State and federal legislators are usually doing their best to keep laws up-to-date and in line with the most recent evidence of effectiveness. Family law has traditionally been within the realm of state law, with the legislators in each state laying out their own unique approaches to the many different problems within this area. However, over the recent Father’s Day weekend President Obama waded into this complicated area of law, saying in a speech given that day that Americans should “reform our child support laws to get more men working and engaged with their children.”
There is no doubt that the issue of child support presents almost every state with difficulties. Most have instituted child support guidelines to help streamline the process of determining what amount should be paid and by which party, but making sure payments are actually made can be extremely hard. Previous posts here have detailed the outrageously high amount of outstanding child support in America, and the problem does not seem to be getting any better.
So, is President Obama right? Do child support laws throughout the country need to be reformed? It is possible that some changes could help, but for many couples involved in a child support dispute the answers are never simple. Those who are ordered to pay child support may allege that the problem is that the receiving party isn’t 100 percent required to use the funds on supporting the financial needs of the child. There is no way to account for how the money is used, other than seeing that the child’s every day expenses are addressed. And, for the receiving party, even one missed or delinquent payment could have a tremendously negative effect on a household budget.
Either way, changes may bring about more positive results. The President didn’t elaborate in his speech on the exact changes he would propose, but it may be up to the individual states to craft a better approach to the complex issue of child support anyways.
Source: Townhall.com, “We Should Reform Child Support,” Phyllis Schlafly, June 18, 2013