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How Is Child Support Calculated if a Parent Has Multiple Families?

 Posted on February 08,2022 in Child Support

IL family lawyerIn cases where married parents get divorced or an unmarried couple with children is no longer together, child support is often necessary to ensure that the couple’s children will have the necessary financial resources. Determining how to calculate child support can sometimes be a complex process, and if either parent has children from another relationship, the parents may be unsure about how this will factor into the calculations. By understanding how Illinois law addresses these situations, parents can make sure child support orders will provide for their children’s needs while ensuring that they will be able to support themselves.

Child Support and Multi-Family Adjustments

Since 2017, Illinois has used what is known as an “income shares” method to calculate child support obligations. Under this method, the income earned by both parents is added together, and a “basic child support obligation” is determined based on their combined income and the number of children they share. The basic obligation is then divided between the parents based on each parent’s “percentage share” of their combined income. That is, if one parent earns 65 of the combined income, they will be responsible for 65 percent of the basic child support obligation. The parent who does not have primary physical custody of the couple’s children will typically pay their portion of the child support obligation to the parent who has the majority of the parenting time.

If either parent has children from a previous relationship, a “multi-family adjustment” will be made to their income prior to calculating the basic child support obligation, and the amount of child support they pay for other children will be deducted from their income. This amount may vary based on whether they have an existing child support order. If there is a current child support order in place, the multi-family adjustment will be the amount that is actually paid under this order. If there is no child support order in place, the multi-family adjustment will be the amount of child support that a person actually pays or 75 percent of what they would be required to pay if their child support obligations were calculated under the current guidelines in Illinois law. In some cases, a family court judge may choose not to perform a multi-family adjustment if they find that this would cause financial hardship for the child.

As an example of how multi-family adjustments work, consider a case where a couple who has one child is getting divorced, and the father has two other children from previous relationships, with one child living in his home and the other child living with their mother. The child support the father pays for the child that does not primarily live in his home will be deducted from his income before calculating child support during the couple’s divorce. However, an adjustment will not be performed for the child that currently lives with him, because he does not actually pay child support for that child.

Contact Our Joliet Child Support Attorneys

If you or your child’s other parent have children from more than one relationship, you will want to understand how this will affect the child support you may pay or receive. The Foray Firm can advise you on how the law will apply in your situation, and we will advocate on your behalf during your case to ensure that your children will receive the proper amount of support. Contact our Will County child support lawyers at 312-702-1293 to get legal help with your case.



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