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How joint custody impacts child support

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Child Custody, Child Support |

Choosing joint custody for raising your children in Illinois following a divorce can impact the amount of child support that one parent may receive or is responsible for paying. Before you choose a custody status, it’s essential fr divorcing couple to understand how status impacts your divorce agreement.

Child Support Standards Act Statute sets a formula

The 2008 Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) is a set of laws that act as a formula for determining child support obligations. However, the act does not specify how much a parent will owe or receive regarding child support. Instead, it directs each state to specify child support according to its own rules. Illinois uses the Income Shares Model, which assigns a percentage of responsibility to each parent based on their income and physical custody allocation. Often, when physical custody is shared equally, the state will take a designated child support obligation and split it in half, as one parent will still owe some money to maintain the child’s home life with the other parent. Factors determining payments include each parent’s ability to maintain separate housing for the child and possible extraordinary expenses such as additional childcare or travel costs.

Support costs can change

When negotiating your divorce agreement, both spouses should recognize that child support costs are not set in stone and can change. Changes like extracurricular activities and medical treatment can require substantially more money and necessitate a change in the support agreement.

The more amicable your relationship is with your ex, the easier your initial support agreement and any subsequent changes will be. Child support is about the child, not either parent. Fair child support aims to maintain the same level of support for any children as if the parents were still married and living in the same household.