|F & F Honors Senator Wright, Assemblyman Cook for Their Work for Family Court Reform
Fathers and Families has named Senator Rod Wright its “California Senator of the Year” and Assemblyman Paul Cook its “California Assemblyman of the Year” for 2010.
In giving the award to Wright (pictured on the left receiving a plaque from F & F legislative representative Michael Robinson), we praised his "inexhaustible passion and leadership on behalf of children of divorce or separation and mothers and fathers with disabilities, as well as [his] efforts to improve the quality of life for all parents and their children."
We worked closely with Senator Wright on several child custody and child support reform bills in 2010. These included SB 1188 (Child Custody/Visitation Reform), SB 1482 (Alimony Reform), and SB 580 & SB 1355 (Child Support Reform). All four bills were signed into law by former Governor Schwarzenegger last fall.
In giving the award to Assemblyman Cook (pictured on the left receiving a plaque from F & F legislative representative Michael Robinson), we praised his "fine efforts and leadership on behalf of military parents and Native American families, as well as [his] work to improve the quality of life for all parents and their children."
We worked closely with Assemblyman Cook on AB 2416–Child Custody Protection for Military Parents. AB 2416, which was signed into law by former Governor Schwarzenegger last fall, is arguably the strongest military parent protection bill in the country.
New CA Child Support Guidelines: a Couple Steps Forward, but Problems Remain
Fathers and Families has submitted its official comments to the Administrative Office of the Courts concerning its Review of Statewide Uniform Child Support Guideline 2010 (Draft Report). Our full letter can be seen here.
Fathers and Families has long expressed its concern, both to the AOC and in the media, that the child support system is unfair and at times abusive to low income obligors. To its credit, the 2010 Review does put an emphasis on making reforms to assist low income obligors.
As the Review notes, child support obligations for low income obligors are often set too high, in part because the appropriate hardship deductions are not being applied. As a result, many of these individuals scarcely have the resources left to maintain their own residences, and their child support obligations can lead to homelessness. This is particularly true in today’s depressed economic climate.
Read our full letter here.
Another positive is that the Review does not call for any child support increases.
On the other hand, there are some substantial problems with the current Uniform Child Support Guideline which the Review fails to address. These include:
1. California’s K Factor, which requires a child support obligor to pay 25% of his or her after tax income for one child, 40% for two and 50% for three, is one of the highest in the United States. The oft-stated justification for this is that California’s cost of living is high. However, since the Guideline is based on percentages of income, the cost of living is irrelevant. The K factor should be lowered, particularly in the current economy.
2. The K factor only applies up to a combined income of $6,600 a month—above that it goes to the H Factor, which is 10% higher until a combined income of $10,000, in which case it is 12% higher. This is hardly fair to these child support obligors, many of whom have worked long and hard to become good providers for their families, and are now de facto punished for their efforts and their success...
Your Action Requested, Highest Priority
|This is a highest-priority action alert for Massachusetts residents. This chance to promote shared parenting in Massachusetts will not come around again for two years, so act now!
Together with you in the love of our children,
- Please call your state Representative and Senator and ask them to be "a co-sponsor of our shared parenting bill."
- You do not need to be an expert on this subject--you just need to tell them you are a Fathers and Families member and a voter in their district and then make the ask. You will probably be connected to an aide -- that is not an insult, it is standard, and it is OK.
- Here is some information that your state Representative and Senator will want to know:
- Name of the bill: An Act Supporting Children and Strengthening Families
- Docket Number: HD03194
- Lead Sponsor: Representative John Scibak (D-South Hadley) (pronounced "Sigh-back")
- If you do not know who your state Representative and Senator are, find out by going here and typing in your address. Once this website shows the names of your Representative and Senator, you can just click on their names and you will get their phone numbers.
- If you or your Representative and Senator want to know more about the bill, you can find:
- A one-paragraph summary of the bill plus the text of the bill here.
- A one-page summary of the bill here.
- Lastly, let me know what they say!! Just email me . This is highest priority and deadline-limited -- please act now!
- No matter what they say or don't say, please remain polite and respectful, and do not argue.
Ned Holstein, MD, MS
Founder and Chair of the Board