Using the sample of orders from Maryland’s 2011 to 2014 guidelines review, this brief analyzes data regarding payments made during the first year after order establishment or modification. We answer the following research questions:
1. Did orders that deviated from the guidelines experience higher payment compliance than orders that did not deviate?
2. Did the reasons for deviations have an effect on payment compliance?
We also explore obligor income as it relates to both deviations and payment compliance. Families with higher incomes were more likely to receive a deviation from the guidelines, and obligors with higher incomes also had a higher level of payment compliance (Hall, Demyan, & Passarella, 2016; Saunders, Passarella, & Born, 2014). Therefore, we also investigate whether obligors who received a deviation had different payment compliance outcomes compared to obligors who did not receive a deviation, even if both groups of obligors had similar incomes. (Edited author introduction)