unemployment Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Program helps individuals struggling to pay child support find jobs

The local government in Durham County, North Carolina, is using state and federal resouces to provide a program for individuals who are struggling to pay their child support due to a lack of gainful employment, according to WRAL.com.

A significant amount in child support payments is owed by residents in the county, and the new program is designed to give job skills to individuals to provide their children with necessary funding and resource, the news source reported.

“We have folks who really want to support their families, but in this economy, of course, they are unable to for a variety of reasons,” Durham District Judge William Marsh said in a conference.

The New Life Court program will give individuals intense job training that ranges from learning computer skills to providing helpful tips for finding employment opportunities, according to WRAL.

The Durham Herald-Sun reported that several residents have already been helped by the program, which opened their eyes to ways to improve their resumes and computer competency.

Unemployment and its effect on marriage divorce

Unemployment has had a considerable effect on many individuals’ financial situations, but this issue is also taking a toll on relationships, the Fiscal Times reports.

The news source reports that a recent study found that 75 percent of women would not marry a man who was unemployed, pointing to dating difficulties for adults without a job. In blossoming relationships, unemployment has caused more couples to live together. According to the publication, the number of unmarried couples cohabitating increased 13 percent from 2009 to 2010. In addition, many people have delayed marriage plans or downsized these celebrations due to unemployment.

For couples having marital troubles, tough financial times can force them to delay divorces. The news source found that there was a decline in divorce rates between 2008 and 2009, when the recession began. In some cases, finances are to blame, as the average divorce can cost around $5,000.

According to Psych Central, a study published in the American Journal Sociology found that a man’s employment status was a major factor in divorce. Male unemployment increases the changes that his wife will initiate a divorce.

Colorado program brings dads and kids together

Federal funding has allowed Colorado’s child welfare agencies to connect fathers with their estranged children through a new government program, according to the Denver Post.

The state started the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative after receiving $10 million in federal funding. The program aims to boost fatherhood programs across the state and even provides parenting classes, therapy and employment guidance fathers who may have been barred from seeing their child because they were unable to afford child support payments, the newspaper reports.

“This grant has been very successful in creating that paradigm shift, to educate the providers of these services to always ask, ‘Where’s the father?’ Don’t just assume the father is out of the picture,” Dan Welch, a member of the department of human services, told the paper.

The program has allowed Richard Jama, a Liberian immigrant, to connect with his daughter. Although he had been paying child support, he discovered his daughter was living with foster parents after she was abused by her mother’s boyfriend, a development social workers never informed him of. The news source said when Jama confronted officials at the child support registry office they directed him to a fatherhood program.

After Jama completed the program he gained full custody of his daughter, who is now 6.

Child custody issues similar to Jama’s case regularly occur across the country. A Nebraska man recently sued the state after it took officials more than eight months to tell him his daughter was in foster care, despite the fact that he paid child support.

Employment may threaten marriage

A new study suggests that while a woman’s employment status does not usually make or break a marriage, men who are unemployed are more likely to file for divorce compared with those who have a job.

The study, led by Liana Sayer at Ohio State University, found that even though social pressure discouraging women from working outside the home has decreased, there is still considerable pressure on men to fulfill the role of family breadwinner.

According to the research, an employed woman is more likely to initiate divorce than a woman without a job, but only when she is unsatisfied with the marriage. However, even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are not steadily employed.

Researchers suggest that the changing role of women in the workforce may have something to do with the study’s findings. While a woman’s decision to work is no longer seen as violation of marriage norms, society still has negative associations with men who do not work.

“Women’s employment has increased and is accepted, men’s non-employment is unacceptable to many, and there is a cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on ‘feminized’ roles such as household work and emotional support,” the researchers wrote.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports there were approximately 158,000 stay-at-home dads in 2009. Among them, about 59 percent had two or more children and 57 percent had a yearly family income of $50,000 or more.

Athletes seek alimony child support modification

Many athletes in the National Football League and the National Basketball Association may seek child support modification if their respective leagues experience a work stoppage.

Bloomberg News reports that many NFL and NBA players are trying to have their child support and alimony payments modified in the case that they see their incomes lowered.

Frank Brickowski, a former NBA player who is a regional director with the league’s Players Association, said that child support and alimony are issues that affect about 80 percent of the men in the league. Dealing with such issues during a potential work stoppage was covered in a lockout survival guide given to players, according to the news source.

Joseph Cordell, a prominent divorce attorney, said that men who see their incomes drop would need to file for child support and alimony modification.

“Men in the NFL are in a risky industry, which makes it difficult to afford their child support or alimony payments,” Cordell said. “To ensure they don’t fall behind they have to file for a modification.”

The NFL will resume talks with its players regarding the lockout on June 7, according to BusinessWeek.