Thursday, August 23, 2012
Important Fathers For Virginia Child support Meeting Springfield VA Sept 8
The Virginia Child Support Review Panel has scheduled a meeting for September 20 in Richmond. The panel plans to make its recommendations in time for the 2013 legislature session, which starts in January 2013. Signs are that the panel may recommend a big jump -- enough to cause "sticker shock." according to the panel's economic consultant -- in the numbers in Virginia's child support guideline. The guideline relates CS to the incomes of the parents and the number of children. In the view of Fathers For Virginia (FFV), the next meeting of the CS Guideline Review Panel is likely to be a critical one. FFV has organized a meeting in the afternoon of Saturday, September 8, in Springfield, VA, to discuss the outlook for the CS review panel, and what noncustodial parents can do to ensure that they are not stuck with a major increase in their payments. We hope you will be able to come to the meeting, and make a contribution to the discussion. We also hope you will be able to testify to the September 20 meeting. Please consider coming to the September 8 meeting even if you personally no longer pay child support. This is part of our effort to get people in Richmond to focus more on fathers' issues, and that is a very long-term process. We have arranged the meeting in a library close to the Springfield Interchange (I-95 and the Washington Beltway), in hopes that those coming from outside Northern Virginia will find it easier to attend. Details of the times and the location are below. Some FFV representatives have already testified to the Child Support Guideline Review Panel, whose website is http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/dcse/panel.cgi . Among the points we have made are the following: --- The current guideline is already indexed for inflation, because CS amounts are linked to the incomes of the custodial and noncustodial parents. In consequence, it is a mistake to suggest that amounts in the guideline must be raised because the cost of raising children has increased. --- The whole issue of child support, and its enforcement, is distorted by the disparity in the gender distribution of custody, with fathers being custodial parents in only about 6 percent of non-intact families in Virginia. This disparity should be openly acknowledged as a problem, and the CS review panel should not go further down the road of discriminating against fathers. --- The current CS guideline should be modified, but the modification should consist of removal of the present 90-day threshold below which visitation time has no impact on the amount noncustodial parents have to pay. We have seen some signs of a new attitude in Richmond towards divorced and non-marital families, including concern about unintended incentives for the creation of these families. We can explain some of these signs at the meeting. This is a golden opportunity for non-custodial parents to make their voices heard. We hope you can come to the meeting on September 8. We need more people who can speak out on these matters. Please reply to this e-mail to let us know if you plan to attend the September 8 meeting. We need to have an estimate of attendance, in order to complete the arrangements. Any questions should be directed to Kenneth Skilling, firstname.lastname@example.org. Details of the Meeting The meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, September 8, 1 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Richard Byrd Library (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/rb/.) The address of the library is: 7250 Commerce Street, Springfield, VA 22150-3499, telephone: 703-451-8055 For those coming from a distance, there are several hotels in various price ranges within easy reach of this library. In addition, it may be possible to arrange overnight accommodation in the homes of FFV members who live in Northern Virginia.