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Legislative intent - CS: imputed income vs. other extraneous factors


Some of you may be interested in the following information.  E.g., currently, when a non-custodial parent becomes unemployed for whatever reasons, it is common judicial practice for the courts to impute child support awards based on what the non-custodial parent previously earned or capacity to do work [support orders are never "automatically" downgraded, regardless of the payor's circumstances].

The following excerpt from the House Committee Report on H.R. 4678 specifies that states will review support orders for modification every three years, and take into consideration "the factors  that cause support amounts to become outdated [which] include inflation, unemployment, promotions or job changes that result in increased or decreased income, marriage by either parent, disabilities, and a host of other changes."  As such, legislative intent could become an issue here, even if only in the application of TANF-related CS management procedures.

It is also assumed that regardless of type of CS order, precedent might be established regarding an individual's capacity to pay child support.

See:

S.3189 Child Support Distribution Act of 2000 (Introduced in the Senate)
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d106:s.03189:

H.R.4678 Child Support Distribution Act of 2000 (Referred in Senate)
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d106:h.r.04678:

Committee Report - House Rpt. 106-793 Part 1 -
CHILD SUPPORT DISTRIBUTION ACT OF 2000
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/z?cp106:hr793p1:
 

Fwd/fyi (as excerpted from the House Committee Report):

TITLE II. REVIEW AND ADJUSTMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS

SEC. 201. MANDATORY REVIEW AND MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS FOR TANF RECIPIENTS

1. REVIEW EVERY 3 YEARS

Present law

States have the option of reviewing child support orders every 3 years and, if appropriate, adjusting orders that are being enforced by  the State Child Support Enforcement program.

Explanation of provision

States are required to review and update child support orders that are being enforced by the State program every 3 years.

Reason for change

Child support orders become outdated on a regular basis. The factors  that cause support amounts to become outdated include inflation, unemployment, promotions or job changes that result in increased or decreased income, marriage by either parent, disabilities, and a host of other changes.

However, States must invest time and money to update orders. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), both States and the Federal government would save money if child support orders were updated every 3 years. Thus, because updating orders, if done properly, always promotes fairness and because the CBO estimates show that  updating would save money, the Committee feels it appropriate to require routine updates every 3 years.

  • Child Support and Alimony

Some [hair-raising] Case Law Examples
By Eeva Sodhi

__________________
Posted 2000 10 22
Updates:
2001 01 29 (format changes)
2003 04 20 (added entry for child-support and alimony case-law examples)