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In his after-hours job at the Standridge Law Firm, Scott Aaron, a 3L, was involved in a case that sent him down an unexpected path to becoming a major organizer of a new nonprofit, Families Against Confiscatory Child Support.
The case involved child support in a high-income child-custody case. During his research for the firm's client, Aaron discovered what he thought were gaps in New Mexico's child support guidelines, which created an unfair burden to high-income parents.
Lawyers in his firm agreed, and in the lawsuit involving their client, they have challenged the constitutionality of the state's child support guidelines. The case is still pending in state district court.
To Aaron, the client in the lawsuit and others, the inequities in the New Mexico guidelines seemed so egregious that they decided to form a nonprofit last summer with a goal of educating others nationwide about these guidelines, which are different state-by-state. They put up a website that they hope will serve as a tool for networking with others around the country and drawing attention to the issue. Aaron serves as treasurer.
"We are interested in finding a balance in the guidelines that would meet the needs of the child and be fair to both parents, " he says.
For Aaron, who is expecting his first son in January with his new wife, classmate Amara Aaron (formerly Bustos), working to modify a small section of the law has been exciting.
"Law school has made me aware of the different avenues I can use to effect change: the courts and the legislature, for example," he says. "Before I came to law school, the only thing I knew was to protest; now I know where to focus attention to make a change. It's cool."