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  Contents
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SupportGuidelines.com

TABLE OF CONTENTS
to Child Support Guidelines: Interpretation and Application

Preface
Acknowledgments

Chapter 1
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES MODELS

§ 1.01 Child Support Prior to the Guidelines: Defining the Problem

§ 1.02 The Federal Mandate
     [a] Federal Legislation Prior to 1984
     [b] Federal Legislation 1984 and After
          [1] Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984
          [2] Family Support Act of 1988
          [3] Post-1988 Amendments
     [c] Federal Regulations Implementing the Family Support Act
          [1] Minimum General Requirements
          [2] Rebuttable Presumption that Award is Correct
          [3] Findings Necessary to Rebut Presumption
     [d] Principles Underlying Guideline Formation
     [e] Goals of the Federal Mandate

§ 1.03 The State Response to The Federal Mandate and Models of Implementation of the Guidelines
     [a] Overview of the Models
     [b] The Income Shares Model
          [1] Calculation of Support
          [2] Strengths and Weaknesses
     [c] The Percentage of Income Model
          [1] Calculation of Support
          [2] Strengths and Weaknesses
     [d] The Melson Formula Model
          [1] Calculation of Support
          [2] Strengths and Weaknesses
     [e] A Comparison of the Models

§ 1.04 Constitutional Challenges to the Guidelines
     [a] Federal Mandate as Unconstitutional
     [b] Method of Enactment by State as Unconstitutional
          (Violation of Separation of Powers)
          [1] Enactment by Court Order
          [2] Enactment by Legislature
          [3] Enactment by Administrative Regulation
     [c] Application of State Guidelines as Violation of Due Process
     [d] Application of State Guidelines as Violation of
          Equal Protection
     [e] Other Constitutional Challenges to State Guidelines

§ 1.05 Types of Proceedings to Which the Guidelines Apply

Table 1-1: Citations to State Child Support Guidelines

Table 1-2: State-by-State Method of Implementation of the Guidelines

Table 1-3: State-by-State Model of Implementation of the Guidelines

Table 1-4: Percentage of Income Devoted to Support of Children in Intact Families

Table 1-5: Percentage of Income Devoted to Support Under Income Shares Model

Chapter 2
CONSTRUCTION OF THE GUIDELINES: DEFINING "NUMBER OF CHILDREN" AND "INCOME"

§ 2.01 The Need for Statutory Construction

§ 2.02 Defining "Number of Children"

§ 2.03 Defining "Income"
     [a] Statutory Definitions of Income
     [b] The Relevance of Tax law
     [c] Comparison of Gross vs. Net Methods of Calculating Income
     [d] Fluctuating Income
     [e] Items Included in Gross Income
          [1] Salary and Wages
          [2] Overtime and Second Jobs
               [i] Overtime
               [ii] Second Jobs
          [3] Income From Contracts
          [4] Investment and Interest Income
          [5] Retirement Pensions
          [6] Trust and Estate Income
          [7] Annuities (Including Structured Settlements)
          [8] Capital Gains
          [9] Social Security Benefits
               [i] In General
               [ii] Received by a Parent
               [iii] Received by a Child
                    [A] Received on Account of Child's Own Disability
                    [B] Received on Account of Parent's
                    Disability/Retirement/Death
          [10] Veterans" Benefits
          [11] Military Personnel Fringe Benefits
          [12] National Guard and Reserve Drill Pay
          [13] Benefits Earned in Place of Income
          [14] Gifts, Prizes, Educational Grants,
          and Lottery and Gambling Winnings
          [15] Income of a New Spouse/Paramour
          [16] Alimony Received
          [17] Nonincome-Producing Assets
          [18] Nonmoney items
               [i] Expense Reimbursements
               [ii] In-Kind Income
          [19] Tax Benefits
          [20] Self-Employment Income
               [i] Gross Receipts
               [ii] Deductions from Gross Income:
               "Ordinary and Necessary Expenses"
                    [A] Depreciation
                    [B] Appropriate Business Expenses
     [f] Items Excluded from Gross Income
     [g] Net Income: Items Deductible from Gross Income
          [1] Taxes
          [2] Mandatory Union Dues
          and Mandatory Pension Contribution
          [3] Voluntary Debt Reduction

§ 2.04 Imputed Income
     [a] Overview
     [b] As a Matter of Fact
     [c] As a Matter of Law
          [1] Determining Earning Capacity
          [2] Voluntary vs. Involuntary Act
               [i] Discharge
               [ii] Labor Disputes
               [iii] Imprisonment
               [iv] Illness
               [v] Change in Employment
               [vi] Return to College or Graduate Studies
               [vii] Failure to Work Overtime
               [viii] Early Retirement
               [ix] Stay-at-Home Parent
               [x] Voluntary Manipulation of Income
               [xi] Failure to Restore Lost Income
          [3] Relevance of State of Mind
               [i] Motive to Change Support
               [ii] Change in Employment
               [iii] Return to School
               [iv] Early Retirement
               [v] The Stay-at-Home Parent
               [vi] Failure to Restore Lost Income

Table 2-1: State-by-State Treatment of Gross vs. Net Income for Child Support Calculation

Table 2-2: State-by-State Treatment of Imputed Income: Voluntary Act vs. Good Faith Reason

Chapter 3
CONSTRUCTION OF THE GUIDELINES: MANDATORY ADD-ONS AND DEDUCTIONS

§ 3.01: Health Care Needs
     [a] Health Insurance
          [1] Subtraction from Income Method
          [2] Add-On Method
          [3] Deviation Method
          [4] Comparing and Contrasting the Methods
     [b] Uninsured and Extraordinary Medical Expenses
          [1] In General
          [2] "Medical" Expenses
          [3] "Ordinary" vs. "Extraordinary" Medical Expenses
          [4] Apportionment of Expenses
     [c] Health Care Needs as a Deviation Factor
          [1] Health Insurance
          [2] Uninsured and Extraordinary Medical Expenses

§ 3.02 Child Care Expenses
     [a] The Necessity of a Separate Provision
     [b] Methods of Allocating
     [c] "Work-Related"
     [d] "Reasonable"
     [e] The Dependent-Care Tax Credit

§ 3.03 Shared Custody, Split Custody, and Extraordinary Visitation
     [a] Determining Support in Shared Custody Cases
          [1] What Constitutes "Custody"
          [2] What Constitutes "Shared Custody"
               [i] Equal Time as Shared Custody
               [ii] Sliding Scale to Reflect Amount of Time
               with Noncustodial Parent
               [iii] Shared Custody as a Deviation Factor
          [3] Applying the Formula to Determine Support
     [b] Determining Support in Split Custody Cases
          [1] The Offset Approach
          [2] As a Deviation Factor
          [3] Comparing the Two Approaches
     [c] Abatements for Block Visitation
     [d] Extraordinary Visitation as a Deviation Factor

§ 3.04 Prior and Subsequent Families
     [a] Support for Prior Children
     [b] Support for Subsequent Children
          [1] The Various Approaches
          [2] As a Deviation Factor
          [3] As a Mandatory Deduction

§ 3.05 Adjustments for Older Children
     [a] Guideline Adjustment
     [b] Adjustment by Deviation and Modification

Table 3-1: State-by-State Treatment of Health Insurance Costs

Table 3-2: State-by-State Treatment of Uninsured and Extraordinary Medical Expenses

Table 3-3: State-by-State Treatment of Child Care Expenses

Table 3-4: State-by-State Treatment of Shared Custody

Table 3-5: State-by-State Treatment of Split Custody

Table 3-6: State-by-State Treatment of Support for Subsequent Children

Chapter 4
DEVIATING FROM THE GUIDELINES

§ 4.01 The Need for Deviation

§ 4.02 The Use of Economic Data in Creating the Guidelines

§ 4.03 Deviation Procedure
     [a] Burden of Proof
     [b] Findings and Conclusions
          [1] Nondeviation Cases
          [2] Deviation Cases

§ 4.04 Deviation Factors in General
     [a] Guideline Establishment
          [1] The Use of a Catchall (Discretionary) Deviation Factor
          [2] The Best Interests of the Child Requirement
     [b] Types of Deviation Factors

§ 4.05 Child's Education Expenses
     [a] Public School
     [b] Private School
     [c] Special Education
     [d] College Education
          [1] Postmajority Support in General
          [2] Postmajority College Expenses

§ 4.06 Child's Unusual Income and Expenses
     [a] Child's Independent Financial Means
     [b] Child's Travel Expenses

§ 4.07 Parent's Unusual Income and Expenses
     [a] Extra Sources of Funds Not Considered Under "Income"
     [b] The High-Income Parent
          [1] Determining the Presumptive Award
               [i] Guideline Formula
               [ii] Highest Guideline Amount
               [iii] Common-Law Inquiry Into Needs of Child
               [iv] Use of Mechanical Extrapolation as Error
          [2] The First Wave: The Reasonable Needs of the Child
          [3] The Second Wave: Sharing the Wealth
          [4] The High-Income Parent with the Short Career
     [c] The Low-Income Parent
          [1] Determining the Presumptive Award
               [i] Minimum Presumptive Award
               [ii] Mandatory Minimum Award
               [iii] Common-Law Inquiry into Ability of Parent to Pay
          [2] Applying the Guidelines in Low-Income Cases
     [d] Disparity in Incomes
     [e] Parent's Unusual Expenses

§ 4.08 Tax Consequences: The Federal Tax Dependency Exemption
     [a] In General
     [b] The Power of the Court to Allocate
     [c] The Discretion of the Court to Allocate
     [d] Deviation in Response to Allocation
     [e] Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (H.R. 2014)

§ 4.09 Written Agreement of the Parties
     [a] Not Controlling on Court
     [b] As a Deviation Factor
     [c] Required Procedure in Considering Parties' Agreement

§ 4.10 Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Location

§ 4.11 Other Equitable Consideration
     [a] Lack of Visitation: Denial of Visitation by Custodial Parent
     and Failure of Noncustodial Parent to Exercise Visitation
          [1] General Rule Denying Offset of Support Based on
          Denial of Visitation by Custodial Parent
          [2] Denial of Visitation as Deviation Factor
          [3] Failure of Noncustodial Parent to Exercise
          Visitation as Basis for Deviation
     [b] Parent-Child Estrangement
     [c] Lack of Consent to Conception of the Child
          [1] Misrepresentation as to Conception of the Child
          [2] Statutory Rape of Father
          [3] Unknown Insemination

Table 4-1: Average Annual Expenditures on Child in Husband-Wife Households, 1976-1980

Table 4-2: Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Husband-Wife Families, Overall, U.S., 1997

Table 4-2.1: Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Single-Parent Families, Overall, U.S., 1997

Table 4-3: State-by-State Treatment of Use of Catchall (Discretionary) Deviation Factor

Table 4-4: Selected State Survey on Frequency of Application of Deviation Factors

Table 4-5: State-by-State Treatment of Education Expenses

Table 4-6: State-by-State Treatment of Termination of Guideline Minority

Table 4-6.1: State-by-State Treatment of duty to Provide College Support

Table 4-7: State-by-State Treatment of the High-Income Parent

Table 4-8: State-by-State Treatment of the Low-Income Parent

Chapter 5
MODIFICATION OF PRIOR AWARDS

§ 5.01 The Common-Law Standard for Modification: Substantial Change in Circumstances

§ 5.02 Enactment of or Changes in the Guidelines as Grounds for Modification

§ 5.03 Variance of Existing Child Support Award with the Guidelines" Presumptive Award as Grounds for Modification
     [a] The General Rule Under Federal Regulation
     [b] Exceptions to the General Rule

§ 5.04 Triennial Review of Title IV-D Orders
     [a] Variance with Prior Order
     [b] Cost-of-Living Adjustment

§ 5.05 Time-Based Review of All Orders

Table 5-1: State-by-State Treatment of Standard of Variance Necessary for Modification

Chapter 6
DISCOVERY AND PREPARATION FOR TRIAL

§ 6.01 The Need for Discovery
     [a] Required Documentation
     [b] Discovery in Addition to Required Documentation
          [1] Why Additional Discovery is Necessary
          [2] When Additional Discovery is Necessary
     [c] Form 6-1: Client Questionnaire

§ 6.02 The Scope of Discovery
     [a] General Principles
     [b] Checklists for Discovery
          [1] Checklist 6-1: Documented Income
          [2] Checklist 6-2: Hidden Income
          [3] Checklist 6-3: Deductions
          [4] Checklist 6-4: Imputed Income
          [5] Checklist 6-5: Children's Income and Expenses
          [6] Checklist 6-6: Parent's Expenses
          [7] Checklist 6-7: Deviation Factors
          [8] Checklist 6-8: Tax Considerations

§ 6.03 Methods of Discovery and Discovery Tools
     [a] Methods of Discovery
     [b] Discovery Tools
     [c] Form 6-2: Sample General Interrogatories
     [d] Form 6-3: Sample General Request for
     Production of Documents
     [e] Depositions
          [1] In General
          [2] Checklist 6-9: Deposition Questions
     [f] Form 6-4: Sample Request for Admissions
     [g] Form 6-5: Sample Request for Physical
     and Mental Examination

§ 6.04 The Use of Expert Testimony

§ 6.05 Additional Forms for Judgment
     [a] Form 6-6: Sample Stipulation Regarding Child Support
     [b] Form 6-7: Sample Proposed Order for Child Support

Table 6-1: State Citations to Discovery Rules

Appendix A
SELECTED FEDERAL STATUTES AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

Appendix B
STATE-BY-STATE SUMMARY OF CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WITH OFFICIAL WORKSHEETS

Appendix C
SAMPLE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

TABLE OF CASES

STATE-BY-STATE TABLE OF CASES

INDEX

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