There are three key facts with which few on either side of the aisle on family law could dispute:
1) As of December 31, 2008, Massachusetts had among the highest child support guidelines in the United States.
2) On January 1, 2009, Massachusetts instituted guidelines which ratcheted up child support obligations even further.
3) Massachusetts did this in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The newspapers are filled with stories about how difficult it is for child support obligors to meet their payments in this recession–even the New York Times did a very good piece on this problem over the weekend. Fathers & Families recently filed a lawsuit against the guidelines, and the suit has been covered by the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, NPR, Newsweek, Psychology Today, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and many others.
A victory here is a victory for noncustodial fathers and mothers everywhere. We want your financial support–to contribute to this effort, click HERE.
The hearing will be held Monday, April 13 at 2 PM in the Suffolk Superior Court at 3 Pemberton Square, Courtroom 916, in Boston. The courthouse is in downtown Boston behind Center Plaza. We want you there–if you think you can make it, click here.
The new guidelines are causing substantial increases in child support in almost all cases. Many payors are seeing increases of 20%, but some will see a tripling of their child support order, even when they are poor and the recipient is wealthy. In high income cases, the child support order for one child could exceed $50,000 per year.
Under these new guidelines, if a recipient and payor earn the same amount, when all factors are taken into consideration, the recipient will enjoy a standard of living almost double that of the payor. This holds true throughout the broad range of middle class incomes.
In 2001, Fathers & Families won changes in Massachusetts law which lower child support by 15%. Our victory saved noncustodial parents over $1 billion–$200 a million a year over five years. That”s $1 billion that non-custodial parents were able to spend on their children themselves.
The anti-father forces struck back, violating the Massachusetts constitution by creating a secret, rigged committee riddled with ideologues to produce the new guidelines, which were then declared to be law by a single judge. Fathers & Families founder Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S. sat on this committee and prepared a Minority Report detailing the problems with the new Guidelines.
We argued this case in federal court in January and head to state court April 13. Legal Defense actions such as this are an integral part of the success of any social movement, including ours. A blow against Massachusetts’ guidelines is a blow against unfair guidelines in any state.
Fighting this injustice costs money–support our efforts by clicking HERE.
Together with you in the struggle,
Glenn Sacks, MA
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board