Evaluation of Child Support Act for Children and Parents
“¢ The objects of this Act are-
o (a)to affirm the right of children to be maintained by their parents:
o (b)to affirm the obligation of parents to maintain their children:
o (c)to affirm the right of caregivers of children to receive financial support in respect of those children from non-custodial parents of the children:
o (d)to provide that the level of financial support to be provided by parents for their children is to be determined according to their capacity to provide financial support:
o (e)to ensure that parents with a like capacity to provide financial support for their children should provide like amounts of financial support:
o (f)to provide legislatively fixed standards in accordance with which the level of financial support to be provided by parents for their children should be determined:
o (g)to enable caregivers of children to receive support in respect of those children from parents without the need to resort to court proceedings:
o (h)to ensure that equity exists between custodial and non-custodial parents, in respect of the costs of supporting children:
o (i)to ensure that obligations to birth and adopted children are not extinguished by obligations to stepchildren:
o (j)to ensure that the costs to the State of providing an adequate level of financial support for children and their custodians is offset by the collection of a fair contribution from non-custodial parents:
o (k)to provide a system whereby child support and domestic maintenance payments can be collected by the Crown, and paid by the Crown to those entitled to the money.
Evaluated From Perspective of the Children
In the list of stated objectives, nowhere does it state that these objectives are to be interpreted in the interests of the child, let alone in the paramount interests of the child.
The primary objective is to recover as much of the DPB payment from the related fathers (even where the father might be in a position to care for the child at a lower cost themselves in their own household or where the supposed NCP would do a better job of giving the child proper development).
There is nothing inherent in gender, why mothers should be encouraged to give their time to the children and fathers forced to supply money and at lower priority time for their children. Once breast feeding is past, then gender becomes relatively irrelevant. At this point, the baby or child’s main needs are care and emotional responding. When push comes to shove in a separation situation, sometimes both parents are equally capable of caring for children (in others words time with each isn’t a large issue and a wide range of care options will be satisfactory, as long as frequent contact is maintained).
The children’s interest would be better protected, by setting the care arrangements as necessary for the children’s development and then parent’s resources should be used to decide the child support obligation. As women on average have slightly poorer mental health than married men, particularly in the time after birth, on separation the majority of the children’s care should be provided by the father. Incidentally, this would provide women with a significant incentive not to break up the parental partnership.
Sometimes, one or both parents may be quite poorly placed to care for children, due to low or medium level mental health issues, in which case giving that parent majority care can be very harmful to the child, especially if the children are young. When children are young, the maximum time left alone in the care of a parent with mental health issues should not exceed 24 hours.
As mothers are often mildly or even severely depressed after birth, on the law of averages if a separation is to be forced, the medical aspects would suggest that majority care should be with the father. (Fathers are also often mildly depressed after a birth, but usually a bit less so than the mother.) Knowing that this was the necessary outcome, many mothers might prefer to seek mental health help and maintain the family unit, than put themselves into the NCP role?
In essence, mothers support by time is partly taken into account, but not fathers eg discounting any care less than 40%, when familycaught$ or CP artificially restrict access to under the legally set threshold, to the CP’s financial advantage.
When the CP denies access, this is then taken into account in calculating cs, thus incentivising supposedly illegal denial of access – against a background of children suffering from denied access, could you ever get more stupid than this?
Issues About Equity Between Parents
To falsely disguise the spousal support component as child support, the same payment is forced onto fathers where the mother is actually in a supported relationship, or is working and self supported anyway. This shows that the real objective is to pressurise the NCP to weaken their ability to develop political pressure to defend themselves from the child [and spousal] support payments. When the CP becomes more independent and can no longer draw DPB, the spousal support component continues, unabated. This is directly unfair to the NCP.
Severe Gender Disparity (h)
Financial support is a hard obligation for fathers, whereas mothers are let off very lightly as their required support doesn’t depend in any way on their financial resources or social support- in other words – it is not an equal obligation to support between fathers and mothers (h)
Example – unemployed father hassled over income and pressured to find work but extracting that last little bit of cash, puts this father into much poorer situation than unemployed man with no children. Thus he is severely disadvantaged in terms of costs of access – to the disadvantage of the children.
(a) (b) and (c) although worded to include the child, the underlying issue is the cost of Government benefits paid to CPs. These clauses assume that one party is CP and one party is NCP, whereas the CoCAct removed those legal concepts from decisions about the care of children?
(d) the level of support is set by ability to pay, not by the actual cost of caring for a child. It also makes it easy to separate the decision about who provides how much care, from the negotiations between parents.
(e) essentially a duplication of (d), but given based on capability, not the actual cost – these clauses don’t effect equality at all.
(h) the act enforces inequality between CP and NCP, in many ways:
enforced spousal support, even when it is no longer justified.
(j) this act fails completely to achieve this, as it is completely impossible to achieve, except for the few NCPs earning 5x the average wage. Overally, the Act fall so far short of achieving this objective, that recovery of DPB is less than 20% of total DPB costs. Given the large costs to run ird-cs, the high social costs created by ird-cs, the high costs to children of forcing their fathers to give priority to cash payments over the welfare of their children, then this Act destroys far more than it creates. The losers, most of all, are the children whose names are used to justify the employment of the large bureaucracy, against the welfare of the children.
There is a well established principle in management, to put the decision making where the responsibility lies, or said in a different way, user pays the costs brought on by their choice or decision. In the instance of the child support act, generally the mother is given the opportunity to control the custody of the child, but the costs are placed onto the father, with no possibility to even take part in the decisions over the child’s life. This practice is the diametric opposite of good management.
So what? When a parental relationship is intact and the couple are self-supporting, there is inherently accountability both ways between the parents. This shared decision making uses the best of two brains, experience, knowledge and skills, leading almost always to serving and protecting the children’s interests.
Where a separation is powered by depression, then the outcome under cs act, is the depressed mother is in control, the father is supertaxed but unable to protect his children, despite the familycaught$ legislation. The child loses the protection of accountability between the two parents.
Initially on separation, the CP may have no income of their own and the child [and spousal] support payment generally includes a large amount of spousal support. The amount of spousal support in the cs payment is not shown explicitly. However, when CP gets own income, inherits assets or gains social support eg marriage, there is no reduction of this spousal support component. In my opinion, this factor is in extreme non-compliance with (h).
What does the forced transfer of money (more than cost of caring for the child) tell to the children?
It makes the CP look financially successful and the NCP look much less financially successful, in the eyes of the children. This appearance altered from reality effect miscommunicates to the children, the degree of financial success of their parents. This can have consequential effects, such as encouraging the children to mimic the CP’s behaviour, more so than if the children had known the truth about their parents. This dynamic can have surprisingly large effects on the children, for example if they then decide to fail at school. Later catching up can be a very time consuming and expensive process later on, as my child found out to his later horror.
The forced payment of not justified spousal support allows women to appear to be more financially successful, than they are in fact. This may mislead the children into giving the CP more respect than they are in fact due. This may mislead the children into adopting the mother’s values, where if the children had known the truth, they would have been more likely to model themself more on the father’s values. In some cases, this may lead children to reject education, at a large cost later on to catch up earlier lack of progress.
This forced transfer of funds also may give assistance to women to repartner and disadvantage the father in being able to repartner? Curiously, the converse seems to happen, fathers repartner more than mothers. Certainly, fathers seem to repartner with women from outside of the english speaking countries and many mothers don’t repartner at all. I am interested to see what separated parents think of these issues?
In my opinion, that fathering hasn’t been destroyed by this Act, says a huge amount for the tolerance of fathers, for them placing their children’s welfare beyond their own (and also for their stupidity to tolerate such anti-father legislation).