Comment on CBC story: Province to crackdown on ‘deadbeat’ parents with new child-support laws

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Manitoba’s child-support laws are about to undergo a “sweeping rewrite” meant to hold “deadbeat” parents more financially accountable for their kids and families, the province says.
The province announced Wednesday it plans to overhaul legislation it hopes will ensure children in poverty get the help they need, including permitting the posting of photos and names of those parents or guardians online with a warrant out for their arrest.
“The best interests of a child must always be the most important and often the only consideration in the area of family law.
This is clearly entrenched within the proposed legislation, which would also include strong, new tools to collect child support from parents following separation or divorce,” Attorney General Gord Mackintosh said in a statement.
“The bill also responds to the need for provincial laws to keep pace with social and technological realities to avoid uncertainty and stress for families.”
More at http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/manitoba/province-to-crackdown-on-deadbeat-parents-with-new-child-support-laws-1.3099206

Skip Child Support. Go to Jail. Lose Job. Repeat.

By FRANCES ROBLES and SHAILA DEWANAPRIL 19, 2015

Jahmal Holmes is behind on payments. “They are threatening to suspend my driver’s license — and I’m a truck driver,” he said. Credit Travis Dove for The New York Times

Jahmal Holmes is behind on payments. “They are threatening to suspend my driver’s license — and I’m a truck driver,” he said. Credit Travis Dove foNORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — By his own telling, the first time Walter L. Scott went to jail for failure to pay child support, it sent his life into a tailspin.
He lost what he called “the best job I ever had” when he spent two weeks in jail. Some years he paid. More recently, he had not. Two years ago, when his debt reached nearly $8,000 and he missed a court date, a warrant was issued for his arrest. By last month, the amount had more than doubled, to just over $18,000.
That warrant, his family now speculates, loomed large in Mr. Scott’s death. On April 4, he was pulled over for a broken taillight, fled on foot and, after a scuffle with a police officer, was fatally shot in the back.
The warrant, the threat of another stay behind bars and the potential loss of yet another job caused him to run, a brother, Rodney Scott, said.r The New York Times

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — By his own telling, the first time Walter L. Scott went to jail for failure to pay child support, it sent his life into a tailspin.

He lost what he called “the best job I ever had” when he spent two weeks in jail. Some years he paid. More recently, he had not. Two years ago, when his debt reached nearly $8,000 and he missed a court date, a warrant was issued for his arrest. By last month, the amount had more than doubled, to just over $18,000.

That warrant, his family now speculates, loomed large in Mr. Scott’s death. On April 4, he was pulled over for a broken taillight, fled on foot and, after a scuffle with a police officer, was fatally shot in the back.

The warrant, the threat of another stay behind bars and the potential loss of yet another job caused him to run, a brother, Rodney Scott, said.

“Every job he has had, he has gotten fired from because he went to jail because he was locked up for child support,” said Mr. Scott, whose brother was working as a forklift operator when he died. “He got to the point where he felt like it defeated the purpose.”

Walter Scott’s death has focused attention not just on police violence, but also on the use of jail to pressure parents to pay child support, a policy employed by many states today. Though the threat of jail is considered an effective incentive for people who are able but unwilling to pay, many critics assert that punitive policies are trapping poor men in a cycle of debt, unemployment and imprisonment.

The problem begins with child support orders that, at the outset, can exceed parents’ ability to pay. When parents fall short, the authorities escalate collection efforts, withholding up to 65 percent of a paycheck, seizing bank deposits and tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses and professional licenses, and then imposing jail time.

“Parents who are truly destitute go to jail over and over again for child support debt simply because they’re poor,” said Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights, which filed a class-action lawsuit in Georgia on behalf of parents incarcerated without legal representation for failure to pay. “We see many cases in which the person is released, they’re given three months to pay a large amount of money, and then if they can’t do that they’re tossed right back in the county jail.”

More at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/20/us/skip-child-support-go-to-jail-lose-job-repeat.html

“Men-Tell Health Because Silence is Deadly”

To raise awareness about National Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is men.
“Men-Tell Health Because Silence is Deadly”

Hamilton to Toronto Fundraising Walk for Men’s Health and Welfare

 Dan Perrins and his canine companion Jeb.

Dan Perrins and his canine companion Jeb.

We are pleased to announce that Dan Perrins and his canine companion Jeb, will be participating in Canada’s national Mental Health Week this year. The way Dan has chosen participate is to walk from outside of Hamilton to Queen’s Park Toronto. He has dedicated this walk to his older brother Anthony Perrins who killed himself on May 8, 1982 and Earl Silverman a friend and fellow human rights advocate, who killed himself on April 26, 2013.

Dan himself has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress disorder and is familiar with the current mental health system in Ontario. His dog Jeb is part of his therapy for PTSD.

His facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/621569314644766/

Men-Tell Health program for men consisting of ‪#‎suicide‬ and gravestones

Daniel Perrins writes on his Facebook page:

Men-Tell Health program for men consisting of ‪#‎suicide‬and gravestones

Men-Tell Health program for men consisting of ‪#‎suicide‬and gravestones

 

May 4 – 10, 2015 I’ll be walking putting stickers up to raise awareness about men’s mental health issues.
Over 75 miles starting outside of Hamilton Ontario ending at Queen’s Park Toronto.
I’m tired of the current Men-Tell Health program for men consisting of ‪#‎suicide‬ and gravestones.
Aren’t you?
Spread it.

Thanks,
Dan

Self-described ‘deadbeat dad’ says court ordered payments are too high

HALIFAX – A Nova Scotia man who owes almost $100,000 in arrears to the province’s Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) says his wages are being garnished to the point where he doesn’t have enough money to live on.

 

Self-described ‘deadbeat dad’ says court ordered payments are too high

Self-described ‘deadbeat dad’ says court ordered payments are too high

 

The man, whose identity Global News agreed not to reveal due to a court order that prevents him from mentioning his ex-wife or children, said he recently secured full-time employment. However, he said MEP is required to collect payments in amounts that were set based on a previous job’s income, which he no longer earns.

More at http://globalnews.ca/news/1907975/self-described-deadbeat-dad-says-court-ordered-payments-are-too-high/. 

BC How to deal with a committal hearing (because you’ve fallen behind in your support payments)

Who this guide is for

This guide is for you if you’ve been served with a summons for a committal hearing because you haven’t paid maintenance (child and/or spousal support) that you owe. At a committal hearing, you’ll be asked to explain why you haven’t paid the support.

If you want to avoid going to jail, it will be up to you to prove to the judge that one of the following is true:

  • Your income is lower, so the court should issue a new enforcement order that says you can pay less per month. (For example, you might have lost your job or become ill.)
  • There was an error. This could happen if:
    • you paid the support to the recipient but that person never reported the payment to the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), or
    • there’s a difference between what you think you owe and what the FMEP believes you owe (for instance, your child who is over 19 dropped out of school and the FMEP hasn’t been informed).
  • You were behind in your payments, but you’ve now paid what you owed (you should pay the FMEP instead of sending a cheque to the recipient).
  • It would be a “grave injustice” to imprison you.

Remember that, at this point, your case is with the FMEP and the court, not with the person you owe the support to. That person usually can’t keep you from going to jail, unless they’ve failed to report payments you’ve made to them.

The steps in this guide provide more information about how to prepare for court, how to apply to change either the original support order or the enforcement order, and how the judge might rule at the hearing.

List of steps

Click on the steps below to see the detailed instructions for each step.

Step 1 Review the papers that came with the summons
Step 2 Check the FMEP’s calculations about the jail time you face
Step 3 Decide what to do
Step 4 Negotiate (work out a payment plan) with the FMEP (optional)
Step 5 Apply to change the support order (optional)
Step 6 Apply to change the enforcement order (optional)
Step 7 Prepare your case for the committal hearing
Step 8 Attend the hearing
Step 9 Possible outcomes

More at: http://www.familylaw.lss.bc.ca/guides/mini/committalHearings/