Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brinig & Allen: "Child Support Guidelines and Divorce Rates"

Margaret F. Brinig (Notre Dame Law School) and Douglas W. Allen (Simon Fraser University) have posted "Child Support Guidelines and Divorce Rates" on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

A child support guideline is a formula used to calculate support payments based on a few family characteristics. Guidelines began replacing court awarded support payments in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and were later mandated by the federal government in 1988. Two fundamentally different types of guidelines are used: percentage of obligor income, and income shares models. This paper explores the incentives to divorce under the two schemes, and uses the NLSY data set to test the key predictions. We find that percentage of obligor income models are destabilizing for families with high incomes. This may explain why several states have converted from obligor to income share models, and it provides a subtle lesson to the no-fault divorce debate.


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Court/government involvement in our lives in the first place spells doom I've found for people going through divorce. I've been garnished without notice and chance to defend, garnished right out of a job, kept from seeing my kids because I'm always in starvation or on the edge of the abyss mode and this has been going on for 9 years. The state won't get off my back for taxes which could not be paid because so much was garnished to the tune of over 2k a month for over 5 years. The Federal guidelines don't factor in the Federal standards for living and the non-custodial parent gets destroyed and thus the children too. How do I fight this without resorting to violence? The court doesn't care and my family is destroyed. Wouldn't resorting to violence be in self defence of my family and constitutional rights? When you rob a bank you can get shot. What about the lawyers who rob families of their assets? I don't want the BAR to look at this because its a club and the worst that can happen is a slap on the hand to the lawyer. Can't practice for a year. When do we march on the courthouses and take back our rights? Mad as hell at what I've seen happening in the MA courts.

Posted by: Tom | Jul 16, 2010 5:46:50 PM

Another thing that really gets me is how easy the legal industry makes it to put a record on someone and even after its dismissed its still on the criminal history file with the FBI which is preventing me from working. The only arrest in 50 years ofliving and all I was doing was sitting down and held my hand out in a stop gesture as the attacking party came at me. Can't even get a job as a census taker and I've paid taxes over 32 be treated this way?? The family get destroyed. Start expunging the FBI criminal history files of dismissed arrests especially when frivolous domestics. The system has to arrest everybody so the judges won't get in trouble if something really happens. It's backfiring.

Posted by: Tom | Jul 16, 2010 6:06:21 PM

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