In a few limited circumstances, funds that a child either earns or receives “from any source other than court-ordered child support,” could be credited to a parent in satisfaction of that parent’s child support obligation. For instance, if a disabled adult child receives or earns money, then it could be attributed to satisfy a parent’s support obligation.
The guidelines address benefits in the form of insurance and Social Security Disability (SSD) payments that a custodial parent receives “on behalf of a child.” When the payments received on that child’s behalf were the “result of contributions made by the parent paying child support,” then credit toward that parent’s support obligation is possible.
When the child support obligation is $1,200 per year or more, then the federal tax exemptions for dependent children should be allocated between the parents (see your tax adviser for specific tax advice). The allocation of exemptions should mirror, as closely as possible, each parent’s support share. If a parent will get no tax benefit from claiming the exemption, then the allocation shifts to the other parent who will get a tax benefit from the exemption. When the noncustodial parent is behind in paying court-ordered arrearages, then the allocation of the exemption does not shift to him or her.
Here is how the court must calculate child support arrearages under the guidelines:
A. When setting an amount for a payment on arrears, the court should take into consideration that interest accrues on the principal balance. If the court sets a payment on arrears less than the amount of the accruing monthly interest, the court shall make a finding why the amount is less than the accruing monthly interest. Upon a showing of substantial and continuing changed circumstances, the court may adjust the amount of payment on arrears.
B. When a current child support obligation terminates, before adjusting the Order of Assignment to an amount less than the current child support amount and the payment on arrears, the court shall consider the total amount of arrears and the accruing interest, and the time that it will take the obligor to pay these amounts.
The current version of the guidelines went into effect on June 1, 2015.