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Child Support Guidelines

New Child Support Guidelines - 2010

Guidelines are based on the assumption that a child’s reasonable needs increase as the combined net income of the child’s parents increases. Deviations allowed for special needs and special circumstances cannot go below $867/month. This is the self-support reserve to assure low income obligators retain sufficient income to meet their own basic needs.

The Guideline amounts are based upon the concept that the child of separated, divorced, or never married parents should receive the same proportion of parental income that he or she would receive if parents lived together.

The new Guidelines account for shared custody. Shared means that the child is spending more than 30% of his time with the other parent.

Child care expenses are still to be apportioned between the parties. Even the non-custodial parent may have need for child care.

The provision for spousal support and APL has been amended to require the court to consider the duration of the marriage in determining the duration of the award.

Voluntary reduction of one’s income if quit a job or was fired or went to school will not affect the support obligation.

Income reduction will lead to adjustments in support obligations unless the trier of fact finds that such a reduction in income was willfully undertaken in an attempt to avoid or reduce one’s support obligations.

Deviations in support - child or spousal - are based on:

  • Unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations
  • Other support obligations of the parties
  • Other income in the household
  • Ages of the children
  • The relative assets and liabilities of the parties
  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Standard of living of parties and children
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Number of children

When an obligator has more than one order for child or spousal support with APL, the priority of distribution is:

  • Current child support
  • Medical, child care, or other court-ordered support related expenses
  • Child support arrears
  • Current spousal support or APL
  • Spousal support or APL arrears
  • Court costs and fees

There is a duty on the payor to inform the Domestic Relations of any change in address, employment, and/or address of the child receiving support.

When Determining Support:

  • All income is examined – pay stubs are reviewed for non-voluntary retirement plans and union
    dues. Also, federal tax returns are reviewed to check if a person received an earned income
    credit.
  • Credit will be given for the party providing health insurance.
  • Child care expenses will be split in proportion to the net incomes of the parties.
  • The first $250/year per person of an unreimbursed medical expense is assessed per calendar
    year and assumed by the custodial parent.
  • SSI is never income for support purposes. SSD benefits received are income.
  • Self-employed individual’s tax returns will be scrutinized very closely to be certain that only
    actual business expenses are deducted from income.
  • Support orders may be increased for such items as private school tuition or excessive mortgage
    obligation.

 

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