Guam - The Supreme Court of Guam last Friday published an opinion in the case of Darius P. Richardson vs. Jean L. Richardson. The opinion is said to have major implications for the implementation of Guam's child support laws.

In the opinion, Chief Justice Robert Torres has determined that the Superior Court erred in granting an increase from the 2008 Guam Child Support Guidelines based on actual costs without a factual finding that the children's needs had significantly changed.  The Guidelines already include costs such as shelter, food and utilities - because of this, payments should not have been changed. 

Darius Richardson was denied in 2008 a motion to recalculate back payment. When he appealed the order, the Supreme Court found the trial court did not correctly apply the guidelines and denied him because of previous back pay. The case is now with the Superior Court.