“John Bolch has had a light bulb moment. He has at last realised that it is not all about fathers who want their ‘rights’ to see their children, or fathers who refuse to pay maintenance for the upkeep of their children. As stated above, when a marriage breaks down there are two homes to maintain and two sets of bills to be paid. Therefore not to take into account both sets of incomes and outgoings, particularly when fathers earn below the average national wage, is grossly unfair to fathers who want to support their children, but whose wages do not stretch to the amounts demanded off them. And for a loving father who has shared the residency of his children for many years, who then finds his children are alienated from him and no longer wish to see him, it is a devastating blow and hard to bear. For some dads it just becomes too much.”
I have always been a stickler for parents meeting their financial obligations towards their children, but sometimes it is easy to overlook that parents are human beings, often trying to cope with very difficult circumstances, and different people can be affected in different ways. Strict rules can lead to consequences that can push people to, or beyond, their limit. A truly humane family justice system needs to recognise this. Some will say that no such system exists, but I would hope that it does, even if it may not be possible to create a perfect system that never makes mistakes.
The story I am about to tell takes place in Canada, but it could equally have taken place over here. Indeed, it probably has.
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