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Child custody bill favoring rape survivors gets the nod

Child custody and child support can be contentious issues following a divorce. Under normal circumstances, parents come to an agreement about child custody. One parent takes over child custody while the other pays child support. In the state of Pennsylvania and throughout the United States, child support is mandatory.

However, disagreements and controversies around child custody and child support are not uncommon. While in typical divorce cases an individual may still come to an agreement about child custody and child support matters, what should be done when a child is conceived out of rape? Will the father still be required to pay child support? In Pennsylvania, the state has voted unanimously for a bill to remove the parental rights between rapists and their children born out of rape. 

Sen. Randy Vulakovich observed that, however, if the rights of a parent are terminated, the obligation to pay child support should be done away with as well. This can be problematic however, because if the rapist asks for visitation rights, the mother of the child would be forced to establish a connection with the man, which could lead to significant pain for the mother. Vulakovich has sponsored the bill.

The bill has corrected one previous loophole in Pennsylvania law. In an earlier version, the offender’s parental rights were terminated but the convicted rapist still had to pay child support. The bill will now be placed in the House for its consideration. Child support and child custody issues are often complex, and in many instances, it may be wise to seek the advice of a professional who practices family law.

Source: CBS Philly, “Senate Approves Rape Survivor Child Custody Bill,” June 25, 2015

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