A method of determining income for the purpose of paying either child support or maintenance referenced by the judge in our several pretrial conferences is income averaging. There is a significant body of Illinois case law which looks favorably upon averaging income in appropriate cases. While most of the income averaging cases were decided before the legislature changed the child support statute to allow a base plus a percentage, there are many cases where a base plus a percentage simply is not workable. And given the 2015 maintenance statutory amendments, the case law for support regarding income averaging is far more critical than ever. This is because income for maintenance is defined the same for child support.
The Gitlin Law Firm in this article reviews the important income averaging cases regarding both child support and maintenance. Understanding the case law in this regard is even more important because of for child support purposes we include both the payor’s and the recipient’s income. Accordingly, no longer is it nearly as easy to simply order the obligor to pay the guideline percentage of any bonuses or similar type income.