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Bristol Palin's child's father criticized for support request

As parents in California know, child support issues can be upsetting. Sarah Palin has made public her negative opinion about the father of her daughter's second child after he requested child support and joint custody.

The Palin family criticized the father for not engaging in caring for the child. Sarah Palin alleged that the family extended invitations to him for months to have a parenting role prior to the child's birth. According to a representative for Bristol Palin, she said that a "real American hero doesn't ask for child support." He served as a Marine.

The Palins' public statements have exposed a cultural dislike of men pursuing child support. A single father, known for his classes for fathers who want to learn how to do their daughters' hair, called men who asked for child support cowardly. In his opinion, men have the ability to work harder and provide for their children instead of asking for financial assistance from the other parent.

Despite peoples' opinions about gender roles, the law bases child support decisions upon an analysis of the parents' income, financial resources and time spent caring for children. When a person making payments or receiving them experiences a change in circumstances, that person could talk to an attorney about requesting a child support modification. Altering a child support agreement generally requires going to a family court and gaining approval for the new arrangement. An attorney representing the person could present documentation about changes to income and parenting time. A family court would evaluate this information and compare it to legal guidelines. An attorney might urge the court to apply the law in favor of the person's request.

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