Was controversial child support bill in best interest of kids?

How would you feel if a Texas lawmaker sponsored a bill that would reduce child support payments for wealthy individuals across the state? Would you feel differently if you discovered that the bill had been sponsored as a favor to aid a campaign donor for his own benefit? If you’re like a large portion of our readers then a situation like this might make you angry because it begs the question: does a bill such as this really benefit children or someone else?

But even though such a proposal has not been made here in Texas, it was a concern for residents in Wisconsin recently where just such a bill was sponsored by one of its own lawmakers. And just like readers of our blog, residents across the state voiced their disapproval with the reasoning behind introducing the law.

For those who may not have heard, earlier reports indicate that the proposed bill would effectively eliminate a judge’s discretion for child support payment amounts and require them instead to use a support payment formula. For high-income divorcees the bill was a great idea because it made annual earnings of over $150,000 exempt from support payment calculations. But for those receiving child support payments, the bill could have created significant problems, especially for individuals who rely on larger support payments to stay financial stable.

Though the sponsor of the bill recently announced that he has withdrawn the proposed legislation from an upcoming hearing, he told reporters that he intends on resubmitting the bill after consulting with family court judges and those who would be most affected by such legislation. But just as readers of our blog realize, such legislation may not be in the best interest of the child for whom the payments are being made. As some have suggested, the introduction of the bill was aimed at helping a wealthy campaign donor rather than those who receive child support payments. And even if changes are made to the bill down the road, people still may not be on board with it considering the existing negative stigma surrounding it.

Source: The Wisconsin State Journal, “Withdrawn child support bill was second attempt by Rep. Joel Kleefisch to aid wealthy donor,” Dee J. Hall and Matthew, Jan. 15, 2014

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