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Ellman discusses child support at national conference

May 04, 2010

Professor Ira Ellman, of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, recently spoke about the Arizona child support guidelines currently under development at the plenary session of a national conference of state child support directors.

The conference, 2010 National Child Support Attorney College, was held April 26-29 in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Ellman was joined by Professor Burt Barnow of Johns Hopkins University, on a panel titled, "The Development and Future of Guideline Support Calculations." The session was moderated by Sharon A. Stone, director of the Butte County (Calif.) Department of Child Support Services.

The description of the session noted Arizona's groundbreaking new method for generating child support guidelines, which bases support amounts on the situation of the two parental households after separation.

Ellman and Barnow were integrally involved in the development of this new economic model for establishing child support.

This model is fundamentally different than a method that bases support amounts on controversial estimates of child expenditures when the parental relationship is intact, and is much closer to the model recommended by the American Law Institute.

Ellman's panel discussed problems with current support models that concerned Arizona, the fundamentals of the method Arizona employed to generate its new support guidelines, and the differences between the support amounts called for under Arizona's new approach and the support amounts provided for in Arizona's prior guidelines.

Ellman's current scholarly projects include an empirical investigation of how people make judgments about appropriate legal rules, and a book for Oxford University Press about the difficulties inherent in implementing family policy through family law. He is an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Child and Youth Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law