What constitutes income for child support purposes?
Although child support in Illinois is determined by a set formula, even under the recently revised guidelines, how much a parent should pay can still be a controversial family law question. After all, Springfield couples can argue quite a bit about what raw numbers should go in to the Illinois’ child support formula, especially when it comes to deciding how much income each parent makes.
In Illinois, a parent’s income includes every dollar that the parent makes, even if the income is not taxable under either federal or Illinois law. This means that all income should be included in child support calculations, even if that income can later be offset by expenses.
Calculating income can be easy enough when a parent supports himself or herself through a steady paycheck. In this case, figuring income is largely a matter of averaging the amounts reflected on a persons’ paystub. Of course, there can be some issues even in cases like these, such is whether occasional and unreliable overtime payments really should get included in a child support calculation.
Where an income calculation can really get tricky, however, is when a parent operates his or her own business or has irregular compensation for whatever reason. In addition to trying to average out the correct monthly amount, a court is going to have to distinguish between what appears on one’s tax return and what a person actually makes. Even for perfectly legal reasons, the two numbers can be very different.
No Springfield parent should assume that calculating child support is easy just because there is a formula. In fact, many child support questions are best resolved with the help of an experienced family law attorney in the Springfield area.