Monday, September 06, 2010

Child Support

While walking to lunch one afternoon with one of my closest coworkers, we were talking about divorce and custody battles and she let one comment slip I found interesting: "Child Support is white women welfare". I asked her about that as I had never heard child support described that way. She said child support with men who have a lower unemployment rate (stats) and work steady jobs is easier to collect. Without the child support, the women would be left to fend for themselves, which might lead to them slipping into government programs. The child support is a form of welfare that prevents them from having to say they do collect welfare. As she said, white politicians would reconsider welfare cutbacks if the recipients looked more like them.*

I was happy to hear this as it really made me think, and few people do this at work. It also made me think about child support in general. This has to be one of the biggest financial screw jobs in the family court framework. First, it gets set and does not change even if the provider has a huge income increase unless the recipient goes back to court to change it. If the court thinks support should go from one parent to the other for the better of the child, why not give the child to the parent that the court will confiscate wealth from? It does away with the need to transfer funds. Why doesn't the state formulate what a child 'needs' to function with proper caloric intake & healthcare and set that for all kids statewide? This would be fair right, as poor kids get screwed by divorce more than rich kids. Set the level the same for all. If college is negotiated in, then set up a separate account for that money to be set aside. I don't get why living standards had the parents been still married is a factor. This makes for 'no consequence' divorce. If a spouse is not found at fault, why should they be paying to cover for the former partner's ill choice of marriage in the first place? There should be a consequence for exiting a relationship with a certain standard of living (when no fault to the partner). Someone should not receive benefits by substituting money for love, and then divorcing, keeping the money and now searching for real love. Without a bailout from the legal system, maybe people would think a lot more before unprotected sex, marriage partners, divorcing over small conflict, etc. God forbid people be responsible for their actions. Life is a series of trade offs.

*Female coworker was black and maybe didn't think white people were on welfare. She's obviously never been to northern and eastern Maine.

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