Child Support

Child support has come a long way. There was a time when child support was subject to broad discretion from divorce judges, and the results showed it. Grants of child support would vary widely depending on how good a witness Mom and Dad were, how good their lawyers were, and lots of other factors. That’s not the case any more. Thanks to some enabling federal legislation, every state now has a standardized way of calculating child support between divorcing parents.

About 20 states use what’s called an “Income Shares” model. That means they look at the incomes of both the mother and the father and apply a table of values to determine appropriate child support. Other states look simply at the income of the person paying child support and ignore the income of the recipient.

There’s lots of information here on about collecting child support:

I’ve tried to gather as much information as possible about how to figure child support in each state. Check your state’s page here on DivorceInfo and see if I’ve been able to find resources you can use.

Here are some of the organizations who specialize in collecting child support:

And here’s a cautionary piece from the New York Better Business Bureau on the risks you have when you use one of these companies.

If you’re interested in getting into all the debate about child support enforcement, you can check out the Men’s Rights groups and see what they have to say. You can also check out the Child Support Newsgroup.

Here are some other pages about children here on