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
A proposed change to the child neglect laws would make “emotional abuse” of a child a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual harm.
Mark Williams, the Liberal Democrat MP, is leading the calls for Britain’s “Dickensian” child neglect laws to be updated, ending an anomaly which means that it is crime to inflict psychological abuse on adults but not children.
Although social workers, who operate under a different legal framework, can already step in to begin care proceedings if a child is being emotionally mistreated, the police cannot.
This is because in criminal law only physical deprivation, such as denying children food or clothes, counts as neglect.
Mr William is bringing forward a bill in the Commons, with the backing of the charity Action for Children, to amend the Children and Young Persons Act to bring the two definitions into line.
Written by John Bingham. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com
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
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
I attended a social gathering in Denmark hosted by a successful businessman with two teenage daughters. “Their mom didn’t want custody,” he explained, “so I’ve had them since the youngest was four years old”. The mother had initiated the divorce, but had not sought any contact with the kids other than an optional twice/month (every other weekend) visit. “It isn’t the life that I expected to live, but it is a good life.” The Americans at the party were shocked by this. What about the maternal instinct? Was it different in Denmark than in the U.S.? “Most middle class parents who divorce simply split the children 50-50,” explained a Dane. “Children aren’t cash cows in Denmark, except for lower class people with six children, for whom state subsidies and child support from the other parent can be a significant source of income. The previous government tried to limit this by paying only for the first two children. But they watched Muslim women in black burkas rioting across the bridge in Sweden so the new government restored the benefits for an unlimited number of children.” Child support payments in Denmark can continue until a child turns 24 (if the kid is still in school, which of course he or she is likely to be in Europe, the original home of infinite adolescence). Our host’s income was easily high enough that in Massachusetts he would have been tapped by a divorce lawsuit plaintiff for $50,000 tax-free dollars per year in child support (roughly $1 million over 20 years; see worksheet). Could it really be the case that children who supposedly cost $1 million to rear in Massachusetts would yield only minimal child support in Denmark, where the cost of almost everything is far higher?
Written byPhilip Greenspun. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com
President Obama’s Father’s Day speech included one provocative, yet very declarative, sentence: “We should reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children.” Obama didn’t elaborate, but we can build on what he said because, yes indeed, child support laws urgently need “reform.”
Many fathers work long hours and make incredible sacrifices for their families. Child support formulas are based on the ridiculous notion that a father would make those same sacrifices for an ex-wife who is living with her new husband or boyfriend and for children he never or seldom sees.
Many fathers would happily do more to support their children if they got to see their kids more and were more engaged in their lives. But current child support laws have reverse incentives: The more the mother prevents such contact, the more child support she receives.
Written by Phyllis Schlafly. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com
The feminists have ratcheted up the laws against men to such an outrageous level that paternity fraud is not just ignored, but routinely rubber stamped by the courts. Whether one agrees with the concept of child support or not, virtually everyone can agree that jailing men for child support over children who are not theirs is morally wrong. Men are routinely sent to jail for falling behind on paying child support, even though debtors’ prisons in the U.S. were mostly eliminated in the mid-nineteenth century.
The family courts and laws are set up in such a way that makes it very easy for a mother to collect child support, and very difficult for a man to avoid it. If a couple was married, the default law is that the man will be required to pay child support for any child born while they were married. In order for a man who isn’t the father to escape this outcome, he must obtain a paternity test and take a series of legal steps in court. Most states only allow a short window of time for a man to do this. If a man is not aware of the child, which he may not be if his wife or former wife doesn’t notify him of the child right away, he loses all chance to fight the child support, and will be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars for the next 18 years until the child becomes an adult.
Written by Rachel Alexander. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com