Another factor to consider in choosing a child support guideline: Errors in child support calculations
M. A. Pirog-Good
P. A. Brown
In an effort to standardize the calculation of monthly child support awards, the federal government requires states to use preestablished formulas to determine the amount of awards. However, because of human error, differences in the experience and training of the officials making the calculations, and the extent to which computers are used to calculate the awards, the formulas do not always yield the same result. In fact, the discrepancy between the amount calculated by an individual child support official and the approved amount as calculated by the state in which that official works can be quite large, on the order of several hundred dollars. Adopting simpler formulas will reduce errors; this should be a priority even if child support officials use computers to calculate award amounts (computers can reduce errors but will not eliminate them, particularly in the case of complex formulas). Efforts to further the training and education of personnel who calculate awards would also help, and child support offices should revise their formulas to cover high-income cases.
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