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Stop Beating Around The Child Support Bush

Stop Beating Around The Child Support Bush

Monday 8 Dec 2003 Dr Muriel Newman Press Releases -- Social Welfare

Last week's debacle over New Zealand's ballooning child support debt - now standing at more than $730 million - failed to even address the fundamental cause of the problem, ACT New Zealand Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"The most common reason for a parent's failure to pay their child support dues is that our family law system has, effectively, pushed them out of their child's life," Dr Newman said.

"Each year, thousands of non-custodial parents, usually fathers, lose all effective contact with their children - in fact, more children lose a father every three months through the family court than lost a father during the entire period of World War II.

"In contrast with New Zealand, child support compliance is high in countries where shared parenting is the law - once a non-custodial parent enjoys frequent and regular contact with their child, and is responsible for important decisions in that child's life - then there is little reluctance to fully contribute financially.

"I am calling on the Labour Government to introduce shared parenting in the Care of Children Bill, in order to not only give children and parents a fair deal, but to also ensure that liable parents pay their dues," Dr Newman said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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