45 CFR 302.56 - Guidelines for setting child support awards.
(a) Effective October 13, 1989, as a condition of approval of its State plan, the State shall establish one set of guidelines by law or by judicial or administrative action for setting and modifying child support award amounts within the State.
(b) The State shall have procedures for making the guidelines available to all persons in the State whose duty it is to set child support award amounts.
(c) The guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section must at a minimum:
(1) Take into consideration all earnings and income of the noncustodial parent;
(2) Be based on specific descriptive and numeric criteria and result in a computation of the support obligation; and
(3) Address how the parents will provide for the child(ren)'s health care needs through health insurance coverage and/or through cash medical support in accordance with § 303.31 of this chapter.
(d) The State must include a copy of the guidelines in its State plan.
(e) The State must review, and revise, if appropriate, the 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 award amounts.
(f) Effective October 13, 1989, the State must provide that there shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.
(g) A written finding or specific finding on the record of a judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support that the application of the guidelines established under paragraph (a) of this section would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case shall 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 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 guidelines required under paragraph (e) of this section, a State must consider economic data on the cost of raising children and analyze case data, gathered through sampling or other methods, on the application of, and deviations from, the guidelines. The analysis of the data must be used in the State's review of the guidelines to ensure that deviations from the guidelines are limited.