Better deal for [Australian] divorced dads
A radical new formula for calculating how much divorced parents should contribute to raising their children is the centrepiece of an overhaul of the nation’s child support system to be released today.
Under the more controversial of two models being proposed, the biological parents’ incomes would be combined and fathers would then pay a percentage of the cost of raising their child, irrespective of how much they earned.
Under new formulas being proposed, both parents would contribute a percentage of the cost of raising their child based on how many nights a child spent in their care.
The most radical plan would see the cost of raising a child calculated at a standardised rate and applied to all children of divorced parents, regardless of their income.
Many fathers to pay less child support
Single mothers’ groups reacted angrily while lone fathers cautiously welcomed yesterday’s release of the recommendations made by a Federal Government taskforce.
The changes would recognise the time both parents spend caring for their children. A non-residential parent – usually the father – who looks after the children for at least 14 per cent of nights each year could pay less child support in recognition of the costs involved.
About 60 per cent of parents currently providing child support, mostly men, would pay less than they do now under the recommendations.
The president of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia, Michael Green, welcomed the recommendations as a “monumental achievement”.
“For the first time, the mother’s income is assessed in the same manner as the father’s, acknowledging the principle that both parents are responsible for the upkeep of children,” Mr Green said.
But the president of the Sole Parents Union, Kathleen Swinbourne, said there was too little in the report to force people to pay a fairer amount when they under-estimated their income to avoid their obligations.
Download the Taskforce Report:
‘In the Best Interests of Children – Reforming the Child Support Scheme’