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Characteristics of Shared-Placement Child Support Formulas Used in the Fifty States - page 31 / 54

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Appendix Legal 2

Alabama provides that judges are given discretion to deviate from the guidelines when there is

“[s]hared physical custody or visitation rights providing periods of physical custody or care of children by

the obligor parent substantially in excess of those customarily approved by the court.”21

Like Alabama, Connecticut allows the court to exercise its discretion to reduce the lesser-time

parent’s child support “where the noncustodial parent exercises visitation or physical care and control of

the child for periods substantially in excess of a normal visitation schedule.”22 The Connecticut

guidelines, however, further require that certain statutory criteria be met, in addition to a finding of shared

custody. Specifically, the guidelines state that a deviation is permissible only when “such arrangement

substantially reduces the custodial parent’s, or substantially increases the noncustodial parent’s, expenses

for the child; and sufficient funds remain for the parent to meet the basic needs of the child after

deviation.”

Washington also imposes additional criteria that constrain the court’s discretion to make

adjustments in shared-time cases. The guidelines permit the court to deviate from the guideline

calculation “if the child spends a significant amount of time” with the lesser-time parent. The court’s

discretion may not be exercised “if the deviation will result in insufficient funds in the household

receiving the support to meet the basic needs of the child or if the child is receiving temporary assistance

for needy families.”

21Alabama Rule 32(A)(1)(a).

22The guidelines state that a “normal visitation schedule is typically two overnights on alternate weekends; alternate holidays; some vacation time; and other visits of short duration, which may occasion an overnight say during the week.”

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