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Should Illinois revise their child support calculations?

Should child support calculations be revised in Illinois? The state has continued to debate whether child support should be reformed or not even though the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee said that the state should change how they calculate child support.

Despite the recommendations and the fact that 38 other states have reformed their child support calculations, Illinois does not appear to be too concerned over the current calculation models even though they many say they are outdated.

The current child support calculation model requires the noncustodial parent to pay a flat percentage of income for child support every month. Opponents of the current model state that it does not consider the income of the parent who has custody of the child or how often the noncustodial parent actually sees the child.

A new calculation model has been proposed that would review both parents' income as well as look at how often each parent spends time with the child. Supporters of the proposed model say that this is a more fair way to calculate child support because both parents are responsible for taking care of their child so both of their incomes should be reviewed. Supporters also think that the new proposed model would lead to less conflict and battles in court over revising child custody and support orders.

While a new calculation model has been proposed, it is up to the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee to review and construct a bill to present to the General Assembly. The committee said that they are still reviewing child support guidelines in an effort to create a proposed bill to present before anything can change.

Many legislators in Illinois don't think a bill reforming child support will be introduced until next year, which is long time to wait for parents who are currently paying child support.

Source: The DePaulia, "Seeking child support reform in Illinois," Callie Bretthauer, Feb. 3, 2013

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