Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting child support right

A federal judge on Monday threw out a legal challenge to new Massachusetts child support guidelines.

According to an article by the Associated Press, Judge Douglas Woodlock denied the request for an injunction to block the guidelines, which took effect Jan. 1. He said it would be inappropriate for the federal court to address questions over state policy.

The suit was brought by Fathers and Families, a Boston organization that seeks to reform child custody and support.

Dr. Ned Holstein, the executive director of Fathers and Families, told the AP that the group would probably refile the lawsuit in state court.

He is concerned that the new guidelines will boost child support payments to a level many fathers cannot afford. "Somewhere there has to be relief for people who are going to be driven into poverty," he told the AP.

Massachusetts chief administrative Judge Robert Mulligan, who oversaw the drafting of the new guidelines, said in a statement Monday that he is "very confident...that the changes are in the best interests of children across the state."

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