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Characteristics of Shared-Placement Child Support Formulas Used in the Fifty States - page 28 / 54

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27

conjunction with Wisconsin’s current shared custody threshold of “25 percent time or more.” See

Addendum I for further discussion of these details. For purposes of comparing this formula with the other

guidelines discussed above, we have added a “Proposed” column to each of the tables in Appendices B1

through B6.

CONCLUSION

The above-threshold offset formula has several attractive features. First, it takes into account time

that both parents spend with children, as well as relative parental incomes. This formula does not presume

that the lesser-time parent earns a larger income than the greater-time parent. Thus, it is possible for a

lesser-time parent to receive child support in varying amounts, depending on the level of time-share and

the imbalance in parental incomes. This outcome is precluded by the mechanics of simple graduated

formulas.

Second, if the above-threshold offset formula is used in conjunction with a moderately set

threshold level, it can avoid the situation of very low time-share parents becoming child support receiving

parents, as can occur in states with low or no threshold levels.

Third, the above-threshold offset formula assures a gradual decrease in child support amounts for

shared placement parents along the time-share continuum. By so doing, it avoids the sharp drops in child

support orders (“cliff effects”) that could be associated with only trivial increases in time-share. Cliff

effects are inherent in the formulation of any of the below-threshold offset guidelines.

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