Child Support Guidelines: Will They Make a Difference?

Irwin Garfinkel, Donald Oellerich, Philip K. Robins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article uses data from the Current Population Survey to examine the extent to which the new child support guidelines being developed by the states in response to the Child Support Amendments of 1984 and the Family Support Act of 1988 can be expected to increase child support awards and payments. The analysis focuses on the guidelines being developed in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Delaware, which are representative of those being implemented nationwide. The results suggest that the new guidelines will increase child support payments by somewhere between 47% and 54%. Child support awards are predicted to increase by between 77% and 88%, depending on the guideline being considered. Compliance with the new guidelines is predicted to be modest, averaging 61% across marital status groups, but this evidence on compliance is very tentative because it is based on an analysis of the current system and the results may not carry over to the new system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-429
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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