does not constitute legal advice.
Does My Child Support Order Qualify for Change?
Child support orders are either judicial or administrative based on the situation during which the order was put into place. Both types of orders qualify for a modification review by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) if one of the following has occurred:
- At least three years have passed since an order or past modification review was enacted
- If the non-custodial parent’s income has changed substantially
- If the current order does not address the healthcare coverage of the child/children
Who Can Request a Modification Review?
The following people may request a modification review:
- Non-custodial parent
- Custodial parent or caretaker
- Healthcare and Family Services
- Another state’s child support agency
How Can I Request a Change?
For DCSS to review either your judicial or administrative child support order, the custodial parent or non-custodial parent must either call in a request for a modification review or write a written request and send it to the appropriate address.
What Happens After I Request a Change?
When DCSS has received the written request, both parents are sent a notice informing them if the order qualifies for a modification review. You can expect a reply to your request usually within 30 days after DCSS has received it.
If your child support order qualifies for a modification review, the notice will request both parents to send in copies of income information. The information will be used to recalculate the amount appropriate for child support payments.
Child support payments may remain the same, increase, or decrease based on recalculation. You have 30 days from the date of the notice to file a disagreement. If you disagree with the adjustment or lack thereof, you can do one of the following:
- Request a second recalculation from DCSS
- Set a court date to contest the amount decided upon the review (if you have a judicial order)
- Request an Administrative Hearing (if you have an administrative order)
If you agree with the modification review or your disagreement of it has caused the state to change the order as you had wanted, the new order will remain the same until another modification review is requested.
For more information, you can go to ChildSupportIllinois.com.
Many people in the state of Illinois are pushing for the more “fair” formula, known as income shares. The formula used by 38 other states is said to take into account the modern family, such as how much time each parent spends with a child. If the change takes place, you may request a modification review. It’s expected that the new formula won’t change much for many families, but for some, it may change just enough. Keep an eye out for formula changes in the state laws.
DCSS staff cannot provide legal advice.
If you need legal advice regarding child support and
how to change your order, please contact Sherer Law Offices.