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August dubbed as "child support awareness" month

California residents may agree that divorces are often emotionally traumatic for all concerned and usually especially traumatic for the children involved. The situation may be exacerbated if estranged spouses rage a bitter custody battle or have long-term, turbulent legal battles regarding spousal or child support. Cases of child support may also suffer greatly if the biological parents had children without the benefit of marriage.

Since 1995 when August was identified as "child support awareness" month by former President Bill Clinton, California's department for child support services has been working to enhance the well-being of all the state's children by making families self-sufficient by providing child support services to all those who need it. The department is a neutral third party which tries to ensure the best interest of the child. While the department does not represent parents in legal battles but California's Yolo County Department of Child Support does conduct workshops to help parents get the child support that is needed.

In many cases parents want joint custody of the child and in other cases one parent may have sole or primary custody. In cases where one parent was the sole breadwinner or has amassed greater wealth than the custodial parent, the former may be liable to pay child support based on ability to pay.

With the recent economic downturn, child support payment delinquencies have increased and many cases exist where the non-custodial parent has arrears in child support payments. The department may in such cases help parents come to an understanding so the child support payment can be afforded.

Mediation is often recommended as a means of allowing both biological parents to come to a greater understanding to ensure the best interest of the child. Both parties involved may consult a professional to facilitate a just and fair compromise.

Source: DailyDemocrat.com, "Workshops in August part of Child Support Awareness Month," July 31, 2014

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