Using Net Income to Calculate Child Support and Maintenance

Family Law Blog

Using Net Income to Calculate Child Support and Maintenance

December 17, 2019 | Child Support, Divorce, Maintenance (Alimony)

Using Net Income to Calculate Child Support and Maintenance

Gross income is the total amount of income before any deductions. Net income is the amount left over after the deductions. Child support and maintenance are calculated by the using net income of each spouse. This distinction is critical because child support and maintenance are going to be much lower using net income figures instead of gross income.  

It makes sense to use net income for maintenance and child support. Net income more closely represents available cash. Family financial decisions are usually based on net income. Maintenance and child support are intended to maintain the lifestyle after the divorce. Lifestyle is usually determined by available cash (i.e. net income).

Gross income still has a place in Illinois divorce law, however. First, for any maintenance award entered prior to January 1, 2019, maintenance is determined by the gross income of each spouse. This is due to the change in federal tax laws as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act(TCJA). Additionally, maintenance guidelines apply when the combined gross income of the parties is below $500,000.00.

The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law for nearly 50 years in DuPage and Cook County.  Please contact one of our attorneys at (630)573-8585 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free consultation.



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