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LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES
TITLE 9. CIVIL CODE ANCILLARIES
CODE BOOK I--OF PERSONS
CODE TITLE V--DIVORCE
CHAPTER 1. DIVORCE
PART I-A. CHILD SUPPORT
SUBPART A. GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINATION OF CHILD SUPPORT

315. Definitions

As used in this Part:

(1) "Adjusted gross income" means gross income, minus amounts for preexisting child support or spousal support obligations paid to another who is not a party to the proceedings, or on behalf of a child who is not the subject of the action of the court.

(2) "Combined adjusted gross income" means the combined adjusted gross income of both parties.

(3) "Extraordinary medical expenses" means uninsured expenses over one hundred dollars for a single illness or condition. It includes but is not limited to reasonable and necessary costs for orthodontia, dental treatment, asthma treatment, physical therapy, uninsured chronic health problems, and professional counseling or psychiatric therapy for diagnosed mental disorders.

(4) "Gross income" means:

(a) The income from any source, including but not limited to salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, worker's compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, and spousal support received from a preexisting spousal support obligation;

(b) Expense reimbursement or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business, if the reimbursements or payments are significant and reduce the parent's personal living expenses. Such payments include but are not limited to a company car, free housing, or reimbursed meals; and

(c) Gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce income, for purposes of income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business, or joint ownership or a partnership or closely held corporation. "Ordinary and necessary expenses" shall not include amounts allowable by the Internal Revenue Service for the accelerated component of depreciation expenses or investment tax credits or any other business expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate for determining gross income for purposes of calculating child support.

(d) As used herein, "gross income" does not include:

(i) Child support received, or benefits received from public assistance programs, including Family Independence Temporary Assistance Plan, supplemental security income, food stamps, and general assistance.

(ii) Per diem allowances which are not subject to federal income taxation under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

(iii) Extraordinary overtime or income attributed to seasonal work regardless of its percentage of gross income when, in the court's discretion, the inclusion thereof would be inequitable to a party.

(5) "Health insurance premiums" means the actual amount paid by a party for providing health insurance on behalf of the child. It does not include any amount paid by an employer or any amounts paid for coverage of any other persons. If more than one dependent is covered by health insurance which is paid through a lump-sum dependent-coverage premium, and not all of such dependents are the subject of the guidelines calculation, the cost of the coverage shall be prorated among the dependents covered before being applied to the guidelines.

(6) "Income" means:

(a) Actual gross income of a party, if the party is employed to full capacity; or

(b) Potential income of a party, if the party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. A party shall not be deemed voluntarily unemployed or underemployed if he or she is absolutely unemployable or incapable of being employed, or if the unemployment or underemployment results through no fault or neglect of the party.

(c) The court may also consider as income the benefits a party derives from expense-sharing or other sources; however, in determining the benefits of expense-sharing, the court shall not consider the income of another spouse, regardless of the legal regime under which the remarriage exists, except to the extent that such income is used directly to reduce the cost of a party's actual expenses.

(7) "Net child care costs" means the reasonable costs of child care incurred by a party due to employment or job search, minus the value of the federal income tax credit for child care.

315.1. Rebuttable presumption; deviation from guidelines by court; stipulations by parties

A. The guidelines set forth in this Part are to be used in any proceeding to establish or modify child support filed on or after October 1, 1989. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the amount of child support obtained by use of the guidelines set forth in this Part is the proper amount of child support.

B. The court may deviate from the guidelines set forth in this Part if their application would not be in the best interest of the child or would be inequitable to the parties. The court shall give specific oral or written reasons for the deviation, including a finding as to the amount of support that would have been required under a mechanical application of the guidelines and the particular facts and circumstances that warranted a deviation from the guidelines. The reasons shall be made part of the record of the proceedings.

C. In determining whether to deviate from the guidelines, the court's considerations may include:

(1) That the combined adjusted gross income of the parties is not within the amounts shown on the schedule in R.S. 9:315.14. If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties is less than the lowest sum shown on the schedule, the court shall determine an amount of child support based on the facts of the case. If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties exceeds the highest sum shown on the schedule, the provisions of R.S. 9:315.10(B) shall apply.

(2) The legal obligation of a party to support dependents who are not the subject of the action before the court and who are in that party's household.

(3) The extraordinary medical expenses of a party, or extraordinary medical expenses for which a party may be responsible, not otherwise taken into consideration under the guidelines.

(4) An extraordinary community debt of the parties.

(5) The need for immediate and temporary support for a child when a full hearing on the issue of support is pending but cannot be timely held. In such cases, the court at the full hearing shall use the provisions of this Part and may redetermine support without the necessity of a change of circumstances being shown.

(6) The permanent or temporary total disability of a spouse to the extent such disability diminishes his present and future earning capacity, his need to save adequately for uninsurable future medical costs, and other additional costs associated with such disability, such as transportation and mobility costs, medical expenses, and higher insurance premiums.

(7) Any other consideration which would make application of the guidelines not in the best interest of the child or children or inequitable to the parties.

D. The court may review and approve a stipulation between the parties entered into after the effective date of this Part as to the amount of child support to be paid. If the court does review the stipulation, the court shall consider the guidelines set forth in this Part to review the adequacy of the stipulated amount, and may require the parties to provide the court with the income statements and documentation required by R.S. 9:315.2.

315.2. Calculation of basic child support obligation

A. Each party shall provide to the court a verified income statement showing gross income and adjusted gross income, together with documentation of current and past earnings. Suitable documentation of current earnings shall include but not be limited to pay stubs, employer statements, or receipts and expenses if self-employed. The documentation shall include a copy of the party's most recent federal tax return. A copy of the statement and documentation shall be provided to the other party.

B. If a party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, his or her gross income shall be determined as set forth in R.S. 9:315.9.

C. The parties shall combine the amounts of their adjusted gross incomes. Each party shall then determine by percentage his or her proportionate share of the combined amount. The amount obtained for each party is his or her percentage share of the combined adjusted gross income.

D. The court shall determine the basic child support obligation amount from the schedule in R.S. 9:315.14 by using the combined adjusted gross income of the parties and the number of children involved in the proceeding.

E. After the basic child support obligation has been established, the total child support obligation shall be determined as hereinafter provided in this Part.



315.3. Net child care costs; addition to basic obligation

Net child care costs shall be added to the basic child support obligation.

315.4. Health insurance premiums; addition to basic obligation

In any child support case, the court may order one of the parties to enroll or maintain an insurable child in a health benefits plan, policy, or program. In determining which party should be required to enroll the child or to maintain such insurance on behalf of the child, the court shall consider each party's individual, group, or employee's health insurance program, employment history, and personal income and other resources. The cost of health insurance premiums incurred on behalf of the child shall be added to the basic child support obligation.

315.5. Extraordinary medical expenses; addition to basic obligation

By agreement of the parties or order of the court, extraordinary medical expenses incurred on behalf of the child shall be added to the basic child support obligation.

315.6. Other extraordinary expenses; addition to basic obligation

By agreement of the parties or order of the court, the following expenses incurred on behalf of the child may be added to the basic child support obligation:

(1) Any expenses for attending a special or private elementary or secondary school to meet the particular educational needs of the child.

(2) Any expenses for transportation of the child from one party to the other.


315.7. Deductions for income of the child

A. Income of the child that can be used to reduce the basic needs of the child may be considered as a deduction from the basic child support obligation.

B. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to income earned by a child while a full-time student, regardless of whether such income was earned during a summer or holiday break.


315.8. Calculation of total child support obligation; worksheet

A. The total child support obligation shall be determined by adding together the basic child support obligation amount, the net child care costs, the cost of health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, and other extraordinary expenses.

B. A deduction, if any, for income of the child shall then be subtracted from the amount calculated in Subsection A. The remaining amount is the total child support obligation.

C. Each party's share of the total child support obligation shall then be determined by multiplying his or her percentage share of combined adjusted gross income times the total child support obligation.

D. The party without legal custody or nondomiciliary party shall owe his or her total child support obligation as a money judgment of child support to the custodial or domiciliary party, minus any court-ordered direct payments made on behalf of the child for work-related net child care costs, health insurance premiums, extraordinary medical expenses, or extraordinary expenses provided as adjustments to the schedule.

E. In cases of joint custody, the court shall consider the period of time spent by the child with the nondomiciliary party as a basis for adjustment to the amount of child support to be paid during that period of time. The court shall include in such consideration the continuing expenses of the domiciliary party.

F. The worksheet in R.S. 9:315.15, or a substantially similar form adopted by local court rule, shall be used to determine child support in accordance with this Section.


315.9. Voluntarily unemployed or underemployed party

If a party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, child support shall be calculated based on a determination of his or her income earning potential, unless the party is physically or mentally incapacitated, or is caring for a child of the parties under the age of five years. The amount of the basic child support obligation obtained by use of this Section shall not exceed that amount which the party paying support would have owed had no determination of the other party's earning income potential been made.

315.10. Amounts not set forth in or exceeding schedule

A. If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties falls between two amounts shown in the schedule contained in R.S. 9:315.14, the basic child support obligation shall be based on an extrapolation between the two amounts.

B. If the combined adjusted gross income of the parties exceeds the highest level specified in the schedule contained in R.S. 9:315.14, the court shall use its discretion in setting the amount of the basic child support obligation, but in no event shall it be less than the highest amount set forth in the schedule.


315.11. No change in circumstances intended

The enactment of this Part shall not for that reason alone be considered a change in the circumstances of either party.


315.12. Review of guidelines

The guidelines set forth in this Part shall be reviewed by the legislature not less than once every four years. A review of the guidelines shall take place in 1999, and it shall be the responsibility of the office of family support, support enforcement services of the Department of Social Services, and the Louisiana District Attorneys Association to obtain all information required to comply with the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 667(a) and present the same to the legislature sixty days prior to the beginning of the 1999 Regular Session of the Legislature, and every four years thereafter.


315.12.1. Standard of appellate review

Deviations by the trial court from the guidelines set forth in this Part shall not be disturbed absent a finding of manifest error.


315.13. Schedule; information

A. The amounts set forth in the schedule in R.S. 9:315.14 presume that the custodial or domiciliary party has the right to claim the federal and state tax dependency deductions and any earned income credit. However, the claiming of dependents for federal and state income tax purposes shall be as provided in Subsection B of this Section.

B. (1) The non-domiciliary party whose child support obligation equals or exceeds fifty percent of the total child support obligation shall be entitled to claim the federal and state tax dependency deductions if, after a contradictory motion, the judge finds both of the following:

(a) No arrearages are owed by the obligor.

(b) The right to claim the dependency deductions or, in the case of multiple children, a part thereof, would substantially benefit the non-domiciliary party without significantly harming the domiciliary party.

(2) The child support order shall:

(a) Specify the years in which the party is entitled to claim such deductions.

(b) Require the domiciliary party to timely execute all forms required by the Internal Revenue Service authorizing the non-domiciliary party to claim such deductions.


315.14. Schedule for support

The schedule of support to be used for determining the basic child support obligation is as follows:

LOUISIANA
CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINE
SCHEDULE OF BASIC CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATIONS
COMBINED
ADJUSTED
MONTHLY
GROSS
INCOME
ONE
CHILD
TWO
CHILDREN
THREE
CHILDREN
FOUR
CHILDREN
FIVE
CHILDREN
SIX OR
MORE
CHILDREN
600.00 68 69 70 71 71 72
650.00 102 103 104 106 107 108
700.00 136 138 139 141 142 144
750.00 165 172 174 176 178 179
800.00 174 206 208 211 213 215
850.00 182 240 243 245 248 251
900.00 189 274 277 280 283 286
950.00 197 305 310 313 317 320
1000.00 203 315 339 342 346 350
1050.00 210 325 367 371 375 379
1100.00 216 335 396 400 405 409
1150.00 222 345 425 429 434 439
1200.00 229 354 444 458 463 468
1250.00 235 364 456 487 493 498
1300.00 241 374 469 516 522 528
1350.00 248 384 481 542 551 557
1400.00 254 394 494 556 581 587
1450.00 260 404 506 570 610 617
1500.00 267 414 519 584 637 646
1550.00 273 424 531 598 653 676
1600.00 281 435 545 614 670 717
1650.00 288 446 560 630 688 736
1700.00 295 458 574 647 705 755
1750.00 303 469 588 663 723 774
1800.00 310 481 603 679 741 792
1850.00 317 492 617 695 758 811
1900.00 325 503 631 711 776 830
1950.00 331 513 643 724 790 846
2000.00 337 522 655 737 805 861
2050.00 343 532 667 751 819 877
2100.00 349 541 679 764 834 892
2150.00 355 551 691 778 849 908
2200.00 361 561 703 792 864 924
2250.00 368 570 715 805 878 940
2300.00 374 580 727 819 893 956
2350.00 380 590 739 832 908 972
2400.00 386 600 751 846 923 988
2450.00 392 609 763 860 938 1004
2500.00 399 619 776 873 953 1020
2550.00 405 629 788 887 968 1035
2600.00 411 638 800 901 983 1051
2650.00 417 648 812 914 998 1067
2700.00 424 658 824 928 1013 1083
2750.00 430 668 836 942 1028 1099
2800.00 436 677 848 955 1042 1115
2850.00 442 687 860 969 1057 1131
2900.00 448 697 872 983 1072 1147
2950.00 455 706 885 996 1087 1163
3000.00 461 716 897 1010 1102 1179
3050.00 467 726 909 1024 1117 1195
3100.00 473 736 921 1037 1132 1211
3150.00 479 745 933 1051 1147 1227
3200.00 486 755 945 1065 1162 1243
3250.00 492 765 957 1078 1177 1259
3300.00 498 774 969 1092 1192 1275
3350.00 504 784 981 1106 1206 1291
3400.00 510 794 994 1119 1221 1307
3450.00 517 804 1006 1133 1236 1323
3500.00 523 813 1018 1146 1251 1339
3550.00 529 823 1030 1160 1266 1355
3600.00 535 833 1042 1174 1281 1371
3650.00 542 842 1054 1187 1296 1387
3700.00 548 852 1066 1201 1311 1402
3750.00 554 862 1078 1215 1326 1418
3800.00 560 872 1090 1228 1341 1434
3850.00 566 881 1103 1242 1356 1450
3900.00 573 891 1115 1256 1371 1466
3950.00 579 901 1127 1269 1385 1482
4000.00 585 910 1139 1283 1400 1498
4050.00 590 919 1149 1295 1414 1512
4100.00 596 927 1160 1307 1427 1526
4150.00 601 936 1170 1319 1440 1540
4200.00 607 944 1181 1331 1452 1553
4250.00 612 953 1191 1343 1465 1567
4300.00 618 961 1202 1355 1478 1581
4350.00 623 970 1212 1367 1491 1595
4400.00 629 978 1223 1379 1504 1609
4450.00 634 987 1234 1391 1517 1623
4500.00 640 995 1244 1403 1530 1637
4550.00 645 1003 1255 1415 1543 1650
4600.00 651 1012 1265 1426 1556 1664
4650.00 656 1020 1276 1438 1569 1678
4700.00 662 1029 1286 1450 1582 1692
4750.00 667 1037 1297 1462 1595 1706
4800.00 673 1046 1307 1474 1608 1720
4850.00 678 1054 1318 1486 1621 1734
4900.00 684 1063 1328 1498 1634 1747
4950.00 689 1071 1339 1510 1647 1761
5000.00 695 1079 1349 1522 1660 1775
5050.00 700 1088 1360 1534 1673 1789
5100.00 706 1096 1370 1545 1686 1803
5150.00 711 1105 1381 1557 1699 1817
5200.00 717 1113 1391 1569 1712 1831
5250.00 722 1122 1402 1581 1725 1844
5300.00 728 1130 1413 1593 1738 1858
5350.00 733 1139 1423 1605 1751 1872
5400.00 738 1146 1432 1616 1763 1884
5450.00 743 1153 1441 1626 1774 1896
5500.00 748 1160 1450 1636 1785 1908
5550.00 752 1167 1459 1646 1796 1920
5600.00 757 1175 1468 1657 1807 1932
5650.00 762 1182 1478 1667 1819 1944
5700.00 767 1189 1487 1677 1830 1956
5750.00 771 1196 1496 1687 1841 1968
5800.00 776 1203 1505 1698 1852 1979
5850.00 781 1211 1514 1708 1863 1991
5900.00 785 1218 1523 1718 1875 2003
5950.00 790 1225 1532 1728 1886 2015
6000.00 795 1232 1541 1739 1897 2027
6050.00 800 1240 1550 1749 1908 2039
6100.00 804 1247 1559 1759 1919 2051
6150.00 809 1254 1568 1769 1931 2063
6200.00 814 1261 1577 1780 1942 2075
6250.00 819 1269 1587 1790 1953 2087
6300.00 823 1276 1596 1800 1964 2099
6350.00 828 1283 1605 1810 1975 2111
6400.00 833 1290 1614 1820 1987 2123
6450.00 838 1297 1623 1831 1998 2135
6500.00 842 1305 1632 1841 2009 2147
6550.00 847 1312 1641 1851 2020 2159
6600.00 852 1319 1650 1861 2031 2171
6650.00 857 1326 1659 1872 2043 2183
6700.00 861 1334 1668 1882 2054 2195
6750.00 866 1341 1677 1892 2065 2207
6800.00 871 1348 1687 1902 2076 2219
6850.00 875 1355 1696 1913 2087 2231
6900.00 879 1361 1703 1921 2096 2240
6950.00 883 1366 1710 1928 2105 2249
7000.00 886 1372 1717 1936 2113 2259
7050.00 889 1378 1725 1944 2122 2268
7100.00 893 1383 1732 1951 2130 2277
7150.00 896 1389 1739 1959 2139 2286
7200.00 900 1394 1746 1967 2147 2295
7250.00 903 1400 1753 1974 2156 2305
7300.00 906 1406 1760 1982 2164 2314
7350.00 910 1411 1767 1990 2173 2323
7400.00 913 1417 1774 1997 2181 2332
7450.00 916 1422 1781 2005 2189 2342
7500.00 920 1428 1788 2013 2198 2351
7550.00 923 1434 1795 2020 2206 2360
7600.00 927 1439 1802 2028 2215 2369
7650.00 930 1445 1809 2036 2223 2378
7700.00 933 1450 1816 2043 2232 2388
7750.00 937 1456 1824 2051 2240 2397
7800.00 940 1462 1831 2059 2249 2406
7850.00 944 1467 1838 2066 2257 2415
7900.00 947 1473 1845 2074 2265 2424
7950.00 950 1478 1852 2082 2274 2434
8000.00 954 1484 1859 2090 2282 2443
8050.00 957 1490 1866 2097 2291 2452
8100.00 960 1493 1871 2103 2297 2458
8150.00 962 1497 1875 2108 2302 2464
8200.00 965 1501 1880 2114 2308 2471
8250.00 967 1505 1885 2119 2314 2477
8300.00 970 1509 1890 2124 2320 2483
8350.00 972 1512 1895 2130 2326 2489
8400.00 975 1516 1899 2135 2332 2496
8450.00 977 1520 1904 2141 2338 2502
8500.00 980 1524 1909 2146 2344 2508
8550.00 982 1528 1914 2152 2350 2514
8600.00 985 1531 1919 2157 2355 2521
8650.00 987 1535 1923 2163 2361 2527
8700.00 990 1539 1928 2168 2367 2533
8750.00 992 1543 1933 2174 2373 2539
8800.00 995 1547 1938 2179 2379 2546
8850.00 997 1551 1943 2185 2386 2553
8900.00 1000 1555 1948 2191 2392 2559
8950.00 1003 1559 1954 2197 2398 2566
9000.00 1005 1563 1959 2203 2405 2573
9050.00 1008 1567 1964 2209 2411 2579
9100.00 1011 1571 1969 2215 2417 2586
9150.00 1013 1575 1974 2221 2424 2593
9200.00 1016 1580 1979 2227 2430 2600
9250.00 1019 1584 1985 2232 2436 2606
9300.00 1022 1588 1990 2238 2443 2613
9350.00 1024 1592 1995 2244 2449 2620
9400.00 1027 1596 2000 2250 2455 2627
9450.00 1030 1600 2005 2256 2462 2633
9500.00 1032 1604 2010 2262 2468 2640
9550.00 1035 1608 2016 2268 2474 2647
9600.00 1038 1612 2021 2274 2481 2653
9650.00 1040 1617 2026 2280 2487 2660
9700.00 1043 1621 2031 2286 2493 2667
9750.00 1046 1625 2036 2291 2500 2674
9800.00 1048 1629 2042 2297 2506 2680
9850.00 1051 1633 2047 2303 2512 2687
9900.00 1054 1637 2052 2309 2519 2694
9950.00 1057 1641 2057 2315 2525 2701
10000.00 1059 1645 2062 2321 2532 2707