Welcome to the YoungWilliams Research & Case Law Library.  Use the filters below to select categories of interest to you.  Currently our Library consists of academic and government research articles and reports from around the country, federal opinions, and case law from states in which our full service child support projects are located: Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Sign up to receive updates by clicking the blue  box at the left of the page.

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Research & Case Law

Task 11: States’ Child Support Guidelines for Children with Disabilities

April 2021

This report explores the issue of setting child support for children with special needs. Estimates show an increase in the number of children with special needs over the last few decades. The children’s needs are wide and varied, which can make the cost to raise these children high. A parent may need to provide full-time care, which limits the parent’s ability to earn.

Carman v. Harris (Kansas 2021)

April 2021

A child support order can provide for payment of prenatal and birth expenses if the request is made timely. The 2015 initial paternity order contained no provision for the mother’s prenatal medical care or birth expenses. Mother made no attempt to recover these costs until 2016 when she filed a request for the expenses and to modify support. The trial court denied her request and the mother appealed.

Bennett v. Bennett (Mississippi 2021)

April 2021

The expenses associated with raising a child are expected to increase as the child ages but the specific amount isn’t foreseeable. An action to modify the child support amount may be necessary. The mother filed to find the father in contempt for failure to pay child support and to modify the order. She alleged her expenses had increased since the father hadn’t exercised visitation, the father had failed to pay his share of medical expenses, and  the father had a second job and was earning additional income.

Amsden v. Amsden (Nebraska 2021)

April 2021

A settlement agreement is subject to the principles of contact law. If the parties haven’t agreed to essential terms, then there is no agreement. Following the father’s filing of a petition to modify custody, the parents in this case reached a settlement agreement. The parties read the agreement into the record during court, acknowledging the child support worksheet still needed to be completed. The trial court gave the parties time to do so. Eventually, the father filed a motion to enforce the agreement. The trial court granted the motion and ordered the mother to pay support. The mother appealed.

In the Interest of KLW and JLW (Colorado 2021)

April 2021

The Colorado Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) does not allow for a child to have more than two legal parents. When there are two competing unrebutted presumptions, the court must decide which presumption controls based on the weightier considerations of policy and logic. The children in this case had three possible parents: their mother,  CLF, who was in a relationship with their mother, and their biological father. The children were removed from their mother in a dependency and neglect action. CLF filed a motion to declare her as the mother of the children. Following a hearing, the juvenile court named the biological father as the legal parent, and CLF appealed.

Langley v. Langely (Nebraska 2021)

April 2021

A correct result in a child support modification will not be set aside even if the court applied the wrong reasoning. In the original divorce decree, neither party was ordered to pay support based on the close to equal parenting schedule. The mother filed to modify custody and the father counterclaimed to modify custody and support. The father alleged his reduced income as a substantial change of circumstances. The trial court granted the modification based on the amount of time the children spent with each parent and ordered the mother to pay support. The mother appealed.

Cousin v. Cousin (North Carolina 2021)

April 2021

A court can use a parent’s prior income to calculate gross monthly income but findings must support the decision. This case came before the district court in early 2018. During the trial, the father testified as to his income so far 2018. Evidence showed his income for 2016 and 2017 and bonuses received during both years. The father testified he had yet to receive a bonus in 2018 and didn’t know if he would. To calculate the father’s income for child support, the district court used his 2017 income and added in an amount to cover a bonus. This meant the parties’ combined adjusted gross income was above the upper limit for the child support guidelines.

State ex rel. Roberts v. Crafton (Tennessee 2021)

April 2021

A child support order may be void on grounds of public policy if it relieves both parents of their obligation to pay support. The original divorce decree in this case ordered the father to pay half of the children’s private school tuition in lieu of child support. If the children stopped attending private school, then support would be calculated under the guidelines. Subsequently, the case was transferred from Circuit Court to Juvenile Court.  The father filed many motions all with the objective of setting aside the tuition provision.

McGrath v. Hester (Tennessee 2021)

April 2021

A clear and unambiguous provision of an agreed-to parenting plan is enforceable. The parents in this case agreed to a provision in their parenting plan requiring them to each maintain a life insurance policy in the amount of $300,000 for the benefit of their children until completion of the child support obligation. The father, who remarried, passed away. He left a life insurance policy, and the mother filed a complaint requesting a constructive trust for the $300,000.

Bowmaker v. Rollman (Nebraska 2021)

April 2021

Principles of equity may guide a trial court in crafting a decision under specific circumstances in a child support case. The mother registered a Kansas divorce decree in Nebraska and then filed to modify it and for a finding of contempt against the father for a failure to pay support. Prior to hearing, the parties agreed to a parenting agreement that modified child support. The court approved the agreement pending resolution of several other issues. Prior to entry of the final order, the father filed to set aside the parenting agreement due to a significant decrease in his income. The trial court set aside the agreement but offered the mother the opportunity to do additional discovery about the father’s income.