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Family law legal needs

Parents in Connecticut might be interested to hear that although the child support enforcement system makes efforts to collect child support from parents, there is currently no system in place for requiring formal visitation arrangements to be in place between parents. When parents get a divorce, such arrangements are usually established as part of the divorce decree. However, for parents that were never married, formal visitation arrangements are not required as a precondition of receiving government assistance benefits, as is often the case with child support.

Statistics show that only 38 percent of black children and 50 percent of low-income children live with both their parents as opposed to 68 percent of the general population. Therefore, some people believe that child support enforcement agencies should extend their services to require the establishment of custody and visitation agreements for participation in benefit programs.

The Obama administration has indicated its support for the proposition. However, some people say that more reforms are needed first before such changes are feasible. Some parents may not feel that they need such formal agreements. However, situations could arise that would make such agreements beneficial. For example, if one of the parents gets a new partner or job, it may be prudent for formal arrangements to have already been made so there is no uncertainty about custodial and visitation issues.

Family law attorneys might be able to assist a divorcing parent in negotiating matters such as child custody, visitation and child support. They may also be able to help such a client file motions to have existing orders modified if circumstances arise that may dictate the need for such a change.

Source: The Washington Informer, "Putting the Spotlight on Family Law Legal Needs", Joy Moses, September 17, 2013

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