On Gender


The Case for Higher Child Support

There’s an attention-getting title. Having said all he has about child support, is he suddenly going to say it’s too low?

Definitely not. All divorced fathers – and most women, but not many men – know that today’s laws set child support well beyond reason where it, alone, is often destructive to children’s families.

But I am going to raise one upward adjustment that is very reasonable and should be accounted for. Publicly acknowledged, it will give you and your ex a choice about whether it’s applied to your case instead of always applied to all: The stay-at-home parent.

At the moment it is a hidden issue. So long as it is it will fuel the emotional pressure on child support without anyone knowing what or why . It needs to be acknowledged before reason can reemerge.

For the record, I am opposed to child support at all except in extreme cases. I think it should be replaced with two parents, each with their own relationship with their children, and that women who want to be “independent” of me (or simply transfer their dependence to another) should be as good as their word and accept responsibility for their own material needs.

But I also believe that women are suffering a latent, unspoken fear. They are rarely conscious of it themselves, which keeps it hidden, but it is real, powerful, and has been exploited by those seeking power so only expressed in distorted ways. That does not mean there is nothing valid underneath.

Feminism has only worsened it by extolling fish with bicycles and being “freed” from children, marriage, and the home. The world is changing fast, but who asked to be “liberated” from being a women? Have you ever thought of it like that?

Freedom (or change) brings insecurity. Read “freedom” as no longer having a meaningful role as a women.

Trying to turn women into men, as in insisting girls do as well as boys in math and science and that every woman must have a career, is not the way to defuse it. Showing you care and seeking solutions, is.

Day care being common does not mean popular. A lot a mothers and fathers have problems about some stranger raising their children. What are parent’s for? There are pressures on families that women may often feel more than men. These fears express themselves indirectly in child support. Consider what the debate is: Is child support to only pay child costs, or also someone to give the care? Do our laws require that all parents work, or that no mother ever does? That is the heart of the debate.

Women want to know that the at-home mom is still an option.

The answer is simple. Separate the two. There is not only the costs of children, their may also be parental support (not alimony) for a stay-at-home parent. An at-home parent is a couple’s decision, not society’s, so should not be factored into all cases. But it should be allowed for.

If a couple has clearly opted for an at-home parent and which it is, and if the divorce does not make it fiscally unreasonable to continue, it is a separate award. One common compromise could be a part-time income for that parent. But if an at-home parent has never been agreed to or the divorce makes it no longer feasible, there should be no such award. It may last until all the children are in school or grade five, or until the at-home parent takes full employment.

Wouldn’t this be better than having parental support snuck into all cases whether justified of not?

Legislatures are not likely to reduce child support unless combined with provisions for a legitimate at-home parent.

©2007 KC Wilson

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To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons. - Marilyn French


 K.C. Wilson is a social commentator and author of Where's Daddy? The Mythologies Behind Custody-Access-Support, and the e-books: Male Nurturing, Co-parenting for Everyone, The Multiple Scandals of Child Support, and Delusions of Violence: The Secrets Behind Domestic Violence Myths. For his personal life, he prefers anonymity. He writes as a nobody, for he is not your ordinary divorce expert with the usual credentials. He is not a lawyer or psychologist, he is not now nor has he ever been a member of the Divorce Industry. K.C. is simply a thinker and researcher, for the issues are not legal, but human, social and common to all. When change is indicated, should we turn to those that the very status quo which is to be questioned has promoted to "expert?" Society's structures are up to society, not a select few. So his writing is for and about you, the ordinary person. K.C. prefers to be known as simply one himself, and that is how he writes. Find out more at wheres-daddy.com


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