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California recognizes August as child support awareness month

On Aug. 1, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. officially recognized August as child support awareness month in California. As part of the initiative Governor Brown took the opportunity to remind parents of the importance of remaining involved in the lives of their children.

According to a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau study, almost two-thirds of noncustodial parents are not actively engaged with their children. In fact, the study found that parents without custody maintained little and sometimes even no contact with their children.

To combat this trend, California's designation of August as the child support awareness month is part of a comprehensive effort to encourage parents who may have stepped away from their parental responsibilities to return to a more active role in their child's development. To accomplish that goal 51 local child support agencies throughout the state have agreed to participate in awareness activities at the county level. Parents who are interested in learning more are encouraged to visit the initiative's website.

Alicia Griffin, California's director of the Department of Child Support Services, says that society benefits when children are raised with parents who are actively engaged in nurturing them through their development. Last year Griffin's agency took in over $2.3 billion in child support payments which it distributed to roughly 1.4 million children and families located throughout the state.

If you are a parent who has fallen away from making court-ordered child support payments there are several things you should know. Family law judges in California are concerned about doing what is right in the best interests of the child. Sometimes this means having both parents involved in the child's life is essential.

Today there is growing recognition among the courts that circumstances sometimes arise which make it difficult for some parents to meet their financial obligations. For example, a change in your income due to your inability to work as a result of an illness or injury may be sufficient grounds to amend your current payment plan. With the right legal help it may be possible to fix your child support problem and get you significantly back in your child's life.

Source: California Department of Child Support Services, "Governor Brown Reminds Parents: Be There for Your Kids" Aug. 01, 2014

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