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Rule 90.3. Child Support Awards.
(a) Guidelines-Sole or Primary Physical Custody. A child support award in a case in which one parent is awarded sole or primary physical custody as defined by paragraph (f) will be calculated as an amount equal to the adjusted annual income of the non-custodial parent multiplied by a percentage specified in subparagraph (a)(2).
(1) Adjusted annual income as used in this rule means the parent's total income from all sources minus:
(A) mandatory deductions such as federal income tax, social security tax, mandatory retirement deductions and mandatory union dues;
(B) child support and alimony payments arising from prior relationships which are required by other court or administrative proceedings and actually paid;
(C) child support for children from prior relationships living with the parent, calculated by using the formula provided by this rule; and
(D) work related child care expenses for the children who are the subject of the child support order.
(2) The percentage by which the non-custodial parent's adjusted income must be multiplied in order to calculate the child support award is:
(A) 20% (.20) for one child;
(B) 27% (.27) for two children;
(C) 33% (.33) for three children; and
(D) an extra 3% (.03) for each additional child.
(3) The court may allow the obligor parent to reduce child support payments up to 50% for any period in which that parent has extended visitation of over 27 consecutive days. The order must specify the amount of the reduction which is allowable if the extended visitation is exercised.
(b) Shared Physical Custody. A child support award in a case in which the parents are awarded shared physical custody as defined by paragraph (f) will be calculated by:
(1) Calculating the annual amount each parent would pay to the other parent under paragraph (a) assuming the other parent had primary custody.
(2) Multiplying this amount for each parent by the percentage of time the other parent will have physical custody of the children. However, if the court finds that the percentage of time each parent will have physical custody will not accurately reflect the ratio of funds each parent will directly spend on supporting the children, the court shall vary this percentage to reflect its findings.
(3) The parent with the larger figure calculated in the preceding subparagraph is the obligor parent and the annual award is equal to the difference between the two figures multiplied by 1.5. However, if this figure is higher than the amount of support which would be calculated under paragraph (a) assuming sole or primary custody, the annual support is the amount calculated under paragraph (a).
(4) The child support award is to be paid in 12 equal monthly installments unless shared custody is based on the obligor parent having physical custody for periods of 30 consecutive days or more. In that case, the total annual award will be paid in equal installments over those months in which the obligor parent does not have physical custody.
(5) The child support order shall provide that failure to exercise sufficient physical custody to qualify for shared physical custody under this rule is grounds for modification of the child support order. Denial of visitation by the custodial parent is not cause to increase child support.
(1) The court may vary the child support award as calculated under the other provisions of this rule for good cause upon proof by clear and convincing evidence that manifest injustice would result if the support award were not varied. The court must specify in writing the reason for the variation, the amount of support which would have been required but for the variation, and the estimated value of any property conveyed instead of support calculated under the other provisions of this rule. Good cause may include a finding:
(A) That unusual circumstances, such as especially large family size, significant income of a child, divided custody as defined by paragraph (f) of this rule, health or other extraordinary expenses, or unusually low expenses, exist which require variation of the award in order to award an amount of support which is just and proper for the parties to contribute toward the nurture and education of their children. The court shall consider the custodial parent's income in this determination; or
(B) a finding that the parent with the child support obligation has a gross income which is below the poverty level as set forth in the Federal Register. However, a parent who would be required to pay child support pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) must be ordered to pay a minimum child support amount of no less than $50.00 per month except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3) and (b).
(2) Paragraphs (a) and (b) do not apply to the extent that the parent has an adjusted annual income of over $72,000. In such a case, the court may make an additional award only if it is just and proper, taking into account the needs of the children, the standard of living of the children and the extent to which that standard should be reflective of the supporting parent's ability to pay.
(3) In addition to ordering a parent to pay child support as calculated under this rule, the court may, in appropriate circumstances, order one or more grandparents of a child to pay child support to an appropriate person in an amount determined by the court to serve the best interests of the child. However, the amount may not exceed the smaller of (A) a proportionate share of the amount required to provide care in a supervised setting to the grandchild, as determined by the court, or (B) the amount that would have been awarded if the child's parents had the incomes of the child's grandparents and paragraphs (a) and (b) were applied. An order under this paragraph may be issued only with respect to a child whose parents are both minors, and the order terminates when either parent becomes 18 years of age. The court must specify in writing the reasons why it considers it to be appropriate to order a grandparent to pay child support under this paragraph and the factors considered in setting the amount of the child support award. In this paragraph, "grandparent" means the natural or adoptive parent of the minor parent.
(d) Health Care Coverage.
(1) Health Insurance. The court shall address coverage of the children's health care needs and require health insurance for the children if insurance is available to either parent at a reasonable cost. The court shall consider whether the children are eligible for services through the Indian Health Service (or any other entity) or other insurance coverage before ordering the obligor to provide health care coverage through insurance or other means. The court shall allocate equally the cost of this insurance between the parties unless the court orders otherwise for good cause. An obligor's child support obligation will be decreased by the amount of the obligee's portion of health insurance payments ordered by the court and actually paid by the obligor. A child support award will be increased by the obligor's portion of health insurance if the obligee is ordered to, and actually does obtain and pay for insurance.
(2) Uncovered Health Care Expenses. The court shall allocate equally between the parties the cost of reasonable health care expenses not covered by insurance unless the court orders otherwise for good cause, except that a reasonable, uncovered expense in excess of $5,000 must be allocated based on the parties relative financial circumstances when the expense occurs. A party shall reimburse the other party for his or her share of the uncovered expenses within 30 days of receipt of the bill for the health care, payment verification, and, if applicable, a health insurance statement indicating what portion of the cost is uncovered.
(e) Child Support Affidavit and Documentation. Each parent in a court proceeding at which child support is involved must file a pleading under oath which states the parent's adjusted annual income and the components of this income as provided in subparagraph (a)(1). This statement must be filed with a party's initial pleading (such as the dissolution petition, divorce complaint or answer, etc.). The statement must be accompanied by documentation verifying the income. For any infraction of these rules, the court may withhold or assess costs or attorney's fees as the circumstances of the case and discouragement of like conduct in the future may require; and such costs and attorney's fees may be imposed upon offending attorneys or parties.
(1) Shared Physical Custody. A parent has shared physical custody of children for purposes of this rule if the children reside with that parent for a period specified in writing of at least 30 percent of the year, regardless of the status of legal custody.
(2) Sole or Primary Physical Custody. A parent has sole or primary physical custody of children for purposes of this rule when the other parent has physical control of the children less than 30 percent of the year.
(3) Divided Custody. Parents have divided custody under this rule if one parent has sole or primary physical custody of one or more children of the relationship and the other parent has sole or primary custody of one or more other children of the relationship.
(4) Health Care Expenses. Health care expenses include medical, dental, vision and mental health counseling expenses.
(g) Travel Expenses. After determining an award of child support under this rule, the court may allocate reasonable travel expenses which are necessary to exercise visitation between the parties as may be just and proper for them to contribute.
(1) A final child support award may be modified upon a showing of a material change of circumstances as provided by state law. A material change of circumstances will be presumed if support as calculated under this rule is more than 15 percent greater or less than the outstanding support order. For purposes of this paragraph, support includes health insurance payments made pursuant to (d)(1) of this rule.
(2) Child support arrearage may not be modified retroactively, except as allowed by AS 25.27.166(d). A modification which is effective on or after the date that a motion for modification, or a notice of petition for modification by the Child Support Enforcement Division, is served on the opposing party is not considered a retroactive modification.
(i) State Custody. When the state takes custody of all children of a parent, the parent's support obligation to the state is an amount equal to the adjusted annual income of the parent multiplied by the percentage specified in subparagraph (a)(2). If the state takes custody of some but not all children, the parent's support obligation to the state is an amount equal to the adjusted annual income of the parent, multiplied by the percentage specified in subparagraph (a)(2) for the total number of the parent's children, multiplied by the number of the parent's children in state custody, divided by the total number of the parent's children. For purposes of this paragraph, a parent's children only include children of the parent who live with the parent, are substantially supported by the parent or who are in state custody.
(j) Support Order Forms. All orders for payment or modification of child support shall be entered on a form developed by the administrative director. A party may lodge a duplicate of the court form produced by a laser printer or similar device. A device may also print, in a contrasting typestyle equivalent to that produced by a typewriter, text that otherwise would have been entered by a typewriter or word processor. A party or attorney who lodges a duplicate certifies by lodging the duplicate that it is identical to the current version of the court form.
(Added by SCO 833 effective August 1, 1987; amended by SCO 935 effective January 15, 1989; by SCO 1008 effective January 15, 1990; by SCO 1192 effective July 15, 1995; by SCO 1269 effective July 15, 1997; and by SCO 1295 effective January 15, 1998)
NOTE: This rule is adopted under the supreme court's interpretive authority pursuant to Article IV, Section 1 of the Alaska Constitution. Thus, it may be superseded by legislation even if the legislation does not meet the procedural requirements for changing rules promulgated under Article IV, Section 15.
NOTE to Civil Rule 90.3(c)(1)(B): The Federal Poverty Guidelines are usually revised each February. The new poverty income guideline for one person in Alaska in 1998 is $10,070 (Federal Register, Vol. 63 No. 36, 9235-9238, February 24, 1998). The Alaska Supreme Court has indicated that the poverty guideline that should be used is the guideline for the state in which the obligor resides. See Carstens v. Carstens, 867 P.2d 805, 810 (Alaska 1994).
NOTE to Civil Rule 90.3(h)(1): Section 44 of ch. 87 SLA 1997 amended AS 25.24.170(b) to allow support to be modified without a showing of a material change in circumstances as necessary to comply with federal law. Federal law eliminates the need for a showing only in cases being enforced by CSED that are being reviewed under CSED's periodic review and modification program. According to § 152 of ch. 87 SLA 1997, the amendment to AS 25.24.170(b) has the effect of amending Civil Rule 90.3 by changing the standard for certain modifications of a support order.
NOTE to Civil Rule 90.3(h)(2): AS 25.27.166(d), enacted by § 14 of ch. 57 SLA 1995, has the effect of amending Civil Rule 90.3(h)(2) by allowing retroactive modification of child support arrearage under circumstances involving disestablishment of paternity, to the extent such modification is not prohibited by federal law.
Note to SCO 1269: Civil Rule 90.3(c)(3) was added by § 44 ch. 107 SLA 1996. Section 22 of ch. 107 SLA 1996 enacts 25.27.195(b), which allows CSED to vacate an administrative support order that was based on a default amount rather than the obligor's actual ability to pay. If an order is vacated on this basis, AS 25.27.195(d) allows the agency to modify the obligor's arrearages under the original order. According to § 50 ch. 107 SLA 1996, AS 25.27.195(d) has the effect of amending Rule 90.3(h)(2), which prohibits retroactive modification of child support arrearages.
NOTE: Section 41 of ch. 87 SLA 1997 amends AS 25.20.050 relating to paternity actions. According to § 150 of the Act, § 41 has the effect of amending Civil Rule 90.3 by requiring the court in a paternity action to issue a temporary child support order upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence of paternity.
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Copyright 1995-1999 by Touch N' Go Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. No copyright claim is made to the text of the rules.
Last Modified 7/14/1999