Read the news coverage and op-eds about our Shared Parenting Report Card at the links below:
By Ginger Gentile, Deputy Executive Director
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone. And that includes parents who are paying child support. In fact, the economic devastation the virus has produced threatens to be disastrous for many of these parents. And NPO is taking a strong stand to try to protect these parents.
When parents in an intact marriage have any sort of economic setback, they tighten their belts to work through the hard times. When parents who pay child support have an economic setback, they get in arrears on child support and these arrearages can build quickly and be difficult to discharge even when income is restored. This is a troubling, but familiar, problem. What’s new—what the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought—is on a different scale. Without swift government action, we’re headed for a catastrophe for millions of parents.
The mandated economic shutdown will result in millions of paying parents who have never been behind on their child support payments suddenly being in arrears. The closure of many courts means that these parents can’t file a motion for modification of their child support. Even when the courts open up, there will be significant backlogs. And, unless lawmakers and child support officials take dramatic action, the strong enforcement measures intended to coerce child support evaders—those who have the ability to pay but are unwilling to—will be applied to parents who have lost income because of the deep economic recession.
June 5, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
It’s hard to know what to make of this awful, tragic case (Fox San Antonio, 5/20/20). Perhaps San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said all that can be.
"We have seen this happen over the years in the past where parents who have lost custody or are involved in divorce have resorted to murder-suicide," McManus said.
One day after a San Antonio judge gave primary custody of Clara and Robert Deitering, 5 and 3 years old respectively, to their father Jason, their mother Karina shot the two children, her own mother and finally herself. Never before had she given any indication of a propensity toward violence.
What she had done is make a false allegation of sexual abuse of Clara against Jason. That too came on the heels of Judge David Canales’ ruling that, during the pendency of the divorce, Jason have primary custody of the children. Canales immediately ordered an expert in sexual abuse of children to investigate the allegation and that Jason have no contact with his kids. The results of that investigation were unequivocal.