University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Child Support Guidelines and Complicated Families: An Analysis of Cross-State Variation in Legal Treatment of Multiple-Partner Fertility

When a parent has a second and even a third family and additional dependents, who should bear the post-dissolution costs of maintaining separate households—the first family, the subsequent families, or all families equally? The current child support guidelines, developed to assure greater uniformity in the calculation of child support orders and to increase predictability for families who seek orders, are most effective when they are applied in the least complex cases, and are not designed to fully address the complexities of the serial families that are commonplace in the United States today. This report identifies and analyzes cross-state variation in how guidelines treat additional dependents resulting from multiple-partner fertility.


Arrears & Related Policy, Child Support, Complicated Families & Multiple-Partner Fertility, CSDE, CSDE Report, Family & Partnering, Guidelines, Multiple-Partner Fertility, Orders & Payments, Pass-Through & Disregard