What do I do to start a petition that will be legal and binding in my efforts to get a bill passed to change child support laws

Asked over 1 year ago - Charlottesville, VA

and regulations. I want to get the laws changed so that they stop suiting the father, and will actually suit the children involved. When a father fails to pay just because, as compared to when a father fails to pay because he can not. Far to often men are being taken to court for not paying, when they have tried and may just be in between jobs etc. When there are fathers who have been working the entire time and just choose not to pay, and yet they have nothing done to them. Rather they be taking to court or not. This has to stop. It puts the children in a disadvantage and the mother, when the father gets off scott free.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . This is more of a political question than a legal one.Or even a social question, really, for this reason:

    Child support laws don't exist to punish men. This is a horrible misogynist idea that needs to stop right now. In many states, the laws themselves are gender-neutral. The laws favor the primary custodial parent - that is, the parent who takes care of the child, when the parents aren't living together - and that's the mother, the vast majority of the time. This may be partly due to our society's construction of child-rearing norms, and is probably also influenced by basic human biology. But in any case, the significant thing is: It's not about you. The laws are there to ensure that all children are cared for. And if a child's living mainly with their mother, then that means the father will have to contribute something too. It's not about fairness to either parent. It's about the basic needs of the child, who we understand to be more innocent - and certainly more helpless - and therefore more needing the protection of the laws.

    So feel free to try to change the laws. If you can find a way that's more fair than what your state has now, bring it before your legislators. But whatever you devise will have to be just as good at ensuring that children's needs are met, or it will go nowhere.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more

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Either parent can request modification of a child support order due to changes in circumstances, such as different income or major changes in the child's needs.

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