Agenda for the 21st Century
Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century
Parents should have equal status by default
Partners should know about paternity
All children should have been accepted children
Eliminate sex discrimination from child support
There should be no Treasury saving or state compulsion
Child support should be formally awarded to the children
Use a formula to determine the amount
Have closer ties between child support administration and family courts
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Household benefits/credits should not be treated as income
Amounts should relate to spend on children, not wealth
Also - Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century
Also - A method of judging proposals
Also - International Agenda for the 21st Century
Related topic - Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
Related topic - The 21st Century is making the reformed scheme obsolete
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Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century

Methods which are deliberately excluded from the Agenda
It is useful to place proposals into context. It is also useful to identify proposals that have been ejected / excluded from the Agenda, together with reasons for this.
Exclusion - Choice For Men / C4M / Male Abortion

In the USA especially, there is a concept called "choice for men" (and sometimes called "male abortion"). It has no place in a coherent future system of child support, and should be replaced by proposals & lobbies for the earliest available of the next generation of male contraceptive, see Advances in male contraception - overview.

Here is a "Choice For Men" (C4M) - overview. It links to several other pages of analysis, including a Commentary on the C4M FAQ.

Exclusion - Primacy of "social parenting"

The UK uses bio-paternity, based where requested on paternity tests, as the way of judging liability for child support. (There are obvious exceptions such as adoption & and gamete donation). All "Western" nations & states should adopt the same policy. They probably will over the next decade or two, but some are looking backwards not forwards, and need to get up-to-date and prepare for the 21st Century.

Here is a summary of how the UK goes about Presuming and establishing paternity.

Exclusion - Automatic residence for fathers / earners

Sometimes it is proposed that rather than the higher earner paying child support to someone who may be out-of-work, the higher-earner should care for the child directly, since s/he (typically he) can afford it. Sometimes it is simply proposed that fathers should have residence automatically.

This Agenda instead proposes shared residence, sex-neutrality, and symmetry.

Exclusion - Proposals for abortion law

Abortion is very controversial. Laws differ significantly from country to country. Women differ vastly in their views on having abortions, with some feeling relatively little concerned, while others reject the action for a range of personal (including moral & religious) reasons.

This Agenda proposes that the child support system, including the social conditions necesssary for it to work satisfactory, should not rely on abortion. If abortion is used in addition, that is up to those concerned. So "prevention is better than cure" - the information & means of making the required choices should be available before sex, and need to be used. This needs better contraception, but also means that C4M, which introduces complications & new information after conception, is also excluded.

Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.

Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003