How do Illinois and Missouri determine child support payments?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2020 | Child Support |

As a mother or father, your children are likely the love of your life. The hard work you put forth day after day is to ensure their needs are taken care of before your own.

When a couple decides to divorce, it is absolute that both parents will not see their children as often. In many cases that don’t involve equally shared parenting, the parent without primary custody will see their children even less, making every moment in their presence crucial. 

Children of divorce grow accustomed to a particular lifestyle before the separation of their parents, so when calculating child support, Illinois and Missouri include both parents’ yearly incomes.

The income shares model

The Melson Formula and the percentage of income model are two formulas used by several states to calculate child support payments. Still, the income shares model is the clear-cut favorite. Forty states, including Illinois and Missouri, utilize the income shares model to determine support payments for each parent.

To calculate the payments, Missouri or Illinois officials must first determine the monthly cost of raising a child in the parent’s specific jurisdiction. The average when considering Illinois and Missouri is $1,100 per month. Once the court determines that figure, both parents’ incomes come into play. Whichever parent’s income makes up the majority of the family’s income would pay more child support each month.

  • If the father brought in 60% of the family’s annual income, he would pay $660 per month in child support (60% of $1,100)
    • The mother or other parent would pay the remaining 40% or $440 per month

The payment determinations are based solely on income — gender or child custody arrangements carry no weight when calculating child support. 

A final note to understand is that the parent who is granted primary is not as monitored as the non-custodial parent who must send a check each month. The court assumed the primary parent is abiding by the child support agreement by paying for rent, mortgage, groceries, utility bills and other necessities for the child.