- Both parents should share in the financial support of their children. The responsibility should be divided in proportion to their available income.
- The subsistence needs of each parent should be considered, but in virtually no case should the obligation be set to zero.
- Child support must cover a child’s basic needs as a first priority, but, to the extent either parent enjoys a higher standard of living, the child is also entitled to share in that higher standard of living.
- Each child of a given parent has a right to a share of parent’s income.
- The guidelines should not treat children of separated, divorced, and never-married parents differently.
- The guidelines should not assume whether the mother or father is the custodial parent.
- The guidelines should not create economic disincentives to remarry or work.
- The guidelines should consider the involvement of both parents in the child’s upbringing. It should take into consideration the financial support provided by parents in shared physical custody or extended visitation arrangements. Yet, this does not necessarily obviate the child support obligation in 50/50% time-sharing arrangements.
*Taken from the National Center for State Courts (1987), Development of Guidelines for Child Support Orders, Final Report. Report to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Williamsburg, VA.