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New laws may impact child support if adopted in California

There appears to be rising trend regarding child custody post-divorce. Changes may be prompted by years of lobbying for fathers' rights in California and elsewhere,  namely, to make sure fathers are not being alienated when they desire active roles in sharing physical custody of their children. The new laws favor shared physical custody between parents, which, although admirable in most cases, could in fact cause ripple effects in other areas, such as child support.

State laws vary when it comes to child custody, visitation and child support. Courts typically believe children of divorce fare best when given ample time with both parents unless extenuating circumstances exist that pose a detriment to them. As evidence of such continues to pour in through the years, many lawmakers have been prompted to propose new laws that would make shared custody the standard rather than the exception to the rule.

At least 20 states have been considering required shared custody laws this year. Kentucky actually passed a law requiring shared custody on a temporary basis during the process of divorce. Florida saw similar legislation make its way to a vote, but the shared custody mandate was vetoed when it reached the governor's desk.

Many parents struggle to make ends meet for their children following divorce. This means that child support remains a high priority in such situations. Perhaps there will come a time when alternative financial options will be suggested if the shared custody trend continues to rise throughout the nation and child support is ordered less often. Any California parent wishing to discuss such matters from a legal standpoint may request a meeting with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: The Washington Post, "More than 20 states in 2017 considered laws to promote shared custody of children after divorce", Michael Alison Chandler, Dec. 11, 2017

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