Child Support Guidelines Archive

Child Support Guidelines Archive


All states are required by federal law to conduct reviews of their child support guidelines every four years. Most legislators and administrators use this review period to strengthen and update their guidelines, as well as to examine approaches other states have adopted. In 2004-2005, NCSL conducted a survey of states, supported by the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, to gain a deeper understanding of how states review their guidelines, and of the issues they address.  This report, written in 2004-2005, provides an overview and summary of our research.

This database, also reflecting 2004-2005 data, reflects the results of our research and may assist policymakers in those efforts. The database incorporates information on guideline review governance and process, and state guideline treatment of low-income families, retroactive support and fees, medical support, shared parenting time and child care expenses.

We have a number of additional charts that describe various aspects of state child support guidelines linked below.

 To view PDF files, you must install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • State Guideline Models - Description of various guideline models in each state.
  • Establishment of Child Support Guidelines - This chart describes which branch of government establishes state child support guidelines.
  • States' Treatment of High Income - Most states have special provisions for calculating child support payments for high income parents. Click here to see how state guidelines address this topic.
  • Age of Majority and Child Support - Most states terminate a parent's child support obligations when the child reaches the age of majority --usually 18-- but there are many exceptions for educational and college expenses. Click here to view a table of information on this topic.
  • Child Support for Adults with Disabilities - Should parents be required to pay child support for their adult children with disabilities?  This chart shows state laws addressing this topic.

Child Support State Legislation Surveys:

For more information on child support issues, please contact the Denver office at (303) 364-7700 or or the D.C. office at (202) 624-5400 or

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