In family law, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. Payment is made by an obligor, often the non-custodial parent, to an obligee, typically the custodial parent, a caregiver, a guardian, or the state.
Child support is often arranged as a result of a divorce, material separation, annulment, determination of parentage, or a dissolution of a civil union.
Child support laws vary between jurisdictions. Typically, one has the same obligation to pay the support irrespective of sex, so a mother is required to pay the father just as a father must pay the mother. In some jurisdictions where there is joint custody, the child is considered to have two custodial parents and no non-custodial parent. This might result in the parent with a higher income being required to pay the other custodial parent.
The 1992 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a being connection that was signed by every UN member state and formally ratified by all members except for the U.S. This convention declares that the upbringing and development of children and providing them a standard of living that is adequate for their development is a human the responsibility of both parents.
In the United States, the Office of Child Support Enforcement is responsible for the federal child support enforcement program. Federal regulations, in accordance with Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, require the uniform application of child support guidelines throughout a state, but each state may determine its own method of calculating support. Code of Federal Regulations Title 45 302.56 requires each state to establish and publish a guideline and review the guideline every four years. Most states have adopted their own “Child Support Guidelines Worksheet” that determines the standard calculation of child support in that state.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, child support guidelines in each state follow one of three models: the income share model, the percentage of income model, and the Melson Formula.
The income shares model combines both parents’ income, determines the basic child support, \ adds expenses, and then an obligation is prorated between the parents based on their percentage of the combined income. Forty states use the income share model
The percentage of income model determines the non-custodial parent’s income, determines the percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income that will be applied, applies the percentage to the income, and finalizes the obligation by making adjustments for add-ons and deductions. Seven states use the percentage income model, four of which use the flat percentage model.
The Melson Formula is a more complicated version of the Income Shares model, which incorporates public policy judgments to unsure each parent’s basic needs are met in addition to the children. Only Delaware, Hawaii, and Montana use the Melson Formula.
The District of Columbia uses a hybrid model that starts as a varying percentage of income model and is then reduced by a formula based on the custodial parent’s income.
Avg. Amount Received
Avg. Annual Income Of Parent Receiving Support
% of Personal Income From Child Support
|District of Columbia||$7,097||$82,650||8.6%|