Buried deep in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget is a new mandate requiring the states to include parental visitation arrangements in child support orders, the same way custody arrangements are typically settled in divorce cases.
The goal is to give noncustodial parents more time with the children who do not live with them.
“Recognizing that healthy families need more than just financial support alone, the proposal requires states to include parenting time provisions in initial child support orders,” says the budget justification for the Department of Health and Human Services. (“Parenting time” is government-speak for “visitation.”)
The HHS budget requests $448 million over ten years to support increased visitation services.
The taxpayer money will go to states that choose to include visitation in initial child support orders beginning in FY 2014. All 50 states and the District of Columbia “are required” to include “parenting time responsibilities” in all new child support orders beginning in FY 2019.
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