With more and more people being under and unemployed, courts are seeing a surge in requests to reduce or suspend child support payments. It's understandable that budget cutbacks need to be made under such circumstances, but it is fair for child support to be a focus?
Given that the custodial parent cannot reduce the amount of food and shelter the child needs just because of the economy, it is unfair for those paying child support to see a reduction in payments as a viable option.
From the article:
" "It's really a teetering issue for child support offices," Ms. Marks said. "You have one party who is really desperate because they're not getting the full amount of support. And their expenses have increased, and their hours are probably decreasing."
On the flip side are the fathers, and "they don't have a job at all anymore," she said. "You try to maintain fairness."
The court will typically order fathers to pay a portion of their unemployment benefits in child support. But if their unemployment runs out, and they have no income, the court will temporarily resort to what is called "open support," Ms. Marks said. What that means, she explained, is "you don't have to pay any child support."