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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovemyfam View Post
    CS should equal visitation, you cant have your cake and eat it too, we cant expect a parent to send money to another parent and then not get to spend time with the kids that is not fair and if the time is split 50 50 then no support should be paid as both parents are caring for the child when in their care.
    But like I say, that equals bad parents throwing their weight around and demanding to have the children 50% of the time purely to get out of paying the other child support - yet the other is still often left paying for school fees, child care etc. I've seen it on many occasions.

    Children shouldn't be bought and sold If I were to do 50/50 with my ex I'd like to know that he'd go halves in school fees, vacation care (which financially KILLS me), medication, haircuts etc but I know for a fact that wouldn't happen. My son is not a commodity

    ETA: I really do need to find the link from very prominent Aust judge who states that the vast majority of non-involved parents are not in the child's life through choice. Parents shouldn't be allowed to take off and not pay for their child's expenses.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovemyfam View Post
    CS should equal visitation, you cant have your cake and eat it too, we cant expect a parent to send money to another parent and then not get to spend time with the kids that is not fair and if the time is split 50 50 then no support should be paid as both parents are caring for the child when in their care.
    But that system is punishing the child. So we have a mum, that in pure spite lets say, won't let the father see his child. Why should the child go without and pay for the mother's actions? The better course is to pay your cs, gather evidence against her, and take her to court. The child has the right to be supported by both parents.

    The thing is to, the amount most non custodial parents pay is no where near half the costs of raising the child. So according to your suggestion, maybe it should be made that unless the father pays for 50% of everything his access is reduced... if we are going to equate money with visitation....

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  5. #43
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    Yes del, and according to that theory, my son wouldn't have a right to a relationship with his father at all because he pays nothing!

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    Sorry, I think where drifting.. No Courts, No locking up parents, keep lawyers and courts out of it, but parents Mums & Dads need to do the right thing by their children and the system needs to support them. simple...
    Last edited by FullTimeDada; 15-10-2011 at 22:39.

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  8. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benji View Post
    I disagree with this. My struggles with child support date back years and years and I was actually told by CSA I'd be better off taking XDP to court because they find him too difficult to keep up with and deal with. If people don't want to pay child support, they seem pretty quick to get away with it. I'm certain that my son's father and his partner earn more than my DP and I just going by the amount of concerts they attend, holidays they go on and cars they buy - yet I get a grand total of $0 in child support. I don't care, in fact, lately I'm happy to get nothing because it means he can no longer hold it over me.

    I hate that CSA is thought of as being related to visitation. It makes me cringe. I know many (what I consider) 'bad' parents who have their children for 50% of the time purely to get out of paying child support. The two should not even be correlated. Both parents should be paying a substantial amount of their child's costs so the child doesn't miss out.

    I'm fairly sure when you go through the court system and draw up a parenting plan, there are actually consequences for the parent who breaches that plan.

    It's often difficult on everybody - in my experience (first hand ) trying to receive a fair and reasonable amount of child support is like getting blood from a stone. Trying to get the father to have a proper relationship with my son is like dealing with a defiant toddler. Trying to get him to show up on the right day at the right time is heartbreaking for my DS and in turn me.

    It's not always peachy and I can think of more than one female member of this board who has been denied seeing her child because the father has taken off with the child. There ARE resources for people being denied access - legal aid for low income earners, family lawyers, the family court, mediation. Sure, it's a battle but surely it's worth it?
    That is incredibly disingenuous. Recognising and being defeated by the futility of the battle is not a comment on the battle's unworthiness. A non-custodial parent giving up a fight that has proven to be unwinnable isn't proof that they obviously mustn't love their child enough.

    Once again, there are absolutely penalties in place for custodial parents ignoring access orders - however, in practice they are almost never imposed, and given the nature of the transgression there is not even a practical redress available.

    While child support and access should never be predicated upon each other, they ARE inextricably linked. They are the two most prominent aspects of the relationship between the parents and the children of failed relationships, and are the central pillars that define how the child is to be raised and provided for. They each are supposed to provide security and comfort to each parent, and enforce the right of the child to enjoy a sound relationship with both parents. Unless the two work effectively in unison, the child is not going to achieve the best outcomes.

    I believe that there ALSO should be a tightening of the child support system, including reasonable mandatory minimum payments that can only be waived after a hearing, which would go some way toward preventing people from avoiding paying anything by not reporting income.

    But there IS a disparity in how the two regimes are enforced, and it is a disparity that, in my view, should be rectified.

    Also, it is pointless to demand that courts, lawyers and judges be removed from the system. It would be great if everyone plays nice and does the right thing, but when it comes to two fallible humans at a point in their life when they are angry, upset and at their worst, sooner or later you're going to need someone independent to make the decision.

    And once it gets there, not everyone is capable of digesting and retaining legislation and precedent. They are going to need to ask someone for some help and advice.

    You can call them by other names, but that means courts and lawyers. They are easy targets, but without them it would be bedlam.

  9. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyLarge View Post
    Once again, there are absolutely penalties in place for custodial parents ignoring access orders - however, in practice they are almost never imposed, and given the nature of the transgression there is not even a practical redress available.

    While child support and access should never be predicated upon each other, they ARE inextricably linked. They are the two most prominent aspects of the relationship between the parents and the children of failed relationships, and are the central pillars that define how the child is to be raised and provided for. They each are supposed to provide security and comfort to each parent, and enforce the right of the child to enjoy a sound relationship with both parents. Unless the two work effectively in unison, the child is not going to achieve the best outcomes.
    I don't think anywhere here is saying it's fair or just for fathers who don't see their kids with no good reason. I genuinely feel for them and not only are they being robbed, so is the child. But I think what some of us are saying is that CS penalties are not imposed either. The only real option for many mums to get the CS is going thru court as well, money they often don't have. I read a story about a month ago about a mum of teens, whose ex had been paying $50 per week or fortnight for 3 kids, while he had a multi million dollar business, overseas holidays and BMW's. He had all the assets in the gf's name and had a creative accountant that hid his income. She ended up paying a PI and taking him to court, spending a fortune.... she won.

    My issue with linking CS and visitation is this. In my above example of the mum who vindictively stops her ex seeing the kids. Just say this father is ordered to pay $200 a fortnight in CS, but it is waived bc she wouldn't give access. Your a parent DL so you know the cost of kids as they grow. $200 is a lot for a child to lose. That could be dance lessons, footy boots and membership for a season. New summer clothes. It's the child that misses out on the dance lessons or football....
    Last edited by delirium; 13-10-2011 at 13:30.

  10. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    I don't think anywhere here is saying it's fair or just for fathers who don't see their kids with no good reason. I genuinely feel for them and not only are they being robbed, so is the child. But I think what some of us are saying is that CS penalties are not imposed either. The only real option for many mums to get the CS is going thru court as well, money they often don't have. I read a story about a month ago about a mum of teens, whose ex had been paying $50 per week or fortnight for 3 kids, while he had a multi million dollar business, overseas holidays and BMW's. He had all the assets in the gf's name and had a creative accountant that hid his income. She ended up paying a PI and taking him to court, spending a fortune.... she won.
    No question. To be clear, I am certainly not suggesting that everything always works out for the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent always gets screwed. I definitely don't believe that it is the case - I wouldn't even suggest that, in general, the non-custodial parent gets the short end of the stick. I would shocked if the reverse wasn't actually true.

    I also recognise that no matter what system is in place, some people will always be willing to do whatever they can to avoid it.

    My point is that for a non-custodial parent to avoid child support, they have to do something that is against the law and that attracts real penalties. They have to fail to declare income, or hide money through businesses, or whatever. They are pursued (albeit slowly) by the state, and if and when they are found out - aside from being subject to child support recovery - they are also subject to real, meaningful penalties.

    You can't stop people from deciding to blatantly break the law - our only protection is to make sure that there is a real deterrent. Frankly, I would support the idea that the penalties for concealing income should be harsher and that the pursuit of these people should be better funded, but the fact is that as it stands, there is at least SOME deterrent.

    This doesn't exist with people who wilfully breach access orders and refuse to allow access. There is no government department that will investigate and pursue the offenders - the only recourse is for the aggrieved parent to pay to file and pursue the claim in family court seeking enforcement, which in practice generally only results in another order. If this order is also ignored, it is a case of rinse and repeat.

    It is also the case that in the time that it takes for the orders to be pursued, made, enforced, pursued again and so on, the child becomes estranged from the non-custodial parent and can be grounds for access to be reduced further. Essentially, in this situation the court actually enshrines the disadvantage rather than correcting it.

    The only legal recourse is to pursue contempt charges, which is only entertained as a very last resort - and after great expense and long estrangement. However, in practice any penalty that might be imposed would be reduced to essentially nothing, because as a custodial parent imposing a penalty on them would also detrimentally impact the children in their care - as your example above amply illustrates.

    All of this together means that not only is it left to the non-custodial parent to fund the pursuit (which isn't cheap, particularly if there are issues locating the other parent or that parent is deliberately obstructive) but following it through may end up only enshrining a reduction in their child's access to them. It can be a very expensive lose-lose situation.

    The point is, there IS no practical deterrent to the person who commits this act, while the often prohibitive cost is a very real deterrent to one of the people suffering from it. This is diametrically opposed to the situation with a non-paying non-custodial parent, however slowly the wheel turns.

    This is the disparity to which I was referring.

    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    My issue with linking CS and visitation is this. In my above example of the mum who vindictively stops her ex seeing the kids. Just say this father is ordered to pay $200 a fortnight in CS, but it is waived bc she wouldn't give access. Your a parent DL so you know the cost of kids as they grow. $200 is a lot for a child to lose. That could be dance lessons, footy boots and membership for a season. New summer clothes. It's the child that misses out on the dance lessons or football....
    Again, I wish to be clear here. I don't for a second believe that there should be any link between the level of access and the amount of child support due. I don't believe that the absence of one should necessarily preclude the other. I believe that the two issues should be determined separately with only the needs, actions and resources of the involved parties being relevant factors.

    However, they ARE inextricably linked. They are the two most obvious aspects of the provisions for the care of the child, and they almost act as the "protection" (not the best word, but I'm sure you get what I mean) of the parents' respective interests in being able to both care for and enjoy the relationship with their child.

    If the enforcement of one is significantly weaker or less than the other, it is inevitable that in the minds of those affected the comparison will be made. The two issues are separate, for sure - but they should be enforced with equal vigour and support. At the moment, the law and its application do not do so.

    (As an aside, in reference to your example I agree that the child will suffer due to the actions of the parent, which is wrong and should be avoided. My contention - and the way I would like to see the law written and applied - would be that such an act would be indication that the parent is not capable of acting in the best interests of the child, and therefore would be (all other circumstances being equal, of course) unfit to enjoy custody. The child would no longer be disadvantaged, and there would be a real, significant deterrent.)

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  12. #48
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    Yep I get what you mean and I agree. Removing contact from a good father for no reason other than spite is most certainly not acting in the best interests of the child and I do agree there should be penalties if this can be proven. DH is a great father and there is no way, no matter how ugly a possible break up could be, that I would ever put barriers in place to him seeing the kids. I also have found that children grow to see the truth, and not only is the above damaging for the father and child, but it can damage the relationship between mother and child down the track.

    I wanted to point out though, that the nature of abuse is that it's often hidden. No matter the gender, age etc the perpetrator relies on secrecy and manipulation to maintain and cover up the abuse. So what may appear to be a bitter nasty custodial parent, is really one that can't prove the abuse but is trying to protect their child. I'm not saying it's always the case, but it is definitely something that happens.

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  14. #49
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    Yes, absolutely. And I would absolutely support exploring how to find the right balance between protecting children who may be at risk of harm from physical abuse etc, and protecting children who are at risk from being abused by parents using them as pawns. The reality is that you can't use imperfect ingredients and expect a perfect result, so no matter what the regime in place there are always going to be good parents who are maligned. As I've said, I think it is about making sure that there are the resources AND the deterrents in place to at least discourage it.

    But above all, it's about finding the balance.

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    Me thinks enough...Children and parents are being denied justice because the system doesn't work hard enough for them, its full of words and law that have little effect on true sustainable outcomes. We need no more law or lawyers involved to think they can fix what is demonstrably not working for the children and parents its supposed to support, we need some politicians and dept heads who will kick some butt and make things happen for the sake of all our children...no more legal speak but some good policy and departmental implementation...FTD
    Last edited by FullTimeDada; 14-10-2011 at 08:33.


 

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