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Child-Support, Abortion and the Family Court


© Peter Zohrab 2012

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(Submission to the Social Services Committee on the Child Support Amendment Bill.)


1. I recognise that both parents have financial obligations towards their children. However, child support is part and parcel of the post-separation or post-divorce scenario, and should come under the jurisdiction of the same organisation which handles the other aspects of the scenario -- i.e. the Family Court.

Just because this issue involves the Government`s money, and the payers are mainly men, this does not mean that it should be placed in Inland Revenue`s hands, so as to enforce maximum compliance. Fathers, at the same time, are often having problems enforcing access to their children through the Family Court. Why should everything that benefits the Government be a priority to enforce, and everything that benefits fathers be of low priority to enforce? This makes it look as if men just exist to provide cannon-fodder in times of war, and sperm and money at all other times.

2. Child-Support payments should be proportionately linked to the amount of the liable parent's access to his children. The Family Court makes decisions on the basis of low standards of evidence and a low burden of proof -- despite the fact that the outcomes of Family Court cases can be just as bad for the non-custodial parent as a Criminal Court sentence.

After all, one of the main detriments suffered by a prisoner is reduced access to family and friends. If a man is going to be sentenced to isolation from his children plus having his pay docked, then custody and access decisions should be based on the standards of evidence and proof that are required in the Criminal Court.

3. There was recently a case in the United States, where an under-age boy had sex with an adult female, and he was forced to pay child-support for the resultant child. This shows the link between the rest of family law and child-support. The criminal mother was given custody, and -- as a result -- the boy was forced to pay child support. This should be outlawed in New Zealand.

The criminal mother should not have been given custody, and the boy should not have been forced to pay child-support. If the Family Court decided child-support, it could take liability for child-support into account when considering custody -- in this case, it might well have made a different decision as to custody. The criminal mother caused the problem by seducing an under-age boy, and then she got the benefit of custody of the child and (presumably) social welfare payments -- while the victim of under-age sex was forced to pay child-support!

4. Another, linked issue, which should also be under the jurisdiction of the Family Court is abortion. Under the current sexist laws in New Zealand and the USA, only the mother has he right to decide on an abortion. If she does not decide to have an abortion, the father is saddled with a child -- and possibly with child-support payments, as in the under-age sex case. In that case, the father should have been able to force the mother to have an abortion, and fathers in general should have equal rights with mothers as to abortion decisions. After all, as soon as the baby is born, it is the father's joint responsibility with the mother.



Peter Douglas Zohrab

Latest Update

3 July 2015