- The purpose of a child support guideline is to reduce discretion of family court, provide more consistent awards, and achieve some type of income equivalency across households.
- While it was a framework, it left most of the policy decisions up to states as to how it was implemented. They included:
1. Income: Should the income of one or both parents be used?
2. Low-Income: Should there be a presumptive adjustment for low-income? What should it be?
3. High-Income: For income above the Schedule, should it be up to the Courts or a uniform formula applied?
4. Childcare expenses: How should childcare expenses be handled? Deviation Factor, Added to Basic Child Support, Deducted from Income?
5. Parenting time: Should there be any presumptive adjustment? Or should it be a deviation?
6. Subsequent Children: Should there be provision for subsequent children? If yes, how (Required deduction from income, discretionary deduction from income, or deviation factor?
7. Entitlement: Should children be entitled to maintain their lifestyle they had prior to divorce?
8. Other special factors: Should expenses associated with extra-curricular activities be included?
- In the rush to implement the new Regulations in 1989, most states relied on assistance from
consultants (primarily from PSI) with OCSE experience.
- While many states created separate agencies (Georgia – Georgia Commission on Child Support) to help manage compliance, they still heavily rely on the expertise of consultants to product technical documents that no one understands but reports compliance.
- States, like Georgia, continue to abandon their responsibility to serve the best interests of their citizens by taking a hands=off approach to this process.