Parental Alienation can devastate the relationship between parents and children. It can be a central issue in child custody disputes and it undoubtedly is a leading cause of the disturbing incidence of male suicide in Australia.
There is an undeniable link between the child support scheme and malicious attempts by some parents to eradicate the relationship between the child and the other parent.
Here in Australia the Department of Human Services (DoHS) is the federal agency responsible for determining the level of financial support that non-residential parents are expected to pay.
The amount required is based on the amount of care received by a child from each parent, which is then determined by the time this child spends with his or her non-residential parent.
Developed in the late 1980s to oust the jurisdiction of the courts in relation to child support, the child support scheme was primarily motivated by concerns about growing welfare expenditure.
Indeed, law professor Patrick Parkinson notes that such scheme ‘was largely driven by the need to ensure … that private transfers of money from fathers to mothers reduced the burden of the state in terms of welfare expenditure’.
As also noted by Professor Parkinson, the child-support scheme provides ‘perverse incentives for primary caregivers to resist children spending more time with the other parent to avoid a reduction in the child support obligation.’
Because in a ‘no-fault’ system nobody can contest a unilateral divorce, these support payments are an entitlement to be assessed on parents and even on those who are unwillingly divorced against their will.
As noted by U.S. sociology professor Stephen Baskerville: "No-fault divorce allowed a mother to divorce her husband for any reason or no reason and to take the children with her.
"Child support took the process a step further by allowing the divorcing mother to use the now-fatherless children to claim her husband’s income – also regardless of any fault on her part (or lack of fault on his) in abrogating the marriage agreement”, says Professor Baskerville.
At the present time far more women than men file divorce applications, which could be interpreted as a stronger wish by women than men to divorce under the current no-fault rules.
There is indeed some compelling evidence that expectations of child custody may be factor influencing women to initiate divorce proceedings.
According to Dr Barry Maley, "It’s clear that many more women today can contemplate divorce with greater confidence that the benefits might outweigh the losses – subject to the material and emotional costs of divorce".
By contrast, Dr Maley writes, a crucial issue for men ‘is the risk of separation from their children and loss of regular contact after divorce if residence and primary care rests with the mother’.
As noted by Dr Bettina Arndt AM, who has served on two federal committees concerned with children support and family law, "thousands of Australian fathers have had their contact with their young children limited to a few hours often spend huge sums on lawyers, fighting to be able to care for their children overnight".
What is happening is not merely an accident. It is the sinister product of a radical feminist ideology that has declared open war on fathers and the institution of marriage.
As stated in a January 2015 submission of the Australian Family Association (AFA) to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Child Support Program, submissions lodged to that same inquiry by woman groups’ recognises the non-custodial parent (father) "only a financial source".
‘Some of these women's groups are open about the fact that they provide services to women solely based on gender and/or a feminist framework, says the Australian Family Association.
By contrast, the AFA also notes how some male submissions reveal an alarming level of suicides by post-separation fathers who are alienated from their children.
"Over 1 million children are living without their fathers and the legislation underpinning the Family Court of Australia and the Child Support Agency has been a major factor contributing to the fatherlessness crisis", one such submission reminds us.
According to sociology professor Augustine Kpsowa of the University of California at Riverside, divorce following the loss of contact with their children has become a leading factor of male suicide.
Amongst women, however, there was no statistically significant differentials in the risk of suicide by marital status categories. Indeed, divorced men are nearly 9.7 times more likely to commit suicide than comparable divorced women.
Think about Martin Romanchick, the police officer who hanged himself after being denied access due to charges brought by his ex-wife, which the court found to be frivolous.
Or Darryn White, the loving and caring father who hanged himself after being denied access to his children because he could not afford paying child support that was twice his take-home pay.
In a letter signed "In Memory of My Loving Father", his distressed 14 year-old daughter stated:
“I know my father was a good man and a good father. He obviously reached a point where he could see that justice was beyond his reach and decided that taking his life was the only way to end his suffering”.
And since parental alienation is a major cause of male suicide, the most basic principles of equity and fairness require that the child-support scheme must be abolished for the sake of children and their innocent parents alike.
To read more, visit the website of goodsauce.news
Prof Augusto Zimmermann LLB, LLM, PhD