Some New Jersey residents may have followed a dispute between Bristol Palin, the daughter of politician Sarah Palin, and the father of her child. Her child’s father asked for child support and joint custody, but according to Sarah Palin, he had shown little interest in the child prior to its birth. Furthermore, Bristol Palin said that he should not have asked for child support.
One single father argued that men should not ask for child support because they should continue to primarily be providers while women are caregivers. However, in some cases, filing for child support is necessary to access benefits such as medical insurance or food stamps. Therefore, either parent may need to file for child support depending upon who is more in need of financial support overall.
Another argument made by some people is that women already bear a greater burden in childbearing and raising children, and this is in addition to the wage gap in which women make less money than men. Divorce may also penalize women more financially. Women may lose wages or career opportunities due to pregnancy or motherhood.
However, most of these are not factors in determining child support. The state will look at income, child-rearing expenses and how much time each parent has with the child regardless of gender of the parents. Before turning to litigation, parents may want to try to work with their lawyers to come to an agreement about child custody. Although a judge attempts to rule in what can be determined as the child’s best interests, the parents may have the best sense of how much time the child needs with each parent. Therefore, they might decide that the stability of spending weekdays with one parents outweighs the benefit of equal time with both parents for their particular child. Child support and custody arrangements can sometimes also be modified later if necessary.