Child support is one of the toughest matters to deal with when someone is going through the process of divorce. While child support is meant to be money that is used to help a single parent raise his or her children, the determination of child support can be a challenging process. Recently, a law firm filed a class-action lawsuit regarding the timing of child support enforcement. This lawsuit was filed on behalf of low-income mothers who some believed were having to wait for an unreasonable amount of time to get their child support amounts determined. The team from stelklaw.com is here to discuss this case.
The legal process has never been lauded as quick and, during divorce proceedings, parents still need to raise their children even as the process unfolds. In some situations, it might take months for child support to be finalized. During this waiting period, many parents are living paycheck to paycheck, having to raise their children on a single income until a child support agreement is reached. According to StelkLaw.com, “A temporary child support order is set at the time of separation and a permanent order goes into effect with the divorce decree.” What happens if this decree is not enforced? What happens if it takes too long to finalize?
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of these single parents by a law firm that has taken on the case pro bono. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan and a judge recently dealt a blow to the central matter behind the case. A Manhattan Supreme Court justice ruled that the family court support magistrates in New York have a significant amount of discretion when it comes to the timelines of child support cases. In the decision, while the judge understands that child support is an urgent matter when it comes to parents and their children, there is still debate over whether the proposed guideline of “90 days” that is laid out in the rules of family court is meant to be taken literally.
The lawsuit was originally filed against the court system itself. The legal team stated that there were numerous parents who waited months, or even years, for the court system to enforce child support orders against parents who might be behind or negligent on their payments. Even though there is a 90-day rule in place to expedite the enforcement process, there appears to be a disregard for this rule.
The result is that parents might have to go on raising their children without child support. The statement issued by the court system recently doesn’t appear to do much to change this process. While the lawsuit will continue, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the case unfolds. In the meantime, it is important for everyone dealing with divorce or child support issues to know that they do not have to face this process alone. There are always professionals willing to help.