Wellesley Non-Profit Jane Does Well Uncovers Influence of Father’s Rights Groups on Massachusetts Trial Court’s Child Support Task Force

11/20/2020 07:00 - United States, Massachusetts, Wellesley - (PR Distribution™)

BOSTON MA - Awareness Committee Formed by Jane Does Well to Understand Issues Facing Divorcing Mothers Finds Decreasing Average Awards of Child Support in Massachusetts and Influence of Father’s Rights Groups on Child Support Task Force.

Wellesley nonprofit Jane Does Well formed an Awareness Committee to study the various issues facing divorcing women, female-lead households and their children. The Committee’s compelling research was featured this week in an article by Jason V. Owens, family law attorney at Lynch & Owens.

The committee, led by Lori Johnson and Christina Pavlina, both Board members of Jane Does Well, found that the conclusions reached by economists hired to provide input to the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Child Support Guidelines Task Force since 2012 are questionable, and produce decreased average child support amounts to custodial parents. The economists are paid from public funds to produce objective research analysis for the Trial Court, but they have used their own economic view that the current methodology that most states use, including Massachusetts, results in Child Support levels that are too high. Unlike several other states, Massachusetts does not require economic peer reviews or transparency throughout the task force process, which would encourage a balanced and objective result given children’s welfare is at stake. 

To understand the almost decade-long decrease in support, the committee delved further by examining the Economic Review of Child Support Guidelines in 2013 and 2017 performed by the economists, Boston-based consultant Mark Sarro, from the Brattle Group, working with R. Mark Rogers from Rogers Economics in Georgia. Sarro and Rogers, along with William Comanor, authored a 250-page study in 2015, “The Monetary Cost of Raising Children”, which argues for much lower – poverty level child support amounts.

Jane Does Well is working diligently to understand the extent of harm to children since Father’s Rights advocates economists Sarro and Rogers have been involved with the Massachusetts Trial Court’s Child Support Guidelines Taskforce. “It is hard to understand how anyone could reframe the economists report as neutral,” says Lori Johnson. “Choosing economists who actively promote their own method of calculating child expenditures which results in extremely low child support amounts is troubling to me.  My guess is the Trial Court is unaware of the conflict of interest and the bias of Sarro and Rogers.” 

Jane Does Well will advocate for the children of Massachusetts by appearing before the Trial Court’s Child Support Task Force Committee at the Virtual public forum (date not yet posted) and will contribute information and comments online by the December 15th deadline. The public is invited to share their comments to the Trial court by emailing childsupport@jud.state.ma.us by December 15th. 

Learn more and read the full article here.

Jane Does Well is a 400+ member 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to supporting and empowering women by providing a community of healing, mentoring, resources, and social programs to women going through divorce and beyond. To learn more, visit us at: janedoeswell.org

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Christina Pavlina
Jane Does Well
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