The money is to be used for the purposes of supporting the child.
The federal plan, codified at 42 United States Code § 670 et seq. (1994 and Supp.1999), was passed in 1980 as part of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act. Essentially, the program provides federal reimbursements to states that pay benefits to parents who adopt children with special needs. 2 Joan H. Hollinger, Adoption Law and Practice § 9.02, at 9-6 (Supp.1999). Every state now has an adoption assistance program, and, because the statutory provisions governing the federal program are in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, the benefits are typically called “IV-E benefits.”
Adoption assistance subsidies are not income to either parent, therefore they cannot be considered income in the child support calculation. Hamblen v. Hamblen, 54 P.3d 371 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2002); In re Paternity of M.L.B., 633 N.E.2d 1028 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994); Strandberg v. Strandberg, 664 N.W.2d 887 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003); County of Ramsey v. Wilson, 526 N.W.2d 384 (Minn. Ct. App.1995); A.E. v. J.I.E., 179 Misc. 2d 63, 686 N.Y.S.2d 613 (Sup. Ct. 1999).
CA family code specifically states that child support is to be based on the parent's income (and parenting time) -
4052.5. (a) The statewide uniform guideline, as required by federal regulations, shall apply in any case in which a child has more than two parents. The court shall apply the guideline by dividing child support obligations among the parents based on income and amount of time spent with the child by each parent, pursuant to Section 4053.
Under statutory interpretation, this would exclude any income attributable to the income of the child.
The court would need to make a determination as to which parent should have access to the adoption assistance subsidy; they may apportion it between the parents based on the timeshare, may order it to be paid for certain expenses of the child (if for example, the child has special needs, the money would be ordered to pay for those related expenses) or if it is to be held in trust for the child.
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