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Child-Support Issues for Parents Who Receive Means-Tested Public Assistance

By Paula Roberts

Establishing and enforcing child-support obligations is particularly complex when one or both parents receive means-tested public assistance. Critical issues for advocates to understand include whether public assistance is countable as "income," whether a court should impute income to a parent with no countable income, whether minimum support awards should be established, and whether support payments in forms other than cash are allowed. Additional issues are the policies to be considered when deviating from child-support guidelines and the approaches to adjusting awards based on visitation.

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