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IS MONEY THE PRIMARY ISSUE TO DENY A SHARED PARENTING BILL IN SOUTH DAKOTA?
(YOU DECIDE)

Dear South Dakotan's,

Will South Dakota put the needs of the children of separation or divorce to have two involved and active parents in their lives first over "money"?

Money does not equal "Love" for our children.

I am convinced, as disgusting as it is,  the primary issue for opponents of SB 60 and shared parenting is not about what is best for children --- it is about "money".
When someone is totally opposed to a bill as David Braun, Attorney for SS - Child Support Enforcement office was in the first hearing, there has to be another less obvious reason for it. Primarily, it is about money and here's why.

He stated that his agency collects 68 million each year. According to Federal Funding for Child Support Enforcement - Title IV-D - At a minimum, the state will receive 6% of this as an incentive payment from the Federal government or over 4 million dollars. In FY 2000, with 51 million collected, and close to 7 million in adminstrative costs,  South Dakota received Incentive payments of close to 3 million dollars.  In addition, South Dakota received federal reimbursement of 2/3rds of the total administrative costs of the Child Support Enforcement agency or close to 5 million dollars.

That's alot of money.  If the amount of child support collected goes down due to the implementation of Shared Parenting in South Dakota, the incentive payments (free money to the state) will go down as well as the administrative expenditures for the Child Support Enforcement Agency.   An issue of money or not?

Consider:

Using the SD Child Support Calculator using an example where both make $20,000 per year - 2 children

Father is allowed Standard Guidelines of 93 days with child. His share of the Child Support is $430 paid to the Mother

If two parents have a 50/50 agreement, Same Situation: Different schedule:. Father - 180 days with children; Mother - 185 days with children

Father pays to mother $9.00 each month through Child Support System

Difference of $421 per month that does not go through Child Support System.

That's at least $303 per year in grant money that the State of South Dakota does not get for one case. And how many cases are there? (68 million goes through child support collection each year). Suppose 1/2 of families of divorce decided to go shared parenting? Alot less money for the State I would say.

What a disincentive for having and supporting Shared Parenting.
Also, what an incentive for custodial parents to call and say they don't want shared parenting with what we know are 95% good and loving Dads and Moms who just want to spend the maximum amount of time with their children. They won't get as much child support (not alimony) -- of course both parents will be financially supporting them in two homes. They just need to decide how the extra's are paid for.

And then, consider the business of divorce (the divorce industry) BIG BUCKS spent on Litigation.

So who is opposed to equal shared parenting??? Most custodial parents who are receiving significant child support, Attorneys, Judges (who still believe in the traditional Maternal preference) and Social Services Child Support Enforcement).

I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. I have yet to hear anything in testimony about how shared parenting is bad for the children, actually I have heard the opposite. Clearly, it is primarily about money. Sad.

If money is the issue, then consider the money parents will save with no need to litigate (bad for the divorce industry of course), better compliance in paid child support due to more time with their children (statistics and research support this) , the lowering of divorce rates with shared parenting (less costs - less litigation -- supported by statistics and research) and money the State will save as the correctional population drops because children have two active and loving parents in their lives.

I encourage you to pass SB 60 with "true" shared parenting for our children of divorce and separation in South Dakota. Thank you for your time and careful consideration of SB 60.

Respectfully submitted,
Steve Mathis



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