- In order to get a presumptive child support amount in similar cases based on specific criteria like income, a model is required.
- While the 1984-1987 Guidelines Project approved Income Shares and Melson, there was no federal requirement that states use either one of them.
- Today, three models are used by states: Income Shares (39 states), Percent-of-Obligator Income (9 states), and Melson (3 states). Each one represents different policy decisions made by states. (See Guidelines Models State-by-State List).
- Both Income Shares and Percent-of-Obligator Income use Continuity of Expenditures principle.
- Even when states use the same model, child support amounts will not be identical because there are a number of policy decisions made made by each state which affect child support like Price Level, Income Method, etc.
- Other guideline models have been proposed but not adopted by states.
- Because few states conduct a meaningful review of their core guideline model or methodology, it is uncommon for them to change. For those states that have changed, they have typically changed from Percent-of-Obligator Income to Income Shares (Georgia, Illinois, etc.)
- Here is general information about how states have implemented guidelines.
- Here is a list of articles about Guidelines.
- Given that states spend little effort to conduct a thorough review of their guidelines, it should not be surprising that most states have adopted the model that was created by the co-founder (Dr. Robert Williams) of the major consulting companies in the United States (PSI).
- There are a number of models that are not currently used – not because they were flawed – but because they do not serve the special interest groups.