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Divorce and Family Law needs Reform

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  • Divorce and Family Law needs Reform

    Dear Editor RE: Deadbeat parents face stiffer penalties

    The Observer Friday, June 10 2005

    “Deadbeat parents face stiffer penalties, jail time hiked to six months for not paying.” I have always maintained this is a systemic problem and this legislation, which just passed 70 to two does nothing to remedy the issue at hand. We assume that all court orders are in fact fair when legislation of this type is passed and I can assure you this is not the case. Fair and equitable court rulings in a non gender-biased environment would be a quantum leap towards justice. I am of the opinion that we must heal our social issues instead of just treating them. When the breakdown of the family unit occurs we must maintain that the well being of our children be the top priority. Incidentally if as a father or a mother you were being denied access to your children and the “system” did nothing to enforce a court order would you be as willing to pay child support? The question begs to be asked; when a mother owes child support does the system pursue this individual with the same tenacity and resolve as it does the father?

    Should it then matter who represents you in court? Should the courts accept information without requesting proof to formulate an interim order? Should the courts be so backed up that years can pass before the facts can be heard? Should it take 67 days for a court ruling to be transferred to the Family Responsibility Office for enforcement? Even when a payment is made electronically the Family Responsibility Office still takes days to process a payment. By withholding payments from the recipient, where does the interest gained go? I have been asking this same question since September 2004 through the Freedom of Information Act and still have not met with any success.

    There is no mention of spousal support in their press release why would that be? Regardless of what your opinion is of spousal support the Family Responsibility Office uses the same tactics to enforce spousal support orders. The assumption that is being made is all rulings are always fair and equitable. Recently the Department of Justice released a proposed set of spousal support guidelines. A disclaimer on the first page of this document states, “The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Justice Canada” In spite of the fact that the Department of Justice does not endorse the views in the guidelines, the system is attempting to implement these guidelines by bypassing the proper legislative process. The Ontario Ombudsman Report for the fiscal year of 2003-2004 revealed the Family Responsibility Office accounted for 20.3% of all complaints investigated, ranking F.R.O. number one. Once again the problem would appear to be systemic. Clearly we need more then just a giant step in the right direction to make parents live up to their family responsibilities, we need accountability from the system as well.

  • #2
    Hi Brian,

    Do you have a link to the original article?
    Ottawa Divorce


    • #3

      I would also be interested in seeing the original artical, and anything related to it.



      • #4
        Not re: the 2005 article, but the new 2007 Ontario FRO announcement that's been on the news this week.

        Related links:

        mom to two galz


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