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How Will a Trump Presidency Impact Obama’s Child Support Regulation?

A last minute child support regulation put forth by Barack Obama could be in jeopardy by the Trump Administration.

Whenever there is a peaceful transfer of power between America’s two most powerful political parties, it is only natural for the “losing” side to wonder what changes the new presidency will bring. Supporters of Obama’s last-minute child support rule, then, had to wait and see whether President Trump would undo the new regulation.

Barack Obama’s child support rule — which took effect January 19th — called on states to set realistic child support amounts. The goal of this new rule was to ensure that noncustodial parents would not accumulate unaffordable debt that placed these parents into a perpetual incarceration cycle.

Before this rule was enacted, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that states increasingly imposed stiff payment obligations on parents without care for their financial situations. This reality directly contributed to what the HHS noted was an incarceration cycle that plagues parents in poverty.

Parents who go to jail are often unable to pay their child support. Then, upon release, they find that they have accumulated significant debts based on those missed payments. If they are unable to handle these financial burdens, it is not long before many parents find themselves behind bars once more. The new rule now tries to strike a better balance between holding noncustodial parents accountable for child support while also taking their financial situation into account.

Will Trump Undo These Changes?

At present, it is unclear whether the Trump administration or the Republican-majority Congress will take steps to undo these child support overhauls. It is worth noting, however, that the rule was opposed by current House Speaker Paul Ryan, who introduced legislation designed to block the rule.

Trump’s pick for HHS secretary, Tom Price, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. As a result, it remains to be seen how Price and other influential appointees will do with this new rule.

In the meantime, the rule exists untouched and President Trump’s administration has done nothing to impede the latest rule. For the time being, then, the rule has been safe since the first day of its implementation on January 19th.

Noncustodial parents who have been incarcerated will continue to benefit from these changes so long as the Trump administration does not seek to undo this child support rule that was more than two years in the making.

If you have questions regarding Florida or national child support laws, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]