THE OLD LAW: Noncustodial parents would pay a set portion of their income, usually somewhere between 17 percent and 23 percent, to the custodial parent. The custodial parent’s income was not taken into account.

THE NEW LAW: Both parents’ incomes are taken into account, in addition to any expenses a parent pays for children. Those expenses can include things such as day care, health care or the cost of extracurricular activities at school.

WHO’S ELIGIBLE: All new cases are decided under the new law. Any old cases that meet certain standards also can apply. If a parent’s income changes, or the noncustodial parent exercises more or less custody time than the court order provides, a parent can seek a change to the award.

SOURCE: News Service