Illinois Bar Journal

The Magazine of Illinois Lawyers

June 2017Volume 105Number 6Page 24

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Family Law

From the Discussions - Does the new child support statute apply to pending cases?

Q. Does the income shares child support calculation method that takes effect July 1 apply to cases in the pipeline?

From the ISBA family law discussion group

Q. Stephanie Tang, Chicago. I have a motion to modify child support that is set for hearing in May. Opposing counsel just motioned up a motion to continue based on the impending passing of the income shares statute, stating the court should not rule on my motion based on the fact that on July 1 the income shares statute will become effective and change the amount of support their client would be obligated to pay.

Does anyone have any additional insight they can offer on this issue? I asked around and at least two family law attorneys I spoke to were under the impression that courts will still apply the current percentage-of-income model to any cases pending prior to July 1.

ISBA lawyers respond

Nancy Chausow Shafer, Highland Park. I would politely suggest to OC that the court has to apply the law as it is. The fact that the law may or is changing in the future is not a valid reason for a continuance under any Supreme Court or local Rule that I know. In fact, the statute specifically says the change in the law is not a substantial change of circumstance for purpose of a modification of support. Unfortunate timing for OC's client, but too bad.

The new support guidelines will apply to any pending and undecided cases as of July 1.

Susan McGrath, Champaign. The only other insight I can offer is that the statute specifically says that the change in the law does not constitute an automatic basis for modification. (For more on income shares, see p. 12.)