The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an Order revising the Child Support Guidelines. Those revisions take effect on January 1, 2022 and apply to cases pending on that date and thereafter. They also apply to modification of child support orders.
The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide for the best interests of the children by recognizing the duty of both parents to provide adequate support for their children in proportion to their respective incomes. There can be a low-income adjustment for low-income obligated non-custodial parents with the objective of striking a balance between adequately supporting the obligated parent’s children and allowing the obligated parent to live at least at a subsistence level.
There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount of child support calculated under the Guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be awarded; however, that amount may be adjusted upward or downward to provide for the needs of the children or to do justice between the parties under the circumstances of the case pursuant to Rule 9.11. The court may, if appropriate, impute income to a party under Rule 9.11. Any variance must be supported in a written finding by the Court. Child care expenses can play a role in determining a variance but are considered independent of any amount computed by the use of the Guidelines or any other grounds for a variance.
Spousal support, whether paid in the present case or in a prior case, is considered when determining how “gross monthly income” is determined based upon whether the spousal support is subject to income taxation; however, “reimbursement spousal support” will not be added to a payee’s income or deducted from a payor’s income when determining “gross monthly income”.
“Uncovered medical expenses” will be shared by the parties in proportion to their respective net incomes in joint physical care cases. In all other cases the custodial parent is to pay the first $250 per calendar year per child up to a maximum of $800 per calendar year for all children, thereafter the parties pay in proportion to their respective net incomes.
There are still credits given for extraordinary visitation care under Rule 9.9 depending upon the number of overnight visitations taken by the non-custodial parent.
The Guidelines dictate that all parties must file a child support guidelines worksheet prior to a support hearing or the establishment of a support order.
If you have a specific support issue, please contact our office.