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# Characteristics of Shared-Placement Child Support Formulas Used in the Fifty States - page 20 / 54

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generates a cliff effect. The cliff effect shown above in Figure 1 is a graphic illustration of the results of

the Wyoming formula, shown in tabular form on Table 1.

# The size of the cliff effect depends on a number of factors. One factor is the situation of large

income imbalances between the parents, particularly where the income of the greater-time parent is

higher, relative to the lesser-time parent. For example, in a case where a lesser-time parent has an annual

income of \$30,000 and a greater-time parent has an income of \$72,000, the lesser-time parent would owe

\$336 per month under the current Wyoming basic guideline, at 39 percent time. But this same parent

would receive child support in the amount of \$86 per month with an increase of 3–4 days, to 40 percent

time (see Appendix B4). Because of these large cliff effects, relatively few states have adopted the simple

below-threshold offset formula.

Complex Below-Threshold Offset Formulas. One approach to reducing the cliff effect found in

below-threshold offset formulas is to adjust the mathematics of the formula in some way. We refer to

these types of formulas as complex below-threshold offset formulas. They have become popular in recent

years, and are used by many states.

# The most common method of adjusting the formula to reduce cliff effects is to add a multiplier,

such as “1.5”, as in the form of:

# CS = ((FAinc*BasicCS) * Motime * 1.5) - ((MOinc* BasicCS) * FAtime * 1.5)

Where: FAinc = father’s income MOinc = mother’s income FAtime = percent of child’s time with father, on an annual basis MOtime = percent of child’s time with mother, on an annual basis BasicCS = the basic amount of child support that would be owed in a sole custody situation, if that parent was the paying parent.

# The effect of the “1.5” multiplier is to artificially increase the hypothetical basic child support

amount owed at zero time to a higher dollar amount. The reduction computation of the formula starts

from this artificially inflated beginning point. See the second column on Table 2 for the mathematical

reduction calculation as it would be without the 1.5 multiplier; the third column of Table 2 for the

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