Financial:The antiquated notion of the wife staying at home with the kids while the husband worked as the family’s sole breadwinner is quickly becoming a thing of the past. However, men are continually viewed as nothing more than a money pit when it comes to the determination of alimony and child support payments.
Many parties fall into situations over time when circumstances have changed since the last child support order.
Agreeing to pay for certain other expenses in lieu of direct child support payments and paying child support obligations in advance are two common mistakes men make in divorce.
Many parties make "informal" agreements regarding child support, thereby veering from the written court order, but fail to file the new agreement with the court.
While this may be a tempting option in order to avoid legal fees and the hassle of going through the court, the potential pitfalls and ramifications of such informal agreements are costly, and can lead to much higher legal fees and headaches in the long run when you need to hire a divorce lawyer to seek court intervention after the informal agreement goes sour.
The most common example of this practice is agreeing to pay less than the current child support order.
New child support facts show that $35.1 billion in child support was owed in 2009 with fathers representing only 17.8 percent of custodial parents.
Of the 11.2 million custodial mothers, almost 55 percent were awarded child support.
Yet of the less than 2.5 million custodial fathers in 2009, only 30.4 percent were awarded child support. That is significantly down from 2007 when 40.4 percent of custodial dads were awarded child support.
The latest report of child support facts is from 2009, the most recent data available according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Read 10 more facts about child support and fathers rights:
With the recent filing of two proposed bills, Florida politicians are spearheading efforts to move alimony reform forward within a state widely believed to be among the worst toward men when it comes to awarding spousal support.
Rep. Ritch Workman and Sen. Diaz de la Portilla have filed identical bills in the House and Senate, respectively, and will work to convince legislators that the state’s alimony laws are badly broken and need to be brought into the 21st century.
According to Florida Alimony Reform, the bills include provisions that will:
Could alimony reform be on its way to West Virginia?
Following advantageous changes to alimony laws in favor of men's rights in several states, such as Massachusetts and Tennessee, West Virginia will now consider adopting guidelines similar to child support for awarding spousal support.
West Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret Workman said currently alimony awards are inconsistent and unpredictable since there is no framework for amount or duration.
Child Support Question:
How do child support laws handle issues of potential paternity fraud?
My former girlfriend and I had a child out of wedlock who I pay child support for, though I rarely see him.
I've learned my ex lied to me about being the father and just wanted someone to help support the child.
Can I take a paternity test to officially determine I'm not the biological father and then terminate child support for a child I have no relationship with?
Men's rights was delivered a victory by the Tennessee Supreme Court in a case that could determine the future of how alimony is awarded in that state.
In a unanimous decision, the state's highest court ruled the award of lifetime alimony and attorney fees to a man's ex-wife were inappropriate because the wife was healthy, held a stable well-paying job and received considerable assets through the division of marital property.
This alimony case involved a wife, Johanna Gonsewski, who claimed she deserved $15,000 a year in alimony despite the fact she earns $72,000 a year.
Supporters are hoping the recently approved changes to Massachusetts' "archaic" alimony laws will trigger successful alimony reforms in other states.
One of the driving forces behind alimony reform is Elizabeth Benedict, a journalist and novelist whose op-ed piece in the Boston Globe in 2008 helped the Massachusetts alimony reform movement gain momentum.
Current alimony laws are written to be gender neutral, but the fact that 97% of alimony payers are men prove the reality is anything but gender neutral, according to Benedict.
She spoke with MensRights.com editor Matt Allen about the forthcoming changes to Massachusetts alimony laws and what other states need to adopt alimony reforms.
Child support collections in Mississippi have increased by 61 percent over the past 8 years due to increasingly aggressive enforcement tactics and an incentive program that rewards coming after men.
Oh, and if you can’t pay because you’re unemployed, then "get a job."
The Clarion-Ledger reports Mississippi’s Division of Child Support Enforcement collected $314 million in fiscal 2011 compared to $195 million in fiscal 2003.
The difference of $119 million over a span of just 8 years is largely contributed to increased enforcement and financial incentives.
However, the court also ruled indigent civil defendants facing jail time have no automatic right to counsel, according to the ABA Journal.
Turner is from South Carolina, one of a handful of states that jail indigent child support debtors without providing them legal counsel. He argued on appeal that all people facing jail time have a constitutional right to an attorney, even in civil contempt proceedings. (Watch the DadsDivorce.com interview about the "Save The Turnips" campaign to raise awareness of the epidemic of jailing fathers who are unable to pay child support.)
The 14th Amendment's due process clause allows a state to provide fewer procedural protections to civil contempt defendants than in a criminal case, which is governed by the Sixth Amendment, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion.
Breyer noted that even though states don't have to provide lawyers, "the state must nonetheless have in place alternative procedures that assure a fundamentally fair determination of the critical incarceration question."