Friday, October 5, 2012

Fathers and Families

Fathers and Families
California Limits Spousal Support
Volunteer to Work on Child Support Guidelines

October 5, 2012
Top Story
California Limits Spousal Support
By Rita Fuerst Adams, National Executive Director,
Fathers and Families

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation introduced by Assembly member Toni Atkins, (D-San Diego) that prevents victims from being forced to pay spousal support to ex-husbands or wives who are convicted of violent crime against them. Assembly Bill 1522 was inspired by the case of a San Diego-area woman, Crystal Harris, who was ordered to pay her former husband monthly spousal support during the pendency of his criminal trial. After he was convicted and sentenced to six years, Harris was ordered to pay a portion of his legal fees.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis announced the legislation earlier this year and testified before the California Senate Judiciary Committee in support of it. Current California law already prevents spousal support in cases of attempted murder or soliciting the murder of a spouse. AB 1522 adds violent abuse felonies to the list of convictions that disqualify a person from obtaining financial benefits from their ex-spouse in a divorce proceeding.

While Judges in California have had the discretion to deny spousal support or alimony in cases of felony offenses, this new law makes it mandatory in cases where the spousal support would have been paid by the injured party. The language is gender neutral. Fathers and Families hopes the implementation is also gender neutral.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 56 percent of divorce lawyers across the United States report an increase in mothers paying child support to fathers in the last three year and 47 percent note a rise in the number of women making monthly alimony payments to their ex-husbands. The study did not report on how much of an increase there has been in cases of mothers paying child support or the actual rise in women paying alimony.

Crystal Harris’ case brought national attention to the loophole in the law. “I never want to think of another rape victim having to go through the re-victimization process that I went through,” Harris said.

The bill garnered strong bi-partisan legislative support from Senators Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon; Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego; Juan Vargas, D-San Diego; and Mark Wyland, R-Carlsbad; and Assembly members Marty Block, D- Lemon Grove; Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista; Martin Garrick, R-Carlsbad; Kevin Jeffries, R- Murrieta; Brian Jones, R-Santee; Jeff Miller, R-Orange; and Holly Mitchell, D-Culver City.

Volunteer to Work on Child Support Guidelines
Father Reading
By Rita Fuerst Adams,
National Executive Director,
Fathers and Families

Federal law requires that states review their child support guidelines every four years. This year at least five states have or are currently reviewing and revising child support guidelines. The states Fathers and Families knows about and has reported about are: Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In our work to encourage our members to voice their opinions and experiences about the child support guidelines, we have found that Fathers and Families is responsible for the majority of the responses these states have received and are receiving. Fathers and others interested in the child support guidelines learned about the reviews through our e-newsletter or someone reposting our e-newsletter.

Volunteer and work with Fathers and Families to respond to the child support guidelines. Here are ways you can become involved.

First, to keep more people informed, share your e-newsletter with others and ask them to sign up to receive it.

Second, contact your state’s child support enforcement office. Ask when the guidelines will be reviewed and what the review will entail. Report back to me with this information.

Third, if you live in Ohio and are interested in becoming more involved in tackling the child support guidelines, please contact me.

Fourth, Fathers and Families members have informed us that New York will be reviewing its child support guidelines next year. If you are interested in participating in the response, please contact me.

Fathers and Families needs our members to work with us to find out what is going on in different states. Changes can be “slid” by us without our constant vigilance.

Just like at the airport, if you see something, say something
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Contribute to Fathers and Families

Printer for Sale
A member recently donated a used, excellent condition Kyocera Taskalfa 550c color multifunction system with scanner, fax board, and saddle-stitch finisher. It prints, scans, copies, and faxes.

  • Print Speed: 55 pages per minute (black and color)
  • Resolution: 600 x 600 dpi (copy and print) / 8 Bit Color Depth
  • Max Monthly Duty Cycle: 225,000 pages
More information, specs, and photos are available at Kyocera’s website.

Price is negotiable. The money we receive will go towards our work reforming family law. Pickup only from Manchester, NH. Please spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested. Contact Rita Fuerst Adams.

Fathers and Families improves the lives of children and strengthens society by protecting the child’s right to the love and care of both parents after separation or divorce. We seek better lives for children through family court reform that establishes equal rights and responsibilities for fathers and mothers.

Fathers and Families
Fathers and Families
PO Box 270760
Boston, Massachusetts 02127-0760
(617) 542-9300

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