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Characteristics of Shared-Placement Child Support Formulas Used in the Fifty States - page 14 / 54





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the child, and mother’s time with the child, applied to a base level of child support that amounts to about

25 percent of net income for one child.14 The formula used by California is:

CS = (K * T * (HighIncN – ((HighIncTime) * (TN)))) * CNM


HighIncN = net monthly income of highest earning parent

TN = total net monthly income of father and mother, combined

HighIncTime = percentage of time-share of the highest-earning parent

K = .20 + TN/16,000, if TN is less than $801/month, or K = .25, if TN falls in the range of $801–$6,666/month, or K = .10 + 1,000/TN, if TN falls in the range of $6,667 – $10,000/month, or K = .12 + 800/TN if TN is greater than $10,000/month

T = 1 + HighIncTime, if HighIncTime is less than or equal to 50%, or T = 2 – HighIncTime, if HighIncTime is greater than 50%

CNM = child number multiplier: 1.0 = one child; 1.6 = two children, etc., up to 2.86 for 10 children

The formula begins with a relatively high child support order, 25 percent of net income, for a

parent scheduled to spend no time with his/her child. With each percentage increase in time with the

child, the child support order is reduced. This reduction occurs at every percentage point along the time-

share continuum from zero time to 50 percent time. The gradual decline in child support along the time-

share continuum can be seen on Appendix B1 for parents with equal annual incomes of $30,000, and the

result of this formula can be compared to the simple graduated guideline used in Iowa at each percentage

point of time-share from 0 to 50 percent.

Using the California formula, if the parents have equal incomes, then the child support owed at 50

percent time would be zero. If the parents have dissimilar incomes, however, at the 50/50 level of time-

share the parent with the higher income will owe child support to the other parent. Figure 4 shows the

14This percentage varies in cases of exceptionally low and high incomes.

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