Providing Comprehensive, Hands-On Legal Help When You Need It

What is the Delaware Melson Formula and how does it work?

If you are seeking child support in Delaware, there is a different model for calculation than the usual. The Melson Formula is used in three states, including Delaware. The purpose of this formula is to make sure that both parents are able to meet their basic needs while supporting their children. It’s important to understand how the formula works.

What is the Melson Formula model for child support?

The Melson Formula is used to decide amounts for child support payments. Family law courts within Delaware allow each parent to be able to maintain a standard of living for their own basic needs and to support their child at the same time. This is considered a fair way to determine child support, as it allows all parties to meet their basic needs.

What are the relevant factors of the Melson Formula?

Per family law, the Melson Formula share similarities to the Income Shares Model that is used by many other states. However, it differs by allowing each parent to have more child support if one or both of their incomes increase. There are three principles that the Melson Formula uses. They include the following:

  • Each parent is ensured to be able to meet their basic financial needs
  • Parents are not entitled to keep more income than they need to in order to meet their basic financial needs
  • The child or children are entitled to receive more financial benefits from the noncustodial parent when that parent’s standard of living is higher than the custodial parent’s

Why is the Melson Formula beneficial?

Although the Melson Formula is often viewed as the most complex of models to determine child support payments, it’s also considered to be the fairest. It is consistent and takes child custody arrangements and healthcare needs into consideration. At the same time, it also factors in the parents’ needs, which is remarkably different from other models. When the Melson Formula is used, it doesn’t have any extreme effects on a parent’s income, even when theirs is much lower than the other parent’s income.