Welcome to the YoungWilliams Research & Case Law Library.  Use the filters below to select categories of interest to you.  Currently our Library consists of academic and government research articles and reports from around the country, federal opinions, and case law from states in which our full service child support projects are located: Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Sign up to receive updates by clicking the blue  box at the left of the page.

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Research & Case Law

Friday v. Miss. Dep’t of Human Services (Mississippi 2021)

August 2021

A paternity action must be brought before a child turns 21. The Mississippi Department of Human Services filed to establish paternity for a child who at the time of filing was 20 years old. The father filed several motions to dismiss, arguing the child had turned 21 and the case shouldn’t proceed. The Chancery Court entered an order adjudicating the father’s paternity and ordering a year of support. The father appealed.

Canzoneri v. Burns (Tennessee 2021)

August 2021

The Tennessee child support guidelines contain specific factors to consider when declaring parent underemployed. In this modification action, the father was a self-employed landscaper. Citing his education, background, and a booming economy, the trial court found him underemployed and imputed a higher income. Interestingly, his support was reduced because mother’s income had increased. Regardless, the father appealed.

Parental Debt and Child Well-Being: What Type of Debt Matters for Child Outcomes?

August 2021

Child support arrears may have a negative impact on child well-being. In this study, the authors considered different types of debt owed by parents and the impact of debt on their children. Child support arrears are often a large amount of the debt owed by parent. Arrears have been shown to have negative consequences on those who owe them such as poor mental health, high stress, and lack of employability.

Pace v. Pace (Mississippi 2021)

July 2021

If a parent’s earnings are reduced through the parent’s own actions, the court may use earning capacity to determine income for child support. The parents filed for divorce. The father, a doctor, had a substance abuse problem. To keep his medical license, he had to undergo treatment and consent to monitoring. Instead, he surrendered his medical license. During the trial, he claimed he couldn’t afford the monitoring program. The chancellor used his earning capacity to set child support in the final order. The father appealed.

In re Rees (Kansas 2021)

July 2021

When a parent voluntarily leaves a higher paying job, the court must determine if the termination was for rational and sufficient reasons and the parent can’t find a similarly paying job. The father moved and found a lower paying job. He petitioned to modify his child support based on his reduced income. As the reason for his move, the father presented evidence he no longer had visitation rights to the child and he would be closer to his family. The trial court granted his petition and reduced support. The mother appealed.

Nielson v. Nielson (Nebraska 2021)

June 2021

A parent who seeks to modify a child support order must show an unforeseeable material change of circumstances that occurred after the entry of the original decree. The parents agreed to child support in the initial decree, even though the amount didn’t match the child support worksheets attached to the order. The father failed to pay, and the mother filed for contempt. Subsequently, the father filed to modify his child support order based on a downturn in his business.

Reducing Child Support Debt in the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) Demonstration

June 2021

The federal Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration project was a federally-funded grant to study the effectiveness of using procedural justice methods to enforce child support orders. This brief discusses strategies used to deal with child support arrears. Most participants in the PJAC program had accrued arrears.

Warren County DSS v. Garrelts (North Carolina 2021)

June 2021

A determination of paternity affects a substantial right. As such, the applicable law when determining paternity is the law of the “situs of the claim” or in other words, the law of the state where the claim arises. The mother and defendant, who lived in Virginia, agreed the defendant would donate sperm for artificial insemination. The insemination happened in Virginia, the child was born there, and lived there until moving to California. In California, the mother began receiving public assistance. At California’s request, North Carolina brought a paternity action.

Wilkinson v. Wilkinson (North Carolina 2021)

June 2021

Findings of fact must support any deviation from presumptive child support amount. The mother filed to modify child support. The father responded with a request for a decrease. He paid monthly support and made an annual payment based on a percentage of his bonus. The final order decreased both support and the percentage of the annual bonus payment, determined an overpayment of support, and changed the allocation of uninsured medical expenses and activities. The mother appealed.

State ex rel. Secy’ v. Cares (Kansas 2021)

June 2021

A voluntary acknowledgement has the effect of an order of paternity and the statutes designate specific timeframes for recission. The State brought an action to enforce a child support order against the father. The father argued the voluntary acknowledgement of paternity, which was signed four years prior, was void. The district court found no basis to set aside the paternity acknowledgement. The father appealed.

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