Guideline Models by State

Child Support Guideline Models by State

Updated April 2013

FamilyThere are roughly three child support guideline models used by the states:

The Income Shares Model is based on the concept that the child should receive the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have received if the parents lived together. In an intact household, the income of both parents is generally pooled and spent for the benefit of all household members, including any children.

The Percentage of Income Model sets support as a percentage of only the noncustodial parent's income; the custodial parent's income is not considered. This model has two variations: the Flat Percentage Model and the Varying Percentage Model.

The Melson Formula is a more complicated version of the Income Shares Model, which incorporates several public policy judgments designed to insure that each parent's basic needs are met in addition to the children's. The Melson Formula was developed by a Delaware Family Court judge and fully explained in Dalton v. Clanton, 559 A.2d 1197 (Del. 1989).

All of the guideline models have certain aspects in common. First, most of the guidelines incorporate a "self-support" reserve for the obligor. Second, all the guidelines have a provision relating to imputed income. Third, by federal regulation, all the guidelines take into consideration the health care expenses for the children, by insurance or other means. Lastly, most of the guidelines have incorporated into the presumptive child support formula special additions for child care expenses, special formulas for shared custody, split custody, and extraordinary visitation, and special deductions for the support of previous and subsequent children.

Guideline Models By State


State/ Territory

Guideline Type

Link to Guidelines


Income Shares

Rule 32, Alabama Rules of Judicial Administration Administration


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Rule 90.3, Alaska Civil Rule


Income Shares

Arizona Child Support Guidelines


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Administrative Order of the Supreme Court No. 10


Income Shares

California Family Code §§ 4050-4076


Income Shares

Colorado Rev. Stat. §§ 14-10-115 et seq.


Income Shares

Child Support and Arrearages Guidelines


Melson Formula

13 Delaware Code §514 

District of Columbia

Percentage of Obligor's Income

D.C. Code Ann. § 16-916.1


Income Shares

Florida Title VI, Chapter 61.30


Income Shares

Georgia Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Guam Child Support Guidelines


Melson Formula

Hawaii Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Idaho R. Civ. Pro. 6(c)(6)


Percentage of Obligor's Income

750 ILCS Illinois Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines


Income Shares

Iowa Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Kansas Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Kentucky Rev. Stat. §§ 403-210 to -213


Income Shares

Louisiana Rev. Stat. 9:315.1 et seq.


Income Shares

Maine Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 19-A, §§ 2001-2010


Income Shares

Maryland Fam. Law Code Ann. §§ 12-201 et seq.


Income Shares

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Michigan Child Support Formula Manual


Income Shares

Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 518A.35 et seq.


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Miss. Code §§ 43-19-101 et seq.


Income Shares

Section 452.340 


Melson Formula

Montana Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Nebraska Court Rules Chapter 4, Article 2, §§ 4-201 to 4-220


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 125B.070 to -.080

New Hampshire

Income Shares

N.H. Rev. Stat. §§ 458-C:1 to -:7

New Jersey

Income Shares

New Jersey Rules of Court Appendix IX

New Mexico

Income Shares

N.M. Stat. §§ 40-4-11.1 to -11.6

New York

Percentage of Obligor's Income

N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law. § 240(1-b)

North Carolina

Income Shares

North Carolina Child Support Guidelines

North Dakota

Percentage of Obligor's Income

North Dakota Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3119.01 et seq.


Income Shares

Okla. Stat. tit. 43, §§ 118 to 120


Income Shares

Oregon Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Pa. R. Civ. Pro. 1910.16-1 to -5

Rhode Island

Income Shares

R.I. C.S.G. Administrative Order

South Carolina

Income Shares

Southern Carolina Soc. Serv. Reg. 114-4710 to -4750

South Dakota

Income Shares

South Dakota Cod. Laws §§ 25-7-6.1 et seq.


Income Shares

Tennessee Child Support Guidelines


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Tex. Fam. Code §§ 154.001 et seq.


Income Shares

Utah Code §§ 78B-12 et seq.


Income Shares

Vt. Stat. title 15, §§ 653-657


Income Shares

Va. Code §§ 20-108.1, 20-108.2


Income Shares

Wash. Rev. Code §§ 26.19.001 et seq.

West Virginia

Income Shares

West Virginia Child Support Guidelines


Percentage of Obligor's Income

Wisconsin Child Support Guidelines


Income Shares

Wyoming Child Support Guidelines

Source: NCSL Research, February 2012.

Additional Resources

*PLEASE NOTE: The National Conference of State Legislatures is an organization serving state legislators and their staff. We cannot offer legal advice or assistance with individual cases, but we do try to answer questions on general topics.

For more information regarding NCSL's child support work, please visit our Child Support Homepage.

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.  

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. In D.C., Joy Johnson Wilson at 202-624-8689 or by e-mail at and Rachel Morgan at (202) 624-3569 or by e-mail at

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.


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