Table of Contents
There is an old adage in relation to contract negotiations that says, “The agreement must be fair when both parties are unhappy.” The idea behind it is that in any kind of negotiation, no one should get everything they want. If that is the case, then you know it has not been fair in any way whatsoever.
This is true in child custody cases as well as child support orders. Both parents have an idea of what should be paid, how childcare should be provided, and how much each parent should be granted in terms of custodial rights. Unless one parent is completely non-responsive or abusive, it is quite likely that the court will meet somewhere in the middle to determine how these issues will be resolved. That creates a fair deal, a compromise which both parties may be able to tolerate but probably aren’t particularly happy with.
What if You Feel as if You Received a Bad Deal?
While the court system is intended to be fair, the truth is that not every decision will show complete impartiality. Some judges may have an ax to grind with a specific petitioner, or may only see things from a skewed point of view. As a result, one parent can find himself or herself paying an excessive amount of child support or receiving no child custody rights whatsoever.
When it happens, it can be difficult to make things work for you. You can appeal cases like this or ask for a judge to be replaced, but many times it can lead you to have to battle so as to correct an egregious wrong. It’s not impossible and you should fight to get your rights upheld, but be aware that this can be a real challenge.
Issues with Perception in Child Support Cases
One of the biggest challenges that people face is when a law is written in such a way that it is completely against them. For example, it was assumed for years that the mother was the better parent and she was virtually always given custody of the child or children during divorce proceedings.
But we know that mothers are not the better parent in every case. However, for this to have been resolved, there had to be a change in the law. Up to that point, the law always made it so that the woman was granted a right just because of her gender. This was unfair, and a correction needed to occur.
You may find that in a child support case, this can work against you as well. One of the biggest complaints many parents have is that the amount of child support granted is often determined based on a predetermined percentage that has been set by the law. The idea behind this was that by creating a defined standard by how much child support a person would pay, it would be fair across the board. However, that doesn’t always work out that way.
Do Child Support Laws Ever Change?
Some parents may be harmed by the way that child support is paid out. It may seem fair on paper to the legislature but, in practice, it isn’t so. However, a judge is bound by the law and there is nothing that he or she can do.
The law changes, however. As mentioned before, the law mandated or at least strongly recommended that the mother always has custodial rights to the children. But that is no longer the case. In fact, in most states, the law is now written so that both parents are granted custody of the child in some form or another unless there is a clear record of neglect or abuse.
This is important for you if you have found that the amount of child support you are receiving or paying is not adequate for the care that you need for the child or has been excessive in terms of how much you have to pay. If you feel that the law is working against you, it may not always be that way.
What Can I Do to Improve Child Support Laws?
Most parents hope the law will change someday, but it is about as successful as throwing a nickel into a wishing well and expecting a lava full of hundred dollar bills to come pouring out. If you want to see a dramatic change, you need to take action.
You can contact your state legislator and talk to them about modifying the law. These are the lawmakers who will be making the decisions; and if you can present to them why the law should change, you can see some dramatic changes in child support laws.
One recommendation that you should consider is to seek the assistance of an attorney to go with you and talk to your state representatives. The reason why this can benefit you is that they have seen many cases where child custody or child support laws have proven to be inadequate or excessive. They can back up your situation, giving a voice that has authority as well as statistics that can support the argument you are making.
You should realize that no law is permanent. The laws change over time, and as long as you work with organizations or even on your own to see a change occur, your grievance with the child support law may be altered because of your hard work.