45 CFR 302.56 - Guidelines for setting child support orders.

§ 302.56 Guidelines for setting child support orders.

(a) Within 1 year after completion of the State's next quadrennial review of its child support guidelines, that commences more than 1 year after publication of the final rule, in accordance with § 302.56(e), as a condition of approval of its State plan, the State must establish one set of child support guidelines by law or by judicial or administrative action for setting and modifying child support order amounts within the State that meet the requirements in this section.

(b) The State must have procedures for making the guidelines available to all persons in the State.

(c) The child support guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section must at a minimum:

(1) Provide that the child support order is based on the noncustodial parent's earnings, income, and other evidence of ability to pay that:

(i) Takes into consideration all earnings and income of the noncustodial parent (and at the State's discretion, the custodial parent);

(ii) Takes into consideration the basic subsistence needs of the noncustodial parent (and at the State's discretion, the custodial parent and children) who has a limited ability to pay by incorporating a low-income adjustment, such as a self-support reserve or some other method determined by the State; and

(iii) If imputation of income is authorized, takes into consideration the specific circumstances of the noncustodial parent (and at the State's discretion, the custodial parent) to the extent known, including such factors as the noncustodial parent's assets, residence, employment and earnings history, job skills, educational attainment, literacy, age, health, criminal record and other employment barriers, and record of seeking work, as well as the local job market, the availability of employers willing to hire the noncustodial parent, prevailing earnings level in the local community, and other relevant background factors in the case.

(2) Address how the parents will provide for the child's health care needs through private or public health care coverage and/or through cash medical support;

(3) Provide that incarceration may not be treated as voluntary unemployment in establishing or modifying support orders; and

(4) Be based on specific descriptive and numeric criteria and result in a computation of the child support obligation.

(d) The State must include a copy of the child support guidelines in its State plan.

(e) The State must review, and revise, if appropriate, the child support guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section at least once every four years to ensure that their application results in the determination of appropriate child support order amounts. The State shall publish on the internet and make accessible to the public all reports of the guidelines reviewing body, the membership of the reviewing body, the effective date of the guidelines, and the date of the next quadrennial review.

(f) The State must provide that there will be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the establishment and modification of a child support order, that the amount of the order which would result from the application of the child support guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section is the correct amount of child support to be ordered.

(g) A written finding or specific finding on the record of a judicial or administrative proceeding for the establishment or modification of a child support order that the application of the child support guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case will be sufficient to rebut the presumption in that case, as determined under criteria established by the State. Such criteria must take into consideration the best interests of the child. Findings that rebut the child support guidelines shall state the amount of support that would have been required under the guidelines and include a justification of why the order varies from the guidelines.

(h) As part of the review of a State's child support guidelines required under paragraph (e) of this section, a State must:

(1) Consider economic data on the cost of raising children, labor market data (such as unemployment rates, employment rates, hours worked, and earnings) by occupation and skill-level for the State and local job markets, the impact of guidelines policies and amounts on custodial and noncustodial parents who have family incomes below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level, and factors that influence employment rates among noncustodial parents and compliance with child support orders;

(2) Analyze case data, gathered through sampling or other methods, on the application of and deviations from the child support guidelines, as well as the rates of default and imputed child support orders and orders determined using the low-income adjustment required under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. The analysis must also include a comparison of payments on child support orders by case characteristics, including whether the order was entered by default, based on imputed income, or determined using the low-income adjustment required under paragraph (c)(1)(ii). The analysis of the data must be used in the State's review of the child support guidelines to ensure that deviations from the guidelines are limited and guideline amounts are appropriate based on criteria established by the State under paragraph (g); and

(3) Provide a meaningful opportunity for public input, including input from low-income custodial and noncustodial parents and their representatives. The State must also obtain the views and advice of the State child support agency funded under title IV-D of the Act.

[ 81 FR 93562, Dec. 20, 2016]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code

Title 45 published on 2015-11-20

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 45 CFR Part 302 after this date.

  • 2016-12-20; vol. 81 # 244 - Tuesday, December 20, 2016
    1. 81 FR 93492 - Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Administration for Children and Families
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective on January 19, 2017. States may comply any time after the effective date, but before the final compliance date, except for the amendment to § 433.152, which is effective on January 20, 2017. The compliance dates, or the dates that States must comply with the final rule, vary for the various sections of the Federal regulations. The reasons for delaying compliance dates include State legislative changes, system modifications, avoiding the need for a special guidelines commission review, etc. The compliance date, or the date by which the States must follow the rule, will be February 21, 2017 except, as noted below: • Guidelines for setting child support orders [§ 302.56(a)-(g)], Establishment of support obligations [§ 303.4], and Review and adjustment of child support orders [§ 303.8(c) and (d)]: The compliance date is 1 year after completion of the first quadrennial review of the State's guidelines that commences more than 1 year after publication of the final rule. • The requirements for reviewing guidelines for setting child support awards [§ 302.56(h)]: The compliance date is for the first quadrennial review of the guidelines commencing after the State's guidelines have initially been revised under this final rule. • Continuation of service for IV-E cases [§ 302.33(a)(4)], Location of noncustodial parents in IV-D cases [§ 303.3], Mandatory notice under Review and adjustment of child support orders [§ 303.8(b)(7)(ii)], Mandatory provisions of Case closure criteria [§ 303.11(c) and (d)], and Functional requirements for computerized support enforcement systems in operation by October 1, 2000 [§ 307.11(c)(3)(i) and (ii)]: The compliance date is 1 year from date of publication of the final rule, or December 20, 2017. However, if State law changes are needed, then the compliance date will be the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after the effective date of the final rule. • Optional provisions (such as Paternity-only Limited Service [§ 302.33(a)(6)], Case closure criteria [§ 303.11(b)], Review and adjustment of child support orders [§  303.8 (b)(2)], Availability and rate of Federal financial participation [§ 304.20], and Topic 2 Revisions): There is no specific compliance date for optional provisions. • Payments to the family [§ 302.38], Enforcement of support obligations [§  303.6(c)( 4)], and Securing and enforcing medical support obligations [§ 303.31]: If State law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation. If State law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 60 days after publication of the final rule. • Collection and disbursement of support payments by the IV-D agency [§ 302.32], Required State laws [§ 302.70], Procedures for income withholding [§ 303.100], Expenditures for which Federal financial participation is not available [§ 304.23], and Topic 3 revisions: The compliance date is the same as the effective date for the regulation since these revisions reflect existing requirements.
      42 CFR Part 433