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Do child support laws need to be reformed?

Child support is almost always a contentious issue for parents during a divorce. Child support is designed to provide financial support for the children after a divorce and typically is paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent. In Oklahoma, as with most states, child support is determined by a statutory formula created by the legislature.

The child support is paid to the custodial parent, and is this is often the mother. Nonetheless, the payment is for the support of the child or children, and a great deal of ink is often spilled by people complaining about various elements of the unfairness of the system. In a recent editorial, Phyllis Schlafly argues we should “reform” child support laws. She claims current laws proved an incentive for women to deny men access to their children as it allows them to receive greater child support payments.

She discusses how the court intrudes on the parent’s rights to make decisions within the family unit. Of course, this line of argument presumes there still is a “family unit.” During a divorce, communication and decision making between the two parents has often broken down.

She says the courts should “protect the rights of both parents.” Most family court judges believe that is what they are doing. And she provides no evidence to support her claims. Divorce and family law decisions are frequently difficult and emotionally charged.

Working with an experienced family law attorney is one way to minimize some of these problems from occurring. It is also important to deal with issues as they occur, and not allow them to become serious.