Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Information

45 Fam. L.Q. 135 (2011-2012)


Child support guideline systems do more than simply determine the amount of income to be transferred from the noncustodial to the custodial household. They create incentives, one way or another, for spouses to divorce and seek custody and support payments. We examine three cases found in North America, and find that the common method of income shares provides a decent guideline that does not create any perverse incentives for divorce. Percentage-of-obligor-income methods do worse than other systems, and can cause increases in divorce rates for families in which one spouse earns a high income. Finally, the Canadian system, which is designed to transfer large amounts of net wealth, creates very large negative incentives for marriage stability.


Reprinted with permission of Family Law Quarterly.

Included in

Family Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.