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Child support and custodial fathers

Some Pennsylvania fathers become the custodial parents of their children after a divorce. Many custodial parents have the right to request the court to order the child's noncustodial parent to pay child support, but men sometimes face cultural stereotypes that say they shouldn't seek or receive it.

An example of some of the stigma a father may face comes from the national news story about Dakota Meyer, the father of Bristol Palin's second. A former Marine, Mr. Meyer filed a motion seeking custody and child support for their child, but the Palin family reacted by publicly making disparaging remarks about his request.

Many fathers themselves feel that they shouldn't ask for child support for their children, believing instead that they should just work harder to make ends meet. In some states, however, child support is almost automatic when a custodial parent requests it. Judges use state guidelines to determine the amounts of monthly payments to order, many of which take into account parental income and the number o children involved.

In making its determination, a court primarily is concerned with the best interests of the child. Both parents should hold responsibility for supporting their child. Child support orders should not be based on the gender of the custodial parent. It is rather a child's right for their custodial parent to receive it. Unfortunately, it is far too common for those who have been ordered to pay support to not do so. In some cases, there are reasons why this is so, such as an unexpected financial downturn. In others, however, the parent flatly refuses to pay. A family law attorney can assist a parent who is not receiving the amount that has been ordered in seeking enforcement through the court.

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