The divorced HB man is as soon as once more making an attempt to reform California’s ‘outdated’ youngster help regulation
A Huntington Beach man is making another attempt to reform California’s child support law, this time by supporting a ballot initiative that would limit payments to ex-spouses to a maximum of five years after a divorce or legal separation.
Steve Clark, a software developer and divorced father, said this week if he had known 25 years ago that he might have to pay child support – also known as spousal support – for the rest of his life, he would not have gotten married. He said he pays his ex-wife Cindy $1,000 a month and has a court order to do so for the rest of his life.
State law allows ex-spouses to receive alimony for a “reasonable period of time,” which can be half the length of the marriage or partnership. However, for partnerships lasting 10 years or more, the judges have discretion and cannot set an end date for spousal support.
Clark’s proposed reform initiative aims to “address the most egregious aspect of family law that currently creates a potential lifetime obligation for the payer,” according to the website of his nonprofit CalAlimonyReform.org. He cites self-reliance, accountability, rights, roles and entitlements as the tenets of his organization.
Clark admits he has an ax to sharpen, but says it’s the principle of the matter. He noted that child support is required only for 18 years.
“It really reflects a certain percentage of [the] Population in the country that has this concept of free money,” he said. “They think that something like this comes for free. It just means someone else will pay for it.”
He added: “People don’t get married and that’s one of the reasons. I think a lot of young people hear horror stories. It’s really outdated in this day and age. No need.”
His ex-wife could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Clark’s personal experience sparked his first unsuccessful attempt to push through a reform initiative in the 2016 vote. At the time, Clark’s proposal would only have granted alimony for one year to those who met certain hardship conditions.
Clark said the biggest hurdle with his latest proposal is raising enough money to keep a petitions company that will help collect the more than 623,000 signatures needed to get the measure before voters in 2020. He estimates that he and his group have collected about 2,000 signatures since it started last month.
If their efforts fall short, Clark said they will keep pushing until people see the injustice.
This is the latest proposed voting action by a Huntington Beach resident that has garnered attention in recent years.
In 2018, Daniel Horgan, a local real estate agent and mortgage broker, unsuccessfully circulated a petition attempting to ban semi-automatic and automatic guns in the city. City Attorney Michael Gates later sued Horgan to try to stop him from pursuing a petition the city described as a “placement.” [Huntington] is contrary to the Second Amendment.”
A Sacramento County judge stopped a ballot measure proposed by local attorney Matthew McLaughlin in 2015, which aimed to authorize the killing of gays and lesbians by “bullet to the head” or “any other suitable method.”
McLaughlin’s so-called Sodomite Suppression Act didn’t make it to the signature collection process because Atty testified at the time. General Kamala D. Harris asked the court to let them ignore McLaughlin’s suggestion and prevent him from moving forward.
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