When it comes to divorce, people tend to have a lot of questions—and rightfully so, as it is an extremely important decision that most people do not take lightly. While the emotional aspects of divorce can be difficult to handle, it is important not to lose track of the financial components often involved in the divorce process.
One important consideration for couples that have children is child support. Child support is a key component of meeting a child’s needs. It can also have a significant impact on a family’s finances, both for the parent receiving payments and the parent obligated to make such payments.
Understanding the basics of how child support might affect you during and after your divorce is an important first step in preparing for the challenges inherent in a divorce. A Will County child support lawyer could help you understand the importance of child support in the Illinois divorce process. To learn more or discuss the specifics of your situation, call and schedule a consultation with a family attorney today.
One of the most important steps in anticipating child support payments and understanding just how they might affect you financially is estimating what your support payment obligations might be. Recent changes to Illinois laws make child support obligations dependent on the combined net income of both parents. This is known as an income sharing approach.
This approach means that courts will look at the combined net income—or income after taxes—of both parents. 750 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/505 Section 3(B) defines net income and lists several potential deductions besides tax obligations, including other mandated child support payments that an individual may be making.
Once net income has been determined, the Illinois child support schedule assumes that 20 percent of that income would have been spent on a child if both parents remained together. An individual spouse’s financial responsibility is based on the percentage of the combined net income they provide.
For instance, if the combined net income is $100,000, then the child support obligation would be $20,000. If each parent is responsible for the same percentage of net income, then each parent is equally responsible for that $20,000. This means the individual required to make child support payments will need to make payments that total $10,000 annually. For how this may pertain to specifically to your case consult with a Will County child support lawyer.
Understandably, courts take child support issues very seriously. Unexpected circumstances such as the involuntary loss of a job may be grounds for a spouse to seek a modification of their child support obligation. However, voluntarily lowering income by quitting a job will not lower monthly obligations, as it is sometimes possible to impute earning potential into the net income formula.
Likewise, hiding assets used to determine personal net income can result in severe consequences like wage garnishment or even seizure of assets. These are also tools and services available to assist in collecting delinquent child support payments, which can be undertaken years after a spouse takes on a support obligation.
There are many important considerations when it comes to child support. While the state follows a specific formula in many cases, there are certainly exceptions and special circumstances to consider as well. Working with a Will County child support lawyer may help you understand what factors determine child support payments, as well as what those payments might mean for you.
If you have questions about child support and other financial considerations related to your divorce, call today to see how a Will County child support attorney could help you navigate the divorce process more confidently and productively.