Up on Ration Shed – Egroup and BLOG – with thanks to John Flanagan – Australia – NSW – Thirroul – NCPP – Signed Equal Pet. Jan09 for the further comment below and the gathering of other comment.
For the original article GO – www.northernleader.com.au/article/ease_pain_of_divorce
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Onward – Jim
Hi to Everyone
I have provided below the reply by the Editor in her Opinion section of the Wollongong and Northern Leader. Also there are five (5) Letters to the Editor. This is from the Wollongong and Northern Leader edition published on 30 September 2009 (http://www.northernleader.com.au). The original article was published on 23 September 2009 and is also provided below.
It should not be necessary to say. However these comments do apply equally well to both non-custodial fathers and to non-custodial mothers.
Good dads need fair go
September 30, 2009
Being a mother to three step-daughters, the heart-wrenching letters from divorced dads denied access to their children struck a chord.
And while there are plenty of single mothers in equally distressing circumstances, the dads who do the right thing are usually overlooked by the media and the “deadbeats” are the ones who attract attention.
Several friends going through divorces have been quite open in discussing the advice they have received from lawyers about gaining more child support funding by limiting the amount of time the children see their father.
It’s a mathematical equation: all about dollars and not the children’s emotional needs.
Mothers are granted custody 99 per cent of the time and this leaves them in the box seat to use the children as negotiating tools.
Sometimes it is the only power left to them, particularly if they don’t have their own income, and this can have devastating consequences.
So if the father doesn’t pay up or does something to annoy the mother, visiting rights can be withheld. Not openly, but with claims of “it’s not convenient” or “she’s not well”.
While it’s easier in theory than practice, parents need to put aside whatever animosity they might have towards each other for the sake of the children.
If they once loved each other enough to have children, their love for their offspring should override all other factors. Power plays should be left for the boardroom.
Letters to the Editor (30 September 2009)
Divorced dads cry foul over child support
Thank you for the article Ease Pain of Divorce (W&NL 24/9).
Having been through the process myself for the past six years, the article rings true.
The Shared Care principle was a move in the right direction, but introduced too late for my children, who have been abused by solicitors and the legal and the legal system; the system needs to exclude solicitors totally from the custody question.
Lawyers direct custodial parents to isolate the children from the non-custodial parent so as to increase the property settlement and this increase their fees as the children become the hostages held for ransom; settlement and child maintenance.
It is common practice among solicitors and some are noted for this vile action.
– Keith Lopuszynski. Oak Flats
The new “fairer Child Support system is a disgrace. Non-custodial parents whose children choose not to stay over should not be financially disadvantaged.
I see my child for two of my three days off, but because I work a rotating roster my days off are usually weekdays, not weekends, and my child chooses not stay.
This means less hours of contact (disadvantaged), more driving around, more cost in fuel (further disadvantaged).
Yet the CSA stipulates that I have zero per cent care of my child and as a result I pay an extra $300 per month in child support.
How is that fair?
Try paying a mortgage, entertain and feed 14-year olds, pay almost $900 per month in child support for one child and have a lifestyle.
– Garry Best. Central Coast.
My ex received a $13,000-a-year pay rise and I had my child support reduced by a mere $10 a week. She now earns almost what I do because she took my child 5000 km away to WA, and I very rarely get to see her. I still have to pay over $600 a month – where is the fairness in that?
– Allan Crouch. Lugarno
I have not seen my three kids in eight years because of loosing my two homes in the divorce over property rights. As a result I had to move interstate to get a roof over my head with my then ill mother. I have been in a cycle of unemployment and extreme financial hardship ever since, including long-term depression. I now cost the tax payer a fortune to support. The problem is unfixable.
– Kimbal Summers. Noosa, Qld.
Things are the same the world over. It is time for the US and Australia to demand an end to the discrimination against dads.
– Don Mathias. Texas, USA.
THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE (23 September 2009)
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.