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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 06-09-2008, 02:17 PM
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Default Joint Effort to Change Table Amounts of CS

Hey everyone, the more I read the more I see such injustice for the Paying Parent. I read a great article in the Western Standard called
"An Unconstitutional Entitlement". My concerns revolved around my ability to pay for my future family. I have since moved on from my ex and we have a son together but honestly she makes the same money as I with a lot less expenses due to the fact she lives at hom with her mother. I am definately the one with the lower standard of living. We both make 6 figure incomes but I still find it hard because of the high access costs to see my son who lives in Ottawa while I live in Toronto. Given the guidlines I should be paying roughly 1300 a month in child support. Assuming the mother should pay half (we have similar incomes), that means my son gets 2600 a month is support. Most of my friends think this is outrageous.

Is there anythin happening in government to change this. We can no longer get any tax breaks. Does anyone else think this law is outrageous?



Copy and Past Link or read pasted version below.

http://www.westernstandard.ca/websit...le.php?id=2770

The laws mandating how much separated parents must pay to support their children are intrusive and much more arduous that what is required for parents in intact relationships. The responsibility to pay falls almost exclusively on fathers. In Edmonton, 97% of registered payors of child support are men, a typical figure nationwide. How does this child support system square with the Section 15 Charter guarantee that every individual has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination based on sex?
Grant Brown - April 16, 2008
When parents separate, a legal presumption arises that they must provide a proper standard of living for their children in the form of child support. If the separated parents are married, child-support obligation arises from section 15.1 of the Divorce Act (Canada). If the separated parents are not married, the obligation arises from provincial legislation that mimics the Federal Child Support Guidelines.

The level of child support depends on a host of variables, such as the custodial regime, the division of the matrimonial property, extraordinary expenses related to exercising access to the children, the tax treatment of the parents’ incomes, whether or not there is another potential child support payor, etc. But the presumptive amount of child support comes from tables that are derived by calculating, on the basis of Statistics Canada surveys, what the average intact family spends on their children for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and other “normal” expenses. Extra expenses for medical and dental treatments or insurance, extra-curricular activities, post-secondary education, and so on are added on top of the table amounts, in proportion to the parents’ incomes.

Determining a parent’s entitlement to child support is an extremely intrusive process. The payor is required to produce and may be cross-examined on income tax records, financial statements showing self-employed earnings, bank and credit-card statements, and much, much more for at least as long as the child is in school. If a judge is not satisfied that a parent has completely disclosed his or her income, income may be imputed on the basis of little more than an allegation.

Once a court has made an order, or the parents have entered into an agreement, either parent may register the order or agreement with a maintenance enforcement agency. These agencies have wide-ranging powers to collect child support, including garnisheeing wages, putting liens on the payor’s property, intercepting income-tax refunds and GST rebates, and suspending drivers’ licenses and passports. Interest and penalties are charged on “late” payments, even if the fault was with the agency for taking too long to process a cheque.
Payors who fall into arrears, often through no fault of their own, become debtors who can be jailed. (These unfortunates are typically unrepresented, because they can afford neither child support nor a lawyer to fight the existing support order.)

A lot of very high-priced labour goes into making sure child support is paid: lawyers, accountants, judges, maintenance enforcement agents – even employers and government agencies that have to deal with garnishees and property registrations. Does all of this effort and expense do much good?

The answer to that question might seem obvious: just look at how much money is transferred each year for the support of children – even net of the high costs of determining and enforcing the obligation. But that is a false measure for all kinds of reasons. First, how much money would be transferred anyway, in the absence of a child-support regime? Second, to what extent do recipients of child support reduce their work commitments because child support payments allow them to do so? Third, how much of the child support received is actually spent on the children, as opposed to being disguised spousal support?

In my experience as a family-law lawyer, I also see the incalculable corrosive effects this entitlement has on father-child relations. (I might as well drop the pretence of gender neutral language at this point. In Edmonton, 97% of registered payors of child support are men, which is typical.) Following Gresham’s Law, child support too often drives out affection and respect as the currency for post-separation family relations.

While most stay-at-home mothers are grateful for the hard work their partners perform which allows them the opportunity to look after their children, a sense of (inflated) entitlement replaces gratitude for child-support recipients. Mothers are able to buy the affection of their children with their father’s money, while teaching them that their dad is a “deadbeat” because he says he can’t afford to give more, or can’t afford to lavish presents on the children when they are with him. Mothers get to choose all of the activities the children participate in, while handing fathers the bill for it.
Fathers, already pushed to the margins of parental authority by biased custody orders, are unable to teach their children responsibility and the normal give-and-take of living because they have nothing to negotiate with. “Get real, Dad. You can’t ground me, and you can’t even cut off my allowance! You are going to pay for my hockey and my college education whether or not I work as hard as you like in school, stay away from the bad crowd, or have anything to do with you. Mom will see to it.” I have encountered adult children who lie bald-faced to the courts and maintenance enforcement agency about going to school, not living common-law, and not having a job, just in order to keep child support flowing to their mothers for as long as possible.

It is rare for a father to not want to see his children well provided for. But most fathers at least want to be appreciated as the provider, and to be able to impose reasonable conditions on the continued receipt of their provisions.

Our legal system turns a blind eye to the fact that this intrusive, draconian, and corrosive child-support regime is discriminatory, contrary to s. 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. To see this, simply compare how the law treats parents in intact relationships to how it treats separated parents.

Parents in an intact relationship have a legal duty to provide only the necessities of life to their children – and not a stitch more. Child welfare authorities will not intervene absent evidence of abuse or fairly serious neglect of children whose parents cohabit. But as soon as parents separate, the child support regime takes over without even the slightest evidence that the children are not receiving the necessities of life. Immediately upon separation, a father’s obligation to provide for his children goes from providing (half of) the necessities of life to providing what the mathematically average child of a Canadian family with his income might get by way of material benefits.

Not only does the child-support regime discriminate against separated parents relative to parents in intact relationships, this discrimination has a hugely disproportionate negative effect on men – ‘sex’ being an enumerated ground in s. 15. The only genuine legal question is whether the discrimination implied by the child-support legislation can be justified by s. 1 of the Charter – i.e. whether it can be shown to be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
The well-entrenched Oakes test sets out what the government must show to justify legislation that contravenes a Charter right:
1. The legislation must pursue a pressing and substantial objective; and
2. The means prescribed by the legislation must be proportional to its ends. More particularly:
(a) The means must be rationally connected to the objective;
(b) There must be minimal impairment of rights; and
(c) There must be proportionality between the infringement and the objective of the legislation.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether or not the Oakes test is met by the child-support regime. One word of caution: make sure your analysis is consistent. If you are able to find an objective in the current child support regime that is “pressing and substantial,” then the means employed by the legislation must be proportional to meeting that objective.

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Old 06-25-2008, 01:26 AM
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I also think the table amounts are outrageous. What makes it even worse is all the "extr-ordinary" expenses added on. Most of these costs would be included in the "normal" amounts in an intact family, not added on top. In our case, we live in Calgary and the kids live in Halifax. Even though the CP moved away (and took the kids from their birth province and father) we still pay 100% of the flights. Their father currently spends about 25K/year, after tax dollars, on his 2 kids. This is an outrageous amount that doesn't even include the amount the CP is "supposed" to contribute based on her salary (when she feels like working that is). We also have started a new family, and we will not be able to save one dime untill his "first" kids are out of university. That leaves little to nothing for our kids. Luckily I had saved a lot of money BEFORE having kids with him, however, even my finaces are quickly being depleted to keep up with all these costs. And don't even get me started on the benefits and tax breaks that she gets, she doesn't have to claim any of the money we give her as income. Who came up with this plan. It NEEDS to change. Australia has just changed their system. It has realized times have changed, women are not helpless victims and should be held financially responsible for the kids they too created. \

Here is an outline of Australia's new system. It sounds good to me.

Under the new Child Support Scheme:
1)child support payments will be calculated based on Australian research into the actual costs of children
2)the combined income of both parents will be used to calculate child support payments, treating the income of both parents in the same way
3)both parents' contributions to the cost of their children through care and contact will be recognised, and
4)children of first and second families will be treated more equally.
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid

Here is an outline of Australia's new system. It sounds good to me.

Under the new Child Support Scheme:
1)child support payments will be calculated based on Australian research into the actual costs of children
2)the combined income of both parents will be used to calculate child support payments, treating the income of both parents in the same way
3)both parents' contributions to the cost of their children through care and contact will be recognised, and
4)children of first and second families will be treated more equally.
Australia appears to be more advanced than Canada in reforming their laws. For instance, I believe Australia also have a presumption to Joint Custody by default.

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Old 10-14-2008, 04:43 PM
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Default A much needed Change

Hi, this is my first post, so I was just wondering what we can do to get the government recgonize that this change needs to happen. I am not talking radical, crazy, over the top attention seeking, but serious adult people seeking equality under the guidelines (and the entire family law system). Any suggestions? It is nice to see that Australia is proactive, some of the states in the U.S are changing as well.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:08 PM
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350 Dad, I share your concern. As a stepmom, I also find it difficult for my soon-to-be-husband and I to even think about starting our own family. We're constantly strapped for money. If the table amount for child support isn't enough, we also pay for at least 50% (usually 70% or more) of extra-curricular activities on the bio-mom's time, and 100% of extra-curricular activities and camps when my stepson is with us. Add the cost of child care, sport gear, uniforms, etc. to that too! Oh, and let's not forget the full wardrobe, toys, educational supplies, furniture, and day-to-day necessities we need to provide for the child in our home too! Add to that the cost of transportation (100km one way) since we do ALL the driving, and we're practically broke!

It really saddens me, because we're both ready to have a child of our own, and we both want at least one, but we're in such a financial bind that we can't even try to make that dream come true, as we can't afford it.

The thing with guidelines is that they try to provide the child with the same standard of living the child would have if he/she were living with both parents. They figure that parents spend about 12% of their income on the child, and so, that's what they use to calculate child support. However, as you said, does a child really need more than $500/month?

It really is crazy! But remember, you'll always have the Receiving Parent on the other side, yelling how it's never enough!
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:46 AM
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The biggest error in the calculations is that it is based solely on the idea that the paying parent has no other children to care for and is living the life of a bachelor with minimal costs and expenses.
And that the custodial parent harbours 100% of the costs of caring for and raising the children. Despite how some custodial parents are barely surviving and others have more 'disposable" income then they "need", and we all know the pendulum swings both ways, and some time too far. The calculations and "all" the assumptions need to be re-addressed to include cases where both have basically equal incomes and cases where the custodial parent earns more then the paying parent, or cases where the custodial parent has a new partner that doubles or betters the household income of the child(ren), or the cases where the paying parent has other children to care for.
I guess I'm saying that we need something along the lines of the Australian ideals.

The situations are soooooooo varied that it is ridiculous to assume we can ALL fit into that cookie cutter mould that the government has developed. The basic idea and drive behind the change in CS orders/calculations was not flawed, but the assumptions that they made to base them on have to go!
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:24 PM
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Canadian Child Support Guidelines are Unfair to "Second" Families Petition
A worthwile read for anyone reading this - sign it if you believe in the cause
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:49 PM
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I agree, its totally unfair. The amount for 1 child is reasonable, but to double it with 2 kids, is outrageous!

My ex is taking me to court for the full table amount cause that's what he feels is "fair" although we make the SAME salary, and we've already mutually agreed on CS amounts, which I pay him PLUs I pay 50% of everything, but his curent GF gets the full table amount from her ex so he wants it too. Can you imagine they both make 45K/year and if they both get the table amounts thats another 1400/month, their laughing all the way to the bank while I'm suffering. and he thinks that's "fair" yeah totally fair that my kids will have a crap life with me, but a fantastic one with him.
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara08 View Post
Hi, this is my first post, so I was just wondering what we can do to get the government recgonize that this change needs to happen. I am not talking radical, crazy, over the top attention seeking, but serious adult people seeking equality under the guidelines (and the entire family law system). Any suggestions? It is nice to see that Australia is proactive, some of the states in the U.S are changing as well.
The best way to accomplish this is to get a few reporters of major Canadian newspapers and/or national TV channels/programs to research the injustices in the current CS system AND the bias the Courts show to women as it pertains to obtaining sole custody. Only then will the message get out in mass and been seen and heard.

Write to all TV programs such as "W5" or "The Fifth Estate" or "Hot Docs" or any other similar documentary-type programs. Ask them to consider covering this very relevant topic!
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by got2bkid View Post
..........

Here is an outline of Australia's new system. It sounds good to me.

Under the new Child Support Scheme:
1)child support payments will be calculated based on Australian research into the actual costs of children
2)the combined income of both parents will be used to calculate child support payments, treating the income of both parents in the same way
3)both parents' contributions to the cost of their children through care and contact will be recognised, and
4)children of first and second families will be treated more equally.
That's EXACTLY what I have been saying needs changed here in Canada!! Which makes SO much more sense and is FAR more equitable than the draconian one we have currently!

KUDOS TO AUSTRALIA!!!!!!
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