t's important for parents to understand the different child support models used in their state, as well as any additional guidelines for modifying or enforcing child support orders. Here is a more detailed breakdown of each model:
Income Shares Model: The court considers the income of both parents, as well as any child care or health care costs. The amount of child support is calculated based on the combined income of both parents, with each parent contributing their proportionate share. States that use the Income Shares Model include:
Income-based Model: In these states, child support payments are calculated based on the income of both parents, without adjustments for healthcare and child care costs. This model assumes that the custodial parent spends a higher percentage of their income on child-rearing expenses. States that use the Income-based Model include:
Percentage of Income Model: Child support payments are calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. States that use the Percentage of Income Model include:
Melson Formula: The Melson Formula calculates child support based on the income of both parents, with potential adjustments for additional expenses. This formula is unique to Connecticut.
Flat Percentage of Income Model: Child support payments are calculated based on a flat percentage of the non-custodial parent's income. The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction that uses this model.
Hybrid Model: Some states use a combination of different models to determine child support payments. For example, in Maine, the court may use the Income Shares Model for basic child support, but also use the Percentage of Income Model for additional expenses.
High-Income Model: This model is used in New Jersey and calculates child support based on the needs of the child, regardless of the income of either parent.
Minimum Wage Model: In Ohio, child support payments are calculated based on the minimum wage, with potential adjustments for additional expenses.
Scheduled Model: Wyoming calculates child support payments based on a schedule of expenses, with potential adjustments for additional expenses.
Parents should seek legal counsel or refer to their state's guidelines to determine the appropriate child support model and payment amounts. It's essential to ensure that children receive adequate financial support from both parents.