Up on Ration Shed – Egroup and BLOG – with thanks to; Heather Smith and John Flanagan – Australia – NSW – Thirroul – NCPP – Signed Equal Pet. Jan09
For the original article GO – www.northernleader.com.au/article/ease_pain_of_divorce
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Onward – Jim
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For information, this article appeared in today’s edition of the Wollongong and Northern Leader (23 September 2009).
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Ease pain of divorce
September 23, 2009
THE Federal Government’s child support system was encouraging custodial parents to limit the other parent’s access to children, according to the assistant secretary of the Fairness in Child Support organisation.
John Flanagan said child support payments were based on the amount of contact by the non-custodial parent, usually the father.
“Because of recent changes, the less contact that the child support payer has, the more child support he or she has to pay,” he said.
“This approach by the government lacks logic.”
Mr Flanagan said the less government and lawyers had to do with child support arrangements, the better.
“We encourage parents to get more involved in the decision-making process but the government wants to make decisions for us,” he said.
The various layers of government involvement made it very difficult to stay outside the system but it was possible.
“Ninety-five per cent of separated parents are in the child support scheme mainly because of the link between child support and family tax benefits,” Mr Flanagan said.
Fairness in Child Support is a voluntary community group where all 12 core members have experienced divorce or separation. “It’s people who have been through the system and know what’s involved,” Mr Flanagan said
He said the system made the problem worse and often escalated conflict.
“If parents sit down and make decisions in the best interest of the children, they can lodge their decisions with the Federal Magistrate’s Court or the Family Court where it will be stamped by consent.”
The group meets the first Thursday of every month at 7.30pm at the Coniston Community Centre, Bridge Street. Contact 0415 899 574.