The Shared Income Model for Child Support in Illinois: Everything You Need to Know

Child support is an important aspect of divorce and separation proceedings, designed to ensure that children’s financial needs are met even when parents live apart. In the State of Illinois, the child support system has evolved to embrace what it deems a more equitable approach known as the Shared Income Model. This model has generated significant interest and questions from parents navigating child support arrangements. The attorneys at Sterk Family Law have created this blog about the Shared Income Model to address frequently asked questions and provide guidance for Illinois parents.

Understanding the Shared Income Model

The Shared Income Model is a child support approach to promote fairness and shared responsibility between parents. It replaces the traditional sole custodial and non-custodial parent model with what is believed to be a balanced framework.

Income Shares: The heart of the Shared Income Model is the consideration of both parents’ incomes. It calculates child support based on the combined income of both parents, reflecting the idea that both parents share financial responsibility for their children.

Economic Tables: Illinois employs Economic Tables that outline child support obligations based on parents’ combined income and the number of children. These tables provide a clear guideline for child support calculations.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re a parent searching for clarity on child support calculations, income factors, or the impact of shared parenting arrangements, these FAQs were designed to offer valuable insights and guidance. These are the top frequently asked questions asked by clients and are designed to help you better understand the child support system in Illinois and the foundational principles that drive the Shared Income Model.

How is child support calculated in Illinois under the Shared Income Model?

Child support is calculated based on a percentage of the combined net income of both parents, as per the Economic Tables. The percentage varies depending on the number of children.

What constitutes income for child support purposes?

Income from all sources includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and various other sources. It is essential to disclose all sources of income for accurate calculations.

Do shared parenting time arrangements impact child support?

Yes, the amount of parenting time each parent has can influence child support calculations. The more time a parent spends with the child, the lower their child support obligation may be once a parent gets to 146 overnights.

Can child support orders be modified?

Yes, child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a significant change in income or parenting time.

What happens if one parent does not pay child support?

The State of Illinois has mechanisms in place to enforce child support orders, including withholding orders, driver’s license suspension, and findings of contempt.

Guidance for Parents

Whether you’re seeking advice on financial disclosures, promoting cooperation in co-parenting, or understanding relevant legal considerations, our guidance is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed for this essential aspect of parenting and family law.

  • Full Financial Disclosure: Be honest and transparent about your income and financial situation. Failure to disclose income can lead to legal complications
  • Maintain Accurate Records: Keep records of all financial transactions and child-related expenses. This can help in case of a dispute or when requesting a modification of the child support order.
  • Cooperate with the Other Parent: Co-parenting can be challenging, but cooperation is crucial for your child’s well-being. Work together to create a supportive environment.
  • Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with Illinois child support laws and consult with an attorney if you have questions or concerns about your child support order.

The Shared Income Model for child support in Illinois reflects a more equitable approach to financial responsibility, emphasizing the shared commitment of both parents to their child’s upbringing. By understanding the model, addressing common questions, and following the guidance provided, parents can navigate the child support system more effectively, ensuring the best interests of their children are met while maintaining fairness and accountability. If you have specific legal questions or concerns about child support in Illinois, contact Sterk Family Law for personalized advice.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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