Changing child maintenance, so the paying parent can see the money goes towards their kids

Changing child maintenance, so the paying parent can see the money goes towards their kids

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Joseph Turner started this petition to Welsh Government
Problem
I am currently serving in Her Majesty’s’ Royal Navy, and have the parental responsibility of a child living elsewhere. I am writing to you today to complain about the manner in which the Child Maintenance Service is run for fathers like myself. There are many others in the armed forces, who despite putting their lives on the line, do not much in the way of support for personal circumstances. It is not uncommon for my colleagues and I to discuss how much easier life would be living and working in a civilian job when paying Child Maintenance.

I am proposing the approach to Child Maintenance is altered. I fully agree with the principle of Maintenance, but I believe the only fair approach is to look at each case on an individual basis to guarantee each child is provided with the most nurturing environment with access to both parents. This email is NOT asking for a wage increase but am asking for you to use a better level of understanding when considering the implications of the Child Maintenance Service, as you know a unilateral approach does not work in the best interests of all.

In my case; I earn a gross pay of £16,892 however paid the same amount of Child Maintenance as someone who was paid £21,000. I reiterate; I do not live with my child and it is Her Majesty’s Royal Navy who dictated where I live. Do you believe it fair that I pay the same amount as someone who earns £4,108 annually more than me? Do you believe it fair that on top of my 800-mile round trip from base to see my son, I must pay the standard £168 a month? I want to be a present father, but how am I supposed to do this when I struggle to find the expenses to travel home and see my son – it defies belief that the laws of the United Kingdom prioritise tangible currency over genuine parenting.

£4,108 is a lot of money; £342 a month is a large difference in monthly pay when you state we should both be contributing the same £168 a month. That is the difference between 8% and 12% of an individual’s earnings. It is extremely unfair to impose such a difference in amounts when income is so low and it makes such a large difference.

One further reasoning behind my belief in amending the system is that this is there is absolutely no guarantee the money fathers pay does in fact go towards the care or upbringing of their child. There are many factors, which myself and my colleagues regularly experience:
· A mother could be living with her parents and not paying any bills towards the child because the grand parents are supplying the gas, water, electricity, food etc. What does my money then go towards?
· The mother could be working full-time, receiving free childcare under those same circumstances. What does my money then go towards?
· The mother enjoying herself and neglecting the duty of care of the child by staying out all weekend, while the family members take care of the child, all under the above circumstances. Can you then guarantee me the money I pay towards my child is genuinely used towards the upbringing of my child?

My concern is, how can you state that each woman needs the same amount? Does a woman who works full time with free childcare really need the additional £168 a month, when they pay less than that themselves towards their children? If my ex-partner and I were to live together under different circumstances, does the government genuinely expect £336 to be spent on a child per month when recent research by the Halifax bank suggested the average child costs less than £300 a month? It is frustrating enough not being able to be around our children as much as we like, but when you consider the abuse of power that many parents have – something must be changed.

I hope you understand that it is not just myself that is struggling with the Child Maintenance Service payments, this is a Nationwide problem which I believe needs to be resolved. Is too much to ask that working fathers who are trying their hardest to be in their child’s life, have their contributions looked at on an individual basis considering all factors of the child’s upbringing? I appreciate that everyone has different situations, hence why I believe every case should be looked at individually and not pigeon holed. I am certain that many more men will be leaving the military by the end of 2019, because payments cannot be met with the gross income we bring in, particularly like myself as an Able Rate, and this is one thing which should not be allowed because the armed forces are already low on man power.

I appreciate your time for reading this email, and hope you do take it in to consideration, and please do not hesitate to contact. Any further information or advice would be received extremely gratefully

Solution
It needs to be amended so everything is fair, in my occupation everything is based around equality, I believe some parents are not being treated equally.
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