LA Times Op-Ed Calls for Child Support Reform

March 28, 2019 by Robert Franklin, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization

Anne Stuhldreher gets it (Los Angeles Times, 3/27/19).

She’s something called the director of financial justice for the City of San Francisco.  I have no idea what that position’s job description is, but Stuhldreher’s writing about child support and specifically that paid to mothers who’ve received some form of public assistance such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  As we all know, when Dad pays child support to Mom who’s received public assistance, the money goes, not to her but to the state to reimburse it for the money it paid her.

I’ve never understood the connection.  Why does Dad’s money go to the state that paid, not him, but Mom?  He owes the state nothing, but pays it back anyway.  My guess is that federal and state governments noticed a source of funds and decided to grab them, sidelining in the process all their solemn comments about children’s need for support.  If public assistance were even close to sufficient to support a family, then I could see a dollar-for-dollar reimbursement scheme.  But in most states, it’s nothing like what’s required for families to make ends meet, so the only person deprived by the scheme is little Andy or Jenny.

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