A woman has sparked a fierce debate online after asking people for their views on whether the rules for fathers paying child support are tough enough.
The unnamed woman took to UK parents’ forum Mumsnet to seek opinions on the controversial topic, saying the system in the UK is a ‘joke’ and not strict enough, prompting mixed responses.
Commentators have shared their horror stories of ex-husbands claiming to be tough and paying a pitiful few pounds a month, while living lavish lives.
But others said some women see biological fathers as cash cows and only want their money, while excluding them from the lives of their children.
Anonymous poster sparked debate on Mumsnet after people were asked what they thought of child support services
The woman asked others what they think in her post, titled Anyone think the UK is a joke when it comes to not paying child support?
She said: ‘You hear a lot of stories, especially in the UK, where the courts aren’t so strict on people who are no longer together to pay child support.
“Unlike the UK, the US is much stricter and it is much harder to avoid paying child support.
“Does anyone think the rules need to be much stricter in the UK? How can it be best applied in the UK and what is the minimum amount per month you think someone should pay for maintenance assuming someone is on around £1.5000-2000 after tax per month.
A small number of respondents were very sympathetic towards separated fathers and said child support was also stressful for them
One commentator, who was largely supportive of fathers, claimed that many of them are “driven to suicide” by problems with child support services.
“I would say they need to fix their problem before imposing more restrictions,” she wrote. “There are always two sides to every story.”
Another suggested that some mothers are still unhappy with the outcome of child support services, no matter what.
They wrote: “If you want 50/50 they say you want to avoid paying maintenance. If you’re paying for maintenance, CMS payments aren’t enough for all they do.
“I think for some women, not all, a biological father has no value except to pay child support. They want the child to be part of their new relationship without any involvement with the biological father. A lot of women say that here. You don’t have to consult parenting styles, schools, health, travel, relocations. It will affect the child though.
Many respondents agreed with the poster and revealed that they had struggled to receive child support payments from their exes.
However, others have revealed how they struggled to get payments from former partners, who plead poverty to get by.
One wrote: “This is terrible. My ex-husband is self-employed. Splashing cash is no problem, but he said he was claiming benefits so he only had to pay £7.50 a month per child. This does not prevent him from trying to declare the father of the year!
Another agreed, saying: “They should just use the powers they have.” Five years that my arrears accumulated while I traded jobs. Set up on his own and move. Why they don’t just take it from his bank account, I have no idea. It would soon be upon them if they got it right.
And a third added: ‘I get £28 plus change a month from him claiming universal credit. He owns and runs a business, no taxes have ever been paid. I complained non-stop to CMS said to investigate him which can take up to a year even though I have provided them with proof of his business for years. He was taken to court in 2020 for arrears, but since he is not claiming benefits, they cannot touch him. The total system is a joke and not suitable.
Many Mumsnetters felt that serious consequences should be implemented for those who fall behind in child support payments.
Several posters wanted to see serious consequences for those who fall behind on child support payments
One said: I think NI numbers should be linked to birth certificates and any non-payment of child support covered by the state and clawed back from the state pension etc.
“It is totally unacceptable that so many children are left in poverty because of these ******** and then successive governments wring their hands and mock the latest exciting ‘initiative’ to tackle poverty. child poverty. How about stopping the bullshit and getting the money to the heart of the matter? »
Another commenter agreed, adding, “We should have started collecting it through tax codes a long time ago. We now have real-time taxes, so even fewer excuses.
And another was even more convinced, writing: “If it were up to me, I would impose a county court judgment on anyone who is more than three months overdue.
“When these parents can’t rent a nice, shiny new car and can’t get a mortgage, it can focus their attention on what they have to pay.
“Hit them in the pocket with a ccj and it always tends to focus a person’s mind. I would also spin their license and passport
“I would also make sure the upkeep isn’t reduced because they decide to have more kids or move in with a woman and pay for her kids.”