According to a recent California Department of Child Support Services report, one of the leading factors creating “deadbeat dads” in California is that fathers who owe child support are rarely able to get downward modifications on their child support when they suffer drops in income.
According to an Urban Institute study, less than one in 20 non-custodial parents who suffers a substantial drop in income is able to get courts to reduce the support obligation. In the words of one California judge: “I don’t care if you live under a highway underpass in the meantime, just pay your support as ordered.”
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge just lowered actress Anne Heche’s child support obligation by 75% because Heche says she has fallen on financial hard times. In addition, she was recently relieved of paying child support for July.
The judge may well have acted correctly in this case, but the question must be asked, “If Heche can get a huge reduction so easily, why is it so hard for fathers in similar circumstances to get reductions?” Does the judge cutting some slack have something to do with Heche being a high profile person?