When parents get a divorce and the court decides on child custody, the usual arrangement is that the non-custodial parent is ordered to pay child support until the children reach the age of majority. The amount of child support that must be paid is determined by using several variables, but one constant is that anyone who is under a child support payment order must remain current or risk harsh punishment.
Given the current state of the economy, parents all over the country are having trouble keeping up with their child support obligations. In many states, these delinquencies can lead to a parent being put in jail for contempt of court. Now comes word that different lawsuits are being filed around the country for lack of basic Constitutional safeguards that should be governing these situations. As a result, some jurisdictions are reviewing their laws, standards and procedures for dealing with parents who are not keeping up with their child support payments.
For instance, a class action lawsuit has been filed in Georgia by parents who were penalized for not remaining current on their child support payments. The reason is that they are not guaranteed legal representation during their child support delinquency hearings, and these parents can be jailed without any type of trial. The United States Supreme Court has also spoken to this issue in an indirect manner over the summer, stating that ‘substantial means’ should be put in place to avoid putting parents who simply cannot pay in jail.
San Diego Child Custody and Support Lawyers
Unfortunately, this is a situation that occurs with too much frequency across the United States, and the best step to take for those in this difficult position is to be proactive if your financial circumstances change. Child support orders can be modified in many situations, but it must be done at the court level in order to avoid serious problems down the road.
If you are dealing with child support and/or custody issues, you need to seek the help of San Diego child custody and support lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers for many years. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.