Noted columnist critiques child support system as unfair to dads

A noted political commentator, conservative Phyllis Schlafly, has joined the President in his Father’s Day call for a re-vamping of this country’s child support system in order to make it fairer for non-custodial dads.

Schlafly argues that the current system of child support, which would include Maryland’s child support laws, is unfair to non-custodial parents, who are usually the fathers. She also believes that the current child support system actually encourages conflicts over child custody.

As one example, she points out that while even the IRS only counts actual earned income when figuring income tax, family court judges generally have discretion to be creative about what is counted as income for child support purposes. This means that a non-custodial dad can wind up paying child support based on income he made at previous employment or based on a money-making opportunity upon which he has yet to capitalize.

Schlafly also criticizes those child support formulas that tie a father’s child support payment directly to how often he sees his children. Under the present system, the custodial parent stands to lose financial support when a father wants to have the care of his children more often. In a sense, it pays off to come up with a reason why a dad should not see his children and then present that reason as a custody issue. The result, according to Schlafly, can be a very bitter custody battle that is really more about money than it is about the children.

Whether Maryland will adopt broad child support reform remains to be seen. However, parents should remember that Maryland law already provides for some flexibility in both child custody and support arrangements. A Howard County child support lawyer can help a parent craft a child support and custody plan that is fair to all involved. If necessary, he or she can also advocate for that parent’s interests in court.

Source:, “We should reform child support,” Phyllis Schlafly, June 18, 2013

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