A proposed bill aims to change child support laws

A bill that is up for consideration in a Midwestern state may be the answer to many father's prayers regarding child support. The bill has drawn a lot of attention and could potentially influence other states including Utah. The custody and child support bill is called Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540).

One of the focal points of the bill is to put a cap on child support payments for parents who make more than $150,000 a year. Proponents of the bill believe this measure will help to prevent a parent with multiple children from living off of child support payments alone. The bill would also prevent judges from considering a parent's assets along with his or her income level when determining the monthly support payment amount. There are specifics within this bill that would attempt to equalize child support and visitation times between parents.

Opponents of Wisconsin AB 540, including anti-domestic violence advocates, believe this bill would restrict judges from protecting ex-spouses and children from a violent spouse. Also, requiring equal parenting time could present numerous logistical problems for parents and children. Judges will typically begin with an equal parenting time position and work from there to suit a family's unique circumstances. Further, the bill's opponents point out that the court already has the discretion to limit child support payments for high-earning individuals. A hearing on the bill was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Utah is one of many states that could be watching the progression of this bill with interest. It will be interesting to see if the bill passes and how it is implemented. Custody and child support have always been contentious issues for parents and lawmakers alike. In the end, a child's best interests are the primary concern of all judges. A parent's odds of obtaining the results that he or she is desiring can be significantly increased by having a thorough knowledge of ever-changing custody and support laws.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, Bill on child support, placement draws big opposition, Dee J. Hall, Jan. 10, 2014

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