California residents might have heard about the custody battle between Bristol Palin and her ex-fiancé Dakota Meyer. According to reports, Meyer is pursuing joint custody of the baby daughter that he has with Palin while seeking child support payments from Palin as well. After Palin publicly shamed him for asking for support, the case has brought up questions about whether or not men have equal rights in this regard.
Palin's representatives reportedly told the media that 'a real American hero doesn't ask for child support." The comments were aimed at Meyer, a former Marine and war veteran, though they echo a common opinion that men have less right than women to pursue such assistance. Although many mothers work and earn more income than the fathers of their children, the idea of a man asking for child support is still looked down upon by some people.
For some fathers, putting gender stereotypes aside and pursuing an order for child support from the mother is necessary. A single father who spends more time taking care of his child than the mother may have to ask for child support in order to make ends meet. In some states, a single parent who signs up for government assistance is actually required to pursue child support payments. While single mothers can avoid this by claiming that they don't know who the father is, a single father does not have that option, as the identity of the mother is of course evident.
Divorced parents may be able to come to an agreement about child support payments during the mediation process. Rather than relying on a judge to calculate child support based upon a formula, parents can negotiate a more personalized arrangement with the help of a mediator. The agreement can then be submitted to the court for its approval