Are Child Support Levels Too High?

According to economist R. Mark Rogers, “Child support guidelines currently in use by the U.S. states typically generate awards that are three to four times what they should be if based on economically sound cost tables and on a true equal duty of support standard for both parents” (emphasis added).

Rogers also believes that support levels have become so skewed in favor of custodial parents that even custodial parents with a substantially lesser income will still end up with a “significantly higher standard of living than the non-custodial parent.” The situation is even more inequitable in cases where the custodial parent has a significantly higher income than the noncustodial.

Rogers of Guideline Economics believes that child support levels are too high in practically every U.S. state and has proposed a Cost Shares guideline which he says will remedy the problem. Debbie Kline is the Executive Director of the Association for Children for the Enforcement of Support, a nationwide organization which advocates higher child support levels and tougher child support enforcement. Mark and Debbie joined Glenn on His Side with Glenn Sacks on December 12.

To learn more about child support, see:

  • The Association for Children for the Enforcement of Support
  • List of ACES’ Accomplishments
  • R. Mark Rogers’ Guideline Economics
  • R. Mark Rogers’ state specific research on child support guidleines.
  • R. Mark Rogers’ Wisconsin-Style and Income Shares Child Support Guidelines: Excessive Burdens and Flawed Economic Foundation (Family Law Quarterly, Spring 1999)
  • Glenn’s co-authored column It’s Child Support Guidelines that Need Surgery, Not ‘Deadbeat Dads’ (Cincinnati Post, Kentucky Post, 5/12/04)
  • Glenn’s three minute radio commentary on the Francis Borgia child support case
  • Glenn’s column New Study Punctures Myth of Uncaring Divorced Dad (Newsday, 6/23/03)
  • Glenn’s co-authored column New Study Shows Massachusetts’ Child Support Guidelines Among Worst in Nation (Massachusetts News, 7/28/04)
  • Glenn’s co-authored column Divorced from Reality on Child Support (Newark Star-Ledger, 9/6/02)
  • His Side: Showdown in Motown: Michigan Dads vs. Leader of ACES (4/18/04)
  • His Side: Child Support Civil Rights Violations (7/18/04)
  • His Side: Do Men Gain Economically from Divorce? (2/29/04)
  • His Side: The Degradation of LA’s ‘Deadbeat Dad Court’ (8/24/03)
  • His Side: Child Support System Abuses Drive Fathers out of Their Children’s Lives (6/1/03)