Are Your Child Support Payments Fair?

child supportBy Tara Brewer

Special to

Child support ensures the child’s needs are met. Its goal is to maintain a child’s standard of living as if the marriage or relationship were still intact.

However, many fathers have argued that the payments are unfair, leaving them very little to survive on their own.

A Chicago Tribune article reveals that Illinois residents may soon have an upcoming remedy for this problem as state officials are pushing for a change in how child support is calculated.

The new child support formula is known as the “income shares” formula. This formula considers each parent’s income and assigns a percentage of total cost depending on each parent’s earnings. Currently, 38 other states have adopted the new child support formula.

The current child support formula doesn’t reflect the realities of many modern families. Many states use the “percentage of income” formula.

This formula calculates child support by taking a flat percentage of the parent’s net income, based on the number of children being supported. It accounts for both parents having the same income and recognizes when a child splits time between parents.

How Much Should You Be Paying?

Child Support Calculators

According to the article “Breaking Down Child Support,” courts have little discretion in setting the amount of child support to be paid. If your salary significantly changes annually, the judge may ask for your last three years of tax returns. The judge, then, averages them to find a gross income. However, if the party is unemployed, the judge can adjust the gross income to be that of minimum wage.

Child support can possibly be modified when there are substantial and continuing change in circumstances, such as:

* You experience a substantial change in income;

* Your child begins attending school full-time, thus eliminating the need for daycare expenses;

* Your child goes off to college, depending on your state’s child support emancipation laws. (Read “Age Of Emancipation In Your State“)

If you do not reside in a state that utilizes the “percentage of income” formula and you would like to inquire about a child support modification, please contact a Cordell & Cordell office to discuss your rights.

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9 comments on “Are Your Child Support Payments Fair?

    My ex has two teens we divorced. She got the house and a free chec from me until they are 18 it’s half and ends I can’t wait!!!

    I make 3766 net for ok Timejob
    Ex makes 2490 net full time job plus has hidden side income.

    She gets 801 in child support from my net income for 2 teen kids. So she makes more than I do with this tax free money.

    I suppirted her as an at home mom for a dozen years one income payed her school loan for 8 years at 270 and more!! I’m still stuck paying for 62 more months I can’t wait for it to be over with.

    I learned don’t live with anyone but yourself don’t get married and don’t have kids it’s not worth what you end up losing in the long run.

    In the short time I have been divorced living on 63% of my net income I bought a car in cash 15k , furnished a new home in cash. Saving for a down on a home in 2 years even with 27% of my net to child support. Issue is my ex wife with an accounting background dues not know how to budget. She over spends on luxury even putting it on credit cards plus she took cash out all the time to find the secret account that she thought I did not know about.

    Nite divorce was in Alabama us contested with attorney. My ex felt being supported was expected with nothing in return. Now she can work and only enjoy 27% of it.

    I will never remarry and it would take slot to consider letting someone move in with me.

    is it true?
    I have a friend who is paying an exorbitant amount of money in child support. He makes a substantial living, but so does the ex. He, in addition, is paying the daycare costs. Isn’t that what the child support is for? Why is he forced to pay that in full each month when he is already outing child support. This poor guy is living off of ramen noodle soup. Now, when he doesn’t pick up the kids for his weekends, she sends nastygrams. How can he keep those two kids with him if he can’t feed himself? He has recently run up credit cards just to get the essentials. I really feel like he is getting rooked!

    It needs to take account of other factors
    Child support formualae in whatever form need to take into account other factors in my view such as number of nights spent with the other parent and a discount should be applied. This happens in England and Wales. The only problem with this is it can affect the amount of time one parent gets with the kids, as the other parent may take the monetary factors into account.

    Not Fair
    Yes this happen to me too, I’m out of money due to child support. Now they want to take my drivers license, car, home, etc. I’m paying over 62% child support. 20% in taxes left with less than 15% to live off of. If you do the math with bills, rent, gas prices, car insurance, it’s not even that it’s about a negative -$500 which puts you in an arrearage.

    It’s not fair.. I have been forced to file bankruptcy, move in w/my parents and rely on food pantries since my divorce in 2008. I was unlucky enough to have my divorce final prior to the economic collapse. Since then my income has gone down, my health insurance has gone up and the -ex seems to be rolling in cash.

    This is such an interesting article, and I hope Illinois will adjust sooner, rather than later. The flat rate is a ridiculous assumption. I do hope that the General Assembly takes into account other considerations as well, such as when Downward Deviation would occur. Also, would those of us already paying support be eligible for modification under new laws?

    A Sensible Decision
    We already have such a system in the UK and it makes sense.

    Following a divorce or separation, the amount of maintenance that the non-resident parent needs to pay is calculated in accordance with their income.

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