1. Flat Percentage The child support
amount is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income and the number of children they are supporting.
The states that follow this rule are: Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
2. Income Shares The majority of states follow this model which is based on the income of both parents and the
number of children they have. The court first adds the net income (or in some states, the gross income) of both parents.
Then the court consults a table which assesses the total obligation of support as a percentage of the parents' combined
incomes and the number of children.
The court multiplies the combined incomes by the percent figure listed in the table and obtains a dollar amount that the children need for support. Then the responsibility to pay that support is divided between the parents in proportion to each parent's income.
(For example: if the court has determined that the children need $1000 a month and the parents make a combined $100,000
annually, in which the father makes $60,000 annually and the mother makes $40,000 annually, the father will be required to
pay $600 a month and the mother $400 a month.)
The states that follow this model are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and
3. Melson Formula Child support percentage is calculated based on a variety of factors (the "Melson Factors"). These factors include both
parents' incomes and the needs of the child. Only Delaware, Hawaii and Montana follow this model.
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