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Child Support

June 23, 1993

* Re "Lifestyles and New Wives Should Come After Kids," Opinion, June 13:

I believe in equal rights for all children, women and men. In today's world, most families need two incomes to survive. It is no less necessary that both parents work to support their children after a divorce. Unfortunately, a large number of divorced women choose not to work, though capable. They choose to live off of spousal and child support and then complain that it is too low. They use their children as weapons in both the Legislature and the courts to fight for more money from their ex-spouses. Since the courts award physical custody to mothers in approximately 90% of all cases, women's groups rarely look at the equities in custody awards. If they did and they were honest, they would see that many loving, capable fathers are denied custody just because of their sex.

Should a non-custodial parent (Dad) remarry a working woman, her wages are added to his child support compilation. Never mind that she may have children of her own to support. These children are not even mentioned in any statutes or legislation. A part of their mother's salary is, in effect, taken and given to another child. The new spouse's children are treated as nonentities. Let them starve and go without necessities.

Furthermore, the law treats any children born to the new marriage as mere "hardship deductions" to be inserted into the child support formula. Their needs are not considered by the law and they are not entitled to the same standard of living as the firstborn children.

These later-born children and children of new mates deserve as much as the firstborn children. Kay Mills and others of her ilk cry out for the children, but only the children of their choice. Support AB 1400 and family fairness.

KAREN J. NUDELL

Studio City

* Kay Mills is so right to urge resistance to AB 1400. If ever push came to shove, we are witnessing it now. Uniform child support guidelines were slow in coming, but at least they are here in time for the children who are currently children. What is not registering with many fathers and others who are financially discommoded by the current guidelines is that children grow up relentlessly. The needs of children cannot be put on hold until a new car is paid for. Those needs are either met, or they are not; and if they are not, it's hard to imagine a treasure worth the price of that failure.

MARSHA S. TUTTLE

Glendora

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