Child support guidelines

The government lays out Child support guidelines. These guidelines are the minimum base to determine the child support obligations. These can be increased according to the best interest of the child.

Goals of the guidelines for child support

The goals of the guidelines for child support are as follows:
  1. Decrease the number of impoverished children with single parents
  2. he best interest of the child is considered and the support award is equitable
  3. Improve efficiency of tribunal by promoting settlements and guiding parties in establishing appropriate levels of support for awards
  4. Encourage paying parents to be in touch with their child
  5. To minimize the economic impact on child while their parents enjoy higher standards of living and see that it is shared properly
  6. Ensure minimum amount of child support for parents with low income. This also helps in the parents maintaining a bond with the child
  7. Establish regular patterns of payment and enable child enforcement agency and party receiving support to maintain contact with parent paying support
  8. Allocate parents financial child support responsibility from income where the parent is legally responsible

Child support guidelines are applied in the following cases:

  1. Divorce or separate maintenance actions of married persons living separately and who have children
  2. Paternity determinations
  3. Legal or physical custody of a child is transferred to a private or public agency or to any entity for any reason
  4. Orders of protection for domestic protection
  5. Other actions in which the provision of support for children is established by law

Income share model of child support guidelines

The income share model of child support guidelines has some general basis. It is based on the assumption that the child must not suffer because of the family disruption. The child should receive the same support at the same level that the child would receive if the family were intact. Expenditures of two household divorced, separated parents or single parents are different from a family. This is done to see that the child does not have to stay in poverty.

It is seen that as the parents income increases, the child rearing expenditures increases and vice versa. The guidelines are based on the economic studies of the child rearing costs. A child support worksheet is filled and submitted for approval of the court. If the award is different, then the reason is to be stated.

The child support guidelines may be modified only if good cause is found. The schedule of child support award is derived on the study of marginal cost of children. The economic findings in case of the families will be reviewed by the administrative office of the courts on annual basis.