Catholic Law Professor Emeritus Rev. Raymond C. O’Brien published his article, “Child Support and Joint Physical Custody,” in the most recent edition of the Catholic University Law Review. The article discusses challenges in awarding child support created by the current system of joint physical custody awards. Father O’Brien argues that child custody and child support should both be formulated in a similar fashion in order to support the best interests of the child.
Catholic University Law Review
By: Rev. Raymond C. O’Brien
Child Support and Joint Physical Custody
In ubiquitous fashion, the best interest of the child is common to both child support and child custody determinations. And yet formulations of what constitutes a child’s best interest is opaque, perennially infused with cultural permeations and societal aspirations. In practice it is more pronouncement than application. Past influences include stereotypes of gender hierarchy, who qualifies as a parent, the means by which parenthood may be established, and purported goals for projected parent-child interactions. But the devil is in the details. Amidst these influences is the concrete necessity of providing a child with financial support. How much money is enough to provide a “minimum decent standard of living” and in a manner that residential and nonresidential parents are treated fairly. A child’s best interest is elusive but at a minimum it includes, “the child’s interests in sustained growth, development, well-being, and continuity and stability of its environment.”
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