Many couples across the country have either started divorce proceedings or are on their way there. This is a difficult process that can have far-reaching consequences not only for the divorcing adults but also for the children. Custody battles between parents don't make the process any easier. This has led to states across the country, including Illinois, to start making changes to their divorce laws.
Child support payments
Part of the changes, signed into law by Governor Rauner in August of 2016, involve how courts in Illinois calculate child support. It states that child support obtained from the non-custodial parent will be acquired as minimum percentage of the parent's net income. Economic tables developed by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family services act as a reference point to measure the amount of money to be allocated to childcare based on the income of both parents.
Each parent is allowed a cumulative number of 146 overnights in a year to stay with a child. In addition, the number of hours each parent spends with a child is also used to determine how much child support the non-custodial parent will pay. When a non-custodial parent is spending plenty of time with the child beyond the 146 days, this will cause the amount of child support he/she has to pay to reduce greatly.
The best interests of a child
The Illinois courts will only work in the best interests of the child. When the guidelines meant to protect the child seem to clash with the best interests of the child, then the best interests of the child will prevail. These interests are determined by the financial requirements of the child's basic needs, the educational needs of the child, the kind of lifestyle the child would have led had the parents remained together as well as the psychological and physical needs of the child. The court would have the discretion to weigh financial obligations accordingly.
The laws around child custody and support can be confusing, particularly when you're under the emotional strain that a divorce can cause. If you have children and are getting a divorce, it's important to seek the help of a qualified family law attorney who can answer your questions and protect your rights and the rights of your children as you move through the process.