One of the hardest things to overcome in a divorce is the feeling that one parent “wins” and the other “loses” when it comes to child custody and child support provisions, particularly when one parent receives sole custody with the other only being granted limited visitation. In the past, parents who were not granted custody but still required to pay a substantial amount in child support every month would often be extremely unhappy with the results of their divorce.
However, Illinois has taken a dramatic step to change that and eliminate “winners” and “losers” entirely. The law, which went into effect on July 1st, changes how the varying factors that are used in determining child support are weighed. Under the new law, a non-custodial parent who spends more time with their kids will have to pay less in child support than a parent in a similar situation but spends less time than their children. The intent is to motivate both parents to stay involved in the lives of their children and give those parents who do not have full-time custody a financial break if they continue to be actively involved in their child’s lives.
New Law Drawbacks
However, these laws are not being universally praised. IN an interview with the Alton Daily News, divorce attorney Andrew Vaughn pointed out that the laws in this situation encourage parents to hoard visitation time and deny the non-custodial parent their rights to see their children in order to receive more money.
“There's a huge difference in child support depending on how much time you get,” he stated, adding “"It will incentivize the parent to withhold the parenting time with the child from the other parent."
The new law makes the formula immensely more complex, but leads to highly-specific results. Cole Lauterbach of the Illinois Radio Network points out in the Alton Daily News that spending one more day with a parent that makes $200,000 per year could result in $10,000 per year less in child support payments. For this reason, denying visitation may become far more common in the coming years.
Will My Divorce be Impacted?
The new law is not retroactive, so if you currently have a finalized divorce, or your divorce will be finalized during this month, then your case will remain unaffected. However, those who are considering divorce now or have begun their case but will not have it finalized by the end of July will be subject to the new law. In addition, any child support modifications implemented as of now will also fall under the new law, even if their terms were initially settled under the old law.
If you need assistance with a child support issue or any other family law matter, call the Law Offices of Gemma B. Dixon today. With more than a decade of experience helping clients through all types of legal troubles, you can trust that our Chicago family law attorney will do everything in her power to help you seek the outcome you desire while looking after the best interests of you and your family.
Call the Law offices of Gemma B. Dixon today by dialing 312.487.2407 to request a case evaluation!