The
Fatherhood
Coalition
For Immediate Release

CPF to Present Child Support Guideline Recommendations to Administrative Court Panel


BOSTON, July 15--CPF/The Fatherhood Coalition, a statewide non-profit organization advocating for father's rights, will present its recommendations for changes to the state Child Support Guideline on Tuesday, July 17 at 4 p.m., at the Worcester Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room 302.

In accordance with federal regulations, Chief Justice for Administration and Management Barbara Dortch-Okara is holding public hearings across the state to listen to recommendations to the state's Guideline. Other Coalition members have already testified at the other courthouses, and will testify at the Springfield forum on July 24.

According to several studies, the Mass. Guideline provides for child support awards that are not only the highest in the nation, but also in several instances fully outside the normal distribution (Bell Curve) of the other state's guidelines.


"... the Guideline provides for child support percentages (applied to gross income) up to 31% for one child, 36.8% for two children, and 40.25% for three children.

"It's no wonder that so many of the state's non-custodial fathers are living in their cars and on the street – and why so many of them are transformed into scofflaws and jailed because of their inability to pay these exorbitant child support awards."

Coalition Spokesman
Mark Charalambous


The Mass. Guideline provides for child support awards up to 40.25% of the NCP's (non-custodial parent – overwhelmingly the father) gross income. In addition, the Guideline provides that even at this exorbitant rate, the NCP does not receive the tax exemption for his children. Furthermore, the child support is deducted from the NCP's gross pay – he pays the tax on it – and is given to the CP (custodial parent – overwhelmingly the mother) tax-free.

According to Coalition Spokesman Mark Charalambous, who will be presenting their recommendations,

"The present Guideline does not provide for the best interests of the children of divorce because it fails to adequately address the child's needs in the father's household.

"The Guideline is flawed from every angle. At the top level it is guided by the principle that the standard of living of the children following a family breakup should remain unchanged from what it was before the family split. It is self-evident that if two households are created from one, and one is to enjoy the same standard of living, the other household will be reduced to poverty in the case of all but high-income wage-earners.

"To compound this problem, the NCP is further punished if he seeks to raise his standard of living by taking a second job. All his income, no matter from what source, will be assessed at the child support-established percentage until his child reaches the age of twenty-three.

"At the detail level, the Guideline provides for child support percentages (applied to gross income) up to 31% for one child, 36.8% for two children, and 40.25% for three children. It's no wonder that so many of the state's non-custodial fathers are living in their cars and on the street – and why so many of them are transformed into scofflaws and jailed because of their inability to pay these exorbitant child support awards."

The Coalition has produced a thorough reworking of the Mass. Guidelines, from the guiding principle down to the baseline percentages. It also adds a non-custodial parenting time adjustment that takes into account the amount of time that the children spend with the non-custodial parent.

The Coalition's Recommendations are available online at the Fatherhood Coalition web site:

www.fatherhoodcoalition.org/cpf/2001/CSGuidelineRecommendations2001.htm

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For further information, contact:

Mark Charalambous
CPF Spokesman
brontis@thecia.net
(978) 840-0268
(978) 632-6600 x303

Mike Franco
CPF Co-Chair & w. Mass Director
mv-franco@juno.com
W. Mass Hotline: (413) 295-DADS
(413) 533-6597

CPF - The Fatherhood Coalition
617-723-DADS

A non-profit, all volunteer organization of men and women advocating for fatherhood since 1994


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