But are the guidelines that bad? Is the criticism of them being unfair fair in itself? And if they are so bad, why hasn’t anything been done about them?

  • The child’s age and the different levels of support this entails

  • Government benefits, both taxable and non-taxable that contribute to child support

  • Non-custodial parental costs incurred during time spent with their children

  • The financial impact of either spouse finding another partner and their child responsibilities in this second relationshi

  • The fact that parents regard their children as valuable, not just sources of cost

  • The fundamental principles of fairness that frame the whole scheme.

  • Fathers believing they deserve equal access to their children and not believing that mothers should be favoured so frequently and heavily
  • Fathers wanting to experience the joys of seeing their children grow up and not just pay for their upbringing

  • Fathers wanting shared custody of the child because it’s a financially more prudent option than letting their ex-spouse get full custody.

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Child Support Problems - Child Support Reform

Example of How Child Support Guidelines Discriminate against Children

Child Support Duration and Age of Majority

Child Support Problems need to be Reformed

  • to establish a fair standard of support for children that ensures that they continue to benefit from the financial means of both spouses after separation;

  • to reduce conflict and tension between spouses by making the calculation of child support orders more objective;

  • to improve the efficiency of the legal process by giving courts and spouses guidance in setting the levels of child support orders and encouraging settlement; and

  • to ensure consistent treatment of spouses and children who are in similar circumstances.

For those families that need the money most, i.e. Where the custodial parent is out of work or makes less than the non- custodial parent, the actual tax paid to the government (remember finance minister Paul Martin) is significantly higher taking even more money from the kids and the family in crises. This was estimated to be over $1Billion by 2002. Is this in the kids best interest?

  • Costs related to support children living with the support paying parent are not included in the formula.

  • Costs for non-custodial parents (fathers) to maintain relationship with their kids.

  • Costs such as transportation and other expenses required to earn monies to pay support in the first place.

  • Although spousal support is separate from Child Support the formula used is based on income equalization which already includes spousal support with the result of double payment for spousal support.

  • Every time a change is made within the constraints of the guidelines it again requires expensive and destructive court action.

  • Gains from monies already equalized and invested are subject to further support.

“The Federal Child Support Guidelines: A breakdown Of Democratic process and The Canadian Legal System ”.

This blog post includes an excerpt from the 2006 book Courts From Hell by Frank Simons

Frank Simons Courts From Hell