Child Support

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After years of complaints that divorced dads sometimes pay too much in child support, the state Legislature is considering sweeping changes to the way judges assign payments to non-custodial parents.

A House Judiciary Committee is meeting today to discuss the bill, which would revamp the formula judges use to allocate child support payments. Currently only the non-custodial parent's income is considered in most cases. The new plan, backed by Republican leaders, would also take into account the income of the parent with custody.

Some divorced dads complain that judges don't take into account mothers who sometimes make more money than their exes, or who remarry rich spouses and don't need as much child support.

Critics of the bill said the formula would mean child support payments for some single parents could drop by 50 percent, or more.

The lawmakers are trying to decide Tuesday whether they need more time to study the controversial issue before passing new guidelines. They are considering a new commission which would study so-called "shared income" plans for child support and make recommendations.

No vote is planned Tuesday.