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One of the earliest American support cases was Stanton vs. The Supreme Court of Connecticut decided this case in 1808.
In this case, the Supreme Court of Connecticut allowed Eunice Stanton to recover support from her first husband on behalf of her deceased second husband, Joshua.
But England’s laws did allow for a limited recovery of support costs in certain circumstances.
Despite the absence of a child provision within English laws, the courts in American slowly began to tackle the notion that a father had a legal obligation to support his offspring.
America had inherited many English laws in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and these laws found that the father had only a non-enforceable moral duty to support his children.
In fact, English precedents actually forbid any third party from recovering the costs of support unless these costs had been pre-authorized by a contract with the child’s father.
The child support laws in every state in the United States has a program to help families pay, process, and collect support payments.
Each state’s agency can work across state lines to ensure that payments are collected and distributed. Child laws and programs have evolved tremendously over the years.
It is interesting to note in this case that two of Eunice's children had been awarded to her by a custody decree, and the third had fled from her ex-husband because of fears of abuse.