In an action that may make it easier for federal prisoners in California and other states to manage their child support obligations following incarceration, the Obama administration issued long-awaited rule changes on Dec. 19 that could lead to lower child support payments for some inmates. Under the new regulations, states could no longer follow any earlier policies that effectively blocked prisoners from seeking to modify their existing child support orders.
California couples who are considering a divorce may wonder about its effect on Social Security benefits after retirement. Social Security requires the equivalent of a 10-year work history, and one person may not have this or might make less income than their spouse. If a person's Social Security benefits are less than what they would be eligible for from their ex-spouse, they may be able to claim on their former spouse's income under certain circumstances.
When one divorced California parent moves to be closer to a new partner, this could cause disruption in the existing visitation schedule even if the move is a relatively minor one. An additional half-hour commute could add up to a significant time difference for the parent who is driving the child back and forth. Furthermore, the other parent may disapprove of the new partner and might not want the child spending time with that person. In turn, the new partner may dislike the ex-spouse and the ex-spouse's influence on the child. The outcome may be one parent refusing to transport the child for visitation.
In California, it is fairly common for children to be born to unmarried mothers. Around the country, an average of 40 percent of children are born to parents who are not married. In 2000, by contrast, the percentage of such children was around 33 percent. While the number of children who are born to single parents has increased, the percentage of parents who participate in child support programs have gone down.