Changes to Illinois’ Child Support statute are imminent. On June 27, 2016, House Bill 3982 was sent to Governor Rauner for his approval, and on August 12, he signed it. It is currently scheduled to become effective July 1, 2017. Among the changes in HB 3982 is the revision of the guideline support calculation method. Currently, child support in Illinois is calculated based on a percentage of the payor’s net income and number of kids to the parties (20% for one child, 28% for two, 32% for three, etc.). It is a statutory remnant from the days when the “typical” family consisted of one breadwinner, rather than two working parents. HB 3982 abolishes these guidelines and adopts a method that many other states are already using: the income share approach (previously discussed on this blog here).
Under the new approach, child support will be calculated based on the parents’ combined adjusted net income estimated to have been used for child-related expenses if both parents and child(ren) were living together. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (“HFS”) will publish worksheets to aid in calculating the amount of support, as well as a table that reflects the percentage of combined net income that parents living in the same household in Illinois ordinarily spend on their children. As of the writing of this blog, those tables have not been published. However, examples of the tables and worksheets previously proposed by HFS can be found here. They will not be part of the statute, but will be updated periodically and available on the HFS website.