parents have an obligated to support their children!
The Family Justice Review
Committee believes in a number of basic principles when it comes to the
issue of child support. Some of these principles are:
All parents have an
obligation to contribute to the support their children.
That both parents
must be treated fairly and that financial obligations should reflect
the financial situation of the parents including their obligations
to second spouses and second families.
intended for children from one relationship should not undue
hardship to other children. All children should be entitled to
Child support should
not be an incentive for litigation.
Child support should
benefit the child, not the parent collecting the support. Spousal
support where applicable should be kept as a clear and separate
government child support collection agencies should be utilized only
when shown to be necessary. Use of government collection
agencies should be the exception, not the rule.
That separated and
divorced parents should not be forced to support adult children and
should have the same rights and obligations as parents who are not
separated or divorced.
Child support has become
a major issue in recent year with the term "deadbeat" being
used to label those parents who for a variety of reasons do not pay
their child support. Although a number of parents do default on
their obligations, unfortunately, a large number of parents who are in
default of child support payments have been forced into that position
because the system has persecuted them and "beat them dead"
STRATEGIES PROMOTE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND REDUCE GOVERNMENT
INTERVENTION IN COLLECTION OF CHILD SUPPORT
Although it must be
recognized that there will always be some parents (both mothers and
fathers) who intentionally try to avoid their child support obligations,
the vast majority of parents are more than willing to assume their
responsibility when they are being treated fairly by the system and
being allowed to have meaningful relationship with their children.
In fact, the least amount of problems with collection of child support
exists with families where non-custodial parents have liberal and
reasonable access to the children. The Family Justice Review
Committee believes that problems relating to child support issues can be
reduced by incorporating the following principles in any policies.
both parents should be given the equal opportunity of shared
responsibilities in raising the child through a shared parenting
arrangement. When both parents know that they have a legally
recognized status in their child's life, then both parents will
focus on maintaining their status by being the best parent they can
rather than trying to get the other parent out of the child's life
and risk having their parenting status removed by the court.
parents be given the opportunity to pay support payments without
intervention of government collection problems. History of
child support by government collection agencies has shown that
involvement of the government has often been the cause of parents
going into arrears. In many cases it has been reported that
money paid into government collection agencies has failed to reach
the children even when it had been shown to have been paid.
Parents who are to receive child support must be able to justify why
taxpayers must subsidize collection and why other non-government
involved alternatives will not work.
child support is being paid by one parent to another, then some
level of accountability should be required by the parent who
collects child support should it be claimed that child support
payment are being abused. This does not mean that the parent
who receives child support must account for every little thing that
they buy but that major expenses should be accounted for or a budget
determined so that both parents know how the money is being spent.
bother parents the opportunity of contributing something directly to
the child such as being allowed to buying clothes for the child,
etc. For example, rather than one parent paying money to one
parent and only one parent making all of the purchases for the
child, let the support payer purchase some of the necessities for he
child. This is also beneficial to the child because the child
sees BOTH parents taking the time and contributing the money to
policies and procedures to implement policies to help ensure that a
custodial parent does not interfere with a child's access to another
parent. It has been shown that access denial is one of the
major reasons why parents do not pay their support and why
collection of child support can become a major problem.
payments should be fair and based on evidence submitted. The
income of parents should not be imputed by the courts. The
premise that every individual must be innocent until proven guilty
must prevail. If the support payer provides reasonable
evidence to the court of their income and the opposing parent cannot
provide any reasonable evidence to disprove the evidence of that
parent, then the courts should base child support levels on the
financial information decision based on the evidence before it.
Many simple and inexpensive strategies exist that will allow a
parent who is trying to get child support from another parent to
gather reasonable evidence
one or both parents are on government welfare and it can be shown
that BOTH are able to provide for the children in accordance to the
"best interest of the child" criteria, then a preference
should be given to the parent who can support the children without
reliance on government welfare payments. This incentive will
encourage parents who may currently be relying on welfare to break
out from the cycle of welfare dependency.
Below is one possible
example of a child support payment arrangement that would allow parents
to effectively deal with the issue of child support without the
involvement of taxpayer-funded government collection services.
the first step the parents will open up a joint bank account in both of
their names to be used strictly for the exchange of child support.
support payer will deposit the required support payment into this bank
account prior to the date that payment is due each month.
support recipient will then withdraw the money as required. This
could be taken in one lump sum or in smaller amounts as required.
Individual purchases for the child could be made directly from the
account in order to have a record of where money was being spent. This
would give the non custodial parent some accountability which may help
avoid hostile feelings.
this one possible scenario, the banks themselves become the record
keepers with the parties themselves paying only the small monthly
service fees associated with any ordinary account. Those who use
the system, pay for the system. Even parents who may be separated
by great distances can make deposits and withdrawals conveniently at a
bank through electronic banking with a joint account. Where
there is some concern about the payers ability to be consistent then the
payer could be ordered to pay a cushion into the account in advance.
For example a parent could deposit a cushion of three months payments
which would give the recipient time to deal with any problems that the
payer may encounter. Only when a parent has demonstrated that they
are unable to maintain their payment on time, would the government step
in to intervene on behalf of the support recipient.
advantages of such a system of child support payment exchange are as
intervention of government collection agencies is required with less
intrusion into the family and less duplication of services.
parties themselves, not just the government would take primary
responsibility for their own routine financial affairs. The
government would only become involved when problems were confirmed
parties would have convenient access to account records through
their local bank without addition service charges.
keeping by government agencies of routine transactions would be
eliminated. This would eliminate the many problems due to poor
records and parents being unable to make contact with government
collection agencies. Currently government records are
difficult if not almost impossible to obtain conveniently and with
would save a considerable amount of money with the costs associated
with unnecessary administration and paperwork. Only the
difficult cases would be handled by the government.
government will not be held liable for accounting and procedural
problems. The parties themselves will assume some
responsibility rather than all blame being placed on the government.
parents the opportunity to handle their affairs themselves will help
to free up valuable government resources which in turn can be used
to help the most needy parent collect money from those payers who
are are failing to meet their child support obligations.
efficiency and better service by the government collection agencies
respect of collection agencies by taxpayers as well as users of the
In cases where it is
alleged that a parent is in default of child support and reasonable
evidence exists to support this claim, The Family Justice Review
Committee may conduct an investigation of the facts. Where is
found that persons have been determined through a proper investigation
by the committee to be in default of their support obligations, then The
Family Justice Review Committee will assist parties to take the
appropriate steps to collect the overdue child support.