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Hennepin County tries problem-solving court for never-married parents

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

 Judge Bruce Peterson noticed a problem as he sat on the bench of Hennepin County Family Court. The young men who showed up for paternity establishment and child support hearings looked to be facing shaky futures with their children.

"We were telling young dads, 'Congratulations, you're the father legally now, here's your child support obligation,' " Peterson said.

The focus was on money, not on the role the fathers might play in their children's lives.

"It was very apparent to me there was much more work to be done to support these young parents in their parenting obligations towards their children and to each other," Peterson said.

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