Shepherd appealing parenting and support decision

North Carolina fans of “The View” may be familiar with the child support issues facing 48-year-old Sherri Shepherd, a former host of the television program. She went to court to challenge her responsibility for her child born through surrogacy, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court deemed her contract and child support obligations to be valid. The child in question is her 1-year-old son with Lamar Sally, her former husband. The couple entered into a surrogacy contract, which Shepherd later attempted to cancel as marital issues became problematic. However, the pregnancy was advanced at that point. Reports indicate that Shepherd paid approximately $100,000 to coordinate the surrogate pregnancy prior to the marriage falling apart.

Sally has custody of the child, and Shepherd is responsible for more than $4,000 in child support on a monthly basis, an amount that is due to increase when the boy reaches 13 years of age. The ruling not only affirms her financial responsibility for the child but also provides support for the validity of contracts related to surrogate pregnancies. She is now appealing the decision.

A custodial parent might face a situation in which an ex-spouse wants to avoid financial responsibility for a mutual child by terminating parental rights. In some cases, the custodial parent might accept the terms of such an agreement in order to eliminate the influence of the other party on the child. In other cases, such an agreement might be desired to pave the way for a stepparent to legally adopt the child. However, some parents may attempt to terminate their relationships with their children strictly for financial convenience.

A parent who owes child support can face serious legal problems for simply ceasing to pay. If a financially challenging situation crops up, it may be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney in petitioning the court for a modification of the order.