Why child support is failing.
Why Child Support isn’t working.
Child Support might better be referred to as issue tax. It is nothing more than a crippling poll tax most often levied on the biological father, accompanied by a sinister mythology in the way it is portrayed.
Firstly – By the name itself. It literally has nothing to do with supporting a child, and any society that allows a child’s requirements to be reduced to a financial formula can expect the relevant consequences. Of all the requirements in a child’s upbringing money is the least important. Money is nothing more than a means of representing stored effort and a means of facilitating exchange. Used in any other way it becomes a weapon.
Secondly – In the case of the father, maintaining a simplistic explanation of his existence with the protect and provide scenario. In a “secure society” or perceived secure society, the protection issue is dismissed, as a male responsibility, and institutionalized into police and defense. The provide issue is limited to a cash earnings provision regardless of the level of the fathers presence. (I deliberately avoided the word absent)
The use of the word absence — is very significant.
It carries with it justification for the way in which we classify a father and pursue him according to a financial formula. If his only use was to provide, whether it is from within a relationship with the mother or outside of a relationship with the mother, then we can say – well he was going to pay anyway, so let’s just take the money.
With absence comes a long list of disadvantages to the child, teenage pregnancy, lack of confidence, psychological disorder, etc. It is a great blame and shame campaign. What we haven’t done is portray the significance of the father’s presence. This is important in creating a level playing field within a relationship so the father’s position is not less than equal. The father’s presence is not only to provide, it contains many unstated attributes. For example the father is more likely to teach a child, male or female, risk taking, which is in contrast to the mother’s inclination to limit risk, or isolate the child from danger.
As a result of the fractured society that has developed over the last 30 years. We tend to view separation and divorce as a definite and final situation from the adult perspective and that has stopped us viewing the parent child relationship on a sliding scale. Because we haven’t appreciated the significance of the father’s presence we have created a one fits all law for child support, and other family matters. In many cases we have placed unrealistic expectations on fathers and children expecting them to comply with least complicated option or most convenient option for the weakest parent.
One of the most under estimated situations is parental alienation. What is clearly not visible here to many people is the position a father finds himself in when his presence distresses a child through no fault of his own. He is forced to ask the question is my child better off not seeing me. Many deadbeat dads are as much a victim as the child or children they have left behind. Our society has failed miserably in appreciating and protecting the father’s position on behalf on the child.
It is both an attitude change and a law change that is required urgently. Child Support is part of the matrix of family law that is breaking down our society. It creates negative outcomes for children in education, health, relationships, employment, and psychological development. The current relentless pursuit of fathers by the IRD is resulting in an unnecessary and unacceptable number of deaths.
NZ Republicans Candidate