Child custody and support disputes spur increase at local juvenile court

According to the News Messenger of Fremont, Ohio, the workload at the Sandusky County Juvenile Court is increasing, particularly due to a growing number of child support and child custody hearings.

An annual report filed by the court showed that in 2010, the court saw 2,454 cases, an icrease of 416 from 2008. The majority of the growth in cases was seen in custody, support and visitation, Judge Brad Smith told the publication. These cases typically deal with children of an unmarried couple, as cases involving the offspring of married couples are usually dealt with in adult court.

“In a down economy, there are more people attempting to collect child support, more people trying to modify it and more people not paying,” Smith explained to the news source.

The increase may also be due to the growing number of single fathers fighting for custody in American courts. According to the U.S. Census, single dads now head 8 percent of households, up from 6.3 percent in 2000 and just 1.1 percent in 1950.