NPO publishes blog articles to inform and to stimulate conversation about issues of importance to NPO's mission. All blog articles express the opinions of the authors as individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of National Parents Organization, its Board of Directors, or its executives.
Lawsuit Against Child Support Guidelines: Fathers & Families Girds For Next Battle
Fathers & Families challenged the constitutionality of the new Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines before Judge D. Lloyd Macdonald of the Superior Court on April 13, seeking an injunction against the new guidelines. Our lawsuit has been covered by the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, NPR, WRKO, and numerous other media outlets. However, the standard for injunctive relief is high, and Judge Macdonald last week declined to grant it. Now we look forward to the possibility of a trial on the merits--finally, a chance to present expert witnesses, non-custodial parents who are drowning in debt, graphic demonstrations of the inequities, second wives whose children are wearing rags because of the excessive child support paid to the first family, etc. Finally, an opportunity to extract information from the other side in the discovery process--memos and emails that reveal true intent, conflicts of interest, discredited data, faulty assumptions, etc. This process will be time consuming and slow. Unfortunately, this means there will be no immediate relief for non-custodial parents currently getting hammered under the new Guidelines. It is unfortunate that Judge Macdonald"s decision on our motion for a preliminary injunction was brief and superficial, and failed to discuss the case law supporting our lawsuit. We did not expect to win at this stage, but attempted a motion for a preliminary injunction in the long-shot hope that we could obtain fast relief. Now we look forward to an opportunity to present our case fully and persuasively. Legal Defense actions such as this are an integral part of the success of any social movement, including ours. A blow against Massachusetts" guidelines is a blow against unfair guidelines in any state. Support our efforts with your tax-deductible contribution here. To learn more about our lawsuit, click here. Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families