Child support payments could go up significantly

Some child support payments in Maryland could soon go up – a change that state Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald called “long overdue.”

For the first time in two decades, lawmakers are poised to revise the guidelines that courts use to set child support when divorcing or unmarried parents cannot agree on an amount. Those guidelines are based on household expense data from the 1970s, and although they accommodate rising incomes, advocates say they don’t account for the escalating costs of raising a child.

Human Resources officials estimate there are about 500,000 child support orders in Maryland – a mix of private agreements and court cases.

Written by Julie Bykowicz. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Release of dependency exemption trumps child support

In two recent cases, the Tax Court ruled on the validity of a dependency exemption release to a noncustodial parent. Taken together, the cases illustrate how a properly executed and filed Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, is the key to releasing a claim of exemption and outweighs state court orders.

In Armstrong, the court denied the deduction and child tax credit to a noncustodial father who did not attach Form 8332 to his 2007 tax return. The taxpayer, Billy Armstrong, did attach a copy of an “arbitration award” indicating he would be entitled to the dependency exemption for one of his and his ex-wife’s two children if he stayed current with child support. Upon audit, he also provided a 2003 state court order that incorporated the arbitration award and a 2007 state court order signed by the ex-wife that explicitly required the ex-wife to provide him with an executed Form 8332 or its equivalent if his support payments were current, which they were. The IRS rejected his claim because the award and orders were conditioned upon current payment of child support. The majority opinion of the Tax Court agreed that the state court orders did not unconditionally declare that Armstrong’s ex-wife would not claim the exemption and therefore could not substitute for Form 8332.

Written by Karyn Bybee Friske and Darlene Pulliam. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

New child support guidelines

There are several changes from the current guidelines to note, including:

The 2013 guidelines calculate each parent’s percentage of total available income up to $250,000 per year and a “combined support amount.” This is a different method of looking at support as a total obligation of both parents.
The 2013 guidelines now clarify what is to occur when the combined income of the parties’ exceeds $250,000 per year. The guidelines are applied on the first $250,000 in the same proportion as the Recipient’s and Payor’s actual income compare to the total combined income. There is now a space on the form to list how much income remains available to either parent above the $250,000 combined total.

Written by Robin Lynch Nardone. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Protect 15 Million Child Domestic Workers

(New York) – Ten leading international organizations called on ministers of labor around the globe in a letter released today to protect child domestic workers and to ratify the ILO Domestic Workers Convention (Convention 189 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers). The convention, adopted in June 2011, will help eliminate child domestic labor and improve the lives of an estimated 15 million child domestic workers.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that children make up nearly 30 percent of the world’s estimated 50 million to 100 million domestic workers. These children often work long hours for little pay, and are particularly vulnerable to trafficking, forced labor, and physical and sexual abuse. The ILO has announced that the 2013 World Day Against Child Labor, observed worldwide on June 12, will focus on child domestic labor.

Written by Human Rights Watch. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Colorado child-protection system reforms promised

Key reforms for Colorado’s child protection system should include better training for “front-line” workers who screen abuse calls, a statewide hotline and data collection that would reveal the workloads and turnover rates of caseworkers, state officials said Tuesday.
Colorado must do a better job tracking data, such as caseworker turnover, that could lead to improved protection of abused and neglected children, said Reggie Bicha, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services.
Bicha spoke to dozens of lawmakers, county commissioners, county human services directors and child advocates at a legislative luncheon on child welfare.
A coalition of state lawmakers has vowed to focus this session, which began last week, on finding solutions for the state’s troubled child protection system.
The number of children who are abused and neglected in Colorado each year has hardly budged since 2005, according to data presented by David Sanders, executive vice president of Casey Family Programs.

Written by Jennifer Brown. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attoneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Bill to reform criminal law of child neglect fails to receive second reading in Commons

The Children’s charity Action for Children is calling on MPs not to ignore the needs of vulnerable neglected children after a bill to reform the law on child neglect failed to get a hearing in parliament.

Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns, Matthew Downie, said:

“We’re frustrated and disappointed that parliament wasn’t able to find time to debate this much needed law reform to protect neglected children. The current 80-year-old law is simply not fit for purpose and is failing hundreds of neglected children every year.

“We’re calling on the public to continue to remind MPs why children suffering from emotional and psychological neglect need protection. We were delighted that today, the professional body for social workers, the British Association of Social Work, publicly backed the campaign.

Written by Family Law Week. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Sugarloaf parents arrested for abusing 22-month-old daughter

SUGARLOAF, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY (KABC) — Two Sugarloaf parents were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of abusing their 22-month-old daughter, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Bear Valley Hospital on Tuesday on reports of a 22-month-old girl with injuries to her head and body, authorities said. She was taken to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for further treatment.

Forensic pediatricians at the children’s hospital performed examinations revealing she had extensive injuries, which they suspected were caused by abuse.

Detectives from the Crimes Against Children Detail assumed the investigation and subsequently arrested the girl’s parents at their Sugarloaf home on the 800 block of Sunset Lane.

Written by ABC News. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com