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.
May 22, 2020 by Robert Franklin, JD, Member, National Board of Directors
This is a shocking case (Daily Mail, 5/18/20). Or, that is, it would be if we knew its facts. But we don’t, and that’s the other shocking part.
As far as I can determine, child protective caseworkers botched a case somewhere in the U.K. I think this because the judge’s words suggest serious malfeasance on their part.
However, [the judge] said publicly: ‘I do not think I have ever had to criticise a local authority to the extent that I have found it necessary to do in this case.’
He added that social workers ‘disregarded fundamental principles of safeguarding and child protection’.
Strong words. I wonder what they mean. The Daily Mail article gives us this much: