No child support due because I got married to another man? (letter to the editor)

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No child support due because I got married to another man? (letter to the editor)

absent-father-smDear Editor: I would like to open the dialogue on a topic I believe needs to be addressed in St. Lucia.

As a former student of human development, I am aware of the effect of the home environment on a child’s level of success, their perception of life, and reactions to situations they face. I would like to specifically draw attention to an issue I faced recently on a visit to the Family Court division.

I am the mother of a five-year-old child. The father and I separated before our child turned a year, due to him being unfaithful. He was contributing to the maintenance of the child until he got married. At this point, it was a begging game for him to contribute anything towards his child. I never placed him on child support because I was making decent money and was a bit embarrassed due to the negative connotation in St. Lucia regarding child support.

Recently, I got married, and despite the fact that he contributes nothing to maintenance, I still allows him to have contact with and have a relationship with our child.

I got the ultimate blow when our child fell ill and had to come up with a considerable amount of money for medical bill. Unfortunately, I got unemployed and still searching for work. I called the father and explained to him, our child needed to undergo medical exams and we had to cover the bills. It was at this time he told me, our child is no longer his responsibility, but instead my husband should enjoy taking care of his child for him until he is 18 years. I was deeply saddened that a working man would expect another man to go to work every day to feed his child when he is fully capable of doing so.

I decided to visit Family Court the following day and to my amazement, fellow St. Lucian mothers, THIS IS THE LAW.

I was told by the case worker: “His father does not have to do anything for him now, you are married.” My child is only five years old ! What does choosing to be married have to do with my child’s right to be taken care of by the father? What does having a man, my husband, in my bed have to do with my child’s right to be fed, clothed, maintained by the father? Is the law asking us mothers to make a choice? It’s either you stay single, move from one man to another and never have a married life and your child’s father will be obligated to pay child support. Or, if you choose to marry and raise a family, then your child’s father can be free of his responsibility. However, the father can marry if he decides.

The law is clearly suggesting a relationship between who is in your bed and who has to feed and maintain your child. It’s no wonder some men refuse to care for their child unless they have intimate relations with the mother. The law in St. Lucia as it stand encourages it. It’s no wonder that a man may date, but not marry a decent young woman with two children from a previous relationship, because he knows when it says ” I do”, the child is now his financial responsibility.

It is disappointing that my child’s father is a successful business man in St. Lucia, but refuses to provide not a penny to his child’s upbringing because I committed the ultimate crime of being married now. He got married himself before I did. The law is encouraging promiscuity by mothers, and neglect on the part of fathers.

The holidays and observances of women’s rights and rights of a child in St. Lucia should take into account these issues. This is a human rights issue. I believe the fundamental rights of my child to be cared for by both parents are being violated.

At this point, being recently unemployed, my husband is working a full-time job and odd jobs on weekends struggling to care for my sick child’s medical expenses. It’s a complete disgrace that we encounter my child’s father occasionally, and he has this smirk on his face. He just passed on 18 years of financial responsibility of our child to another man, and there is nothing I can do about it because the LAW in St. Lucia supports him. The law has essentially told him, it is okay to abandon your child, now that the mother is married.

Let this letter serve as an opener to dialogue on this issue. This LAW has to be changed. And we wonder why our society is such a mess. We need to change the laws relating to families and responsibility of parents.

This is the first of many letters on media outlets regarding this issue. This LAW needs to be changed. This senseless LAW will be changed.

(61)(10)

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79 COMMENTS

  1. well well well if that is the case then I do think my husband name should be on my son birth paper . no fucking doubt about it.

    (0)(0)

  2. Can't say about your case but in many cases some psycho ones ruin a complete family . Run away to other men just because they want to enjoy change . Spoil the life of their children for their own self centered behaviours . Money is another factor which they are after as being single start to get more .
    Unfortunately courts mostly give favour to women when it comes to joint custody .For those who are for divorces just because of money , i see this a good decision by court as psychos have no right to break the families just for small issues .

    (0)(0)

  3. If that's the law for real ...something wrong...and I blame us..why ..because the house of representative are responsible for enacting and amending laws..etc....if there's an issue we should bring it to our District Representative attention... regardless of party he / she is part of or is in power....IT'S THEIR JOB !! Take them to task !1 instead of all these pettiness we have to deal with from them!1 lawd!

    (1)(0)

  4. Seriously?!?! St. Lucia still stuck in the past where the law is considered. And we wonder why our youths are turning out the way they are now! Chain reaction- parents, yes parents mother and father having babies, father walks away leaving mother with the sole responsibility of raising this child, because apparently father knows the law and he chooses whether he should be part of this baby's life!! Again another inequality on women in st. Lucia. And would you believe we a learned barrister as prime minister!!! Smfh

    (5)(1)

  5. ridiculous, ....this law is sick and shameful towards the family, who would believe that would happen anywhere in the world or the the caribbean for the most part. if that man was any man at all even if there were a law (which i can't believe there is )he would take care of his responsibility and take care of his child. 18 yrs from now when that child leave school and becomes somebody he begins to tell people thats his child and strangely the very child may look after him. That is also why some children hates their father and the stepfather gets the respect and i do hope he reads these comments and step up as a man should to his responsibilities. God bless the stepfather for being a real man

    (5)(1)

  6. honestly this is the first time i have ever heard such...its shocking and i would like to know if this law is for real in st lucia or any other country in the world..to me this can't cant for real.

    (3)(0)

  7. This is the first time have ever commented to one of this articles. I found it utterly ridiculous that this is what we call LAW. It is clear that our laws are not inkeeping with the societal changes and thinking. As a man I truly believe that a man should take care of his own regardless of the relationship he has with the mother. After all, the child did not asked to be born, there was consent (if was the case) or simply repercussions of a not well thought of act of pleasure. In any case one would think that conscience would prevail. But clearly some of us go by the law and not what is morally correct. The first thing I believe one should ask is " what if my father were to have abandoned me when I needed him most". Surely none one want to live with such guilt! At least that's what I would think. Gents let's be the sort of role models needed for our sons and daughters. Would you want your son or daughter to see you Illtreat his mother? What if it were your mother? Do you take joy in seeing your mother in despair or hurt, physically or emotionally. You know what, most of us would say know. So let's do what we know is right! Great article. I must say it caught my attention

    (9)(0)

  8. I would wish to see this law with my own sight from the said social worker,,,this is the craziest thing I have ever heard....we certainly don't expect a better society from these cheap lines.....children are treated like parcels and left to the poor women to do everything then they turn to the streets for support and we talk more nonsense ...before I get too emotive let me just say I am in shock and picking up my jaw from the floor.....

    (3)(0)

  9. i am so so shocked at this. The law is actually supporting a father to neglect a child he conceive. and we women have to continue promiscuity to feed their children and not live a dignified life.
    Lord am praying for all women out there, give us the strength to continue loving ,guiding and feeding our children and to stand strong and firm IN JESUS NAME. AMen.

    (6)(0)

  10. While we're at it i want to take my father to court so he can refund my mom his share of child support that he owes her for caring for me all alone and so he can be charged for carnal knowledge or is it statutory rape

    She was only 14 and he never gave a penny

    The Criminal

    (6)(0)

  11. Ok so that's the law. Ok. BUT shouldn't the blood father think, um um this is my own flesh and blood so I should help out. When the father is old and in need of help, will the son help, maybe not a rass.

    Surely some comprassion should be excersized in this case. Both men and the mother should club together and stop acting like jealous kids.

    (2)(5)

  12. Let us protest against this. This law needs to change definitely, then again I suppose who feels it knows it.... those who are in a position to Change it don't feel the pain of everyday women something gotta give, the law needs to be reviewed. NOW

    (8)(0)

  13. I sympathise with you and your situation and I can understand the shock when you learnt of the law. Our legislation is archaic and needs some serious revision. While it may be so though, what type of man does not put the health of his child first? Whether or not both he and the child's mother is remarried. Our culture is such that men want to walk away from responsibility at any chance. And while someone did say that marriage means automatic adoption, the child still carries half your genes. People take raising children as a joke. TOOOO many parents are of the opinion that a child must eat and survive and forget to instill morals and values and invest quality time. SO while he may be happy to have the financial responsibility passed on to someone else... what about the bigger picture?

    (4)(1)

  14. Hey this all stems from our position on legitimacy and bastard-ism. If a woman gets remarried then that can legitimize her children. Even when a child born during wedlock but is not a child of the husband is still by law an offspring of the husband. If we are saying that a man is responsible for the birth of a child and his name cannot be entered on the child'd birth certificate unless he goes to a JP with the mother, and when the time comes to pay child support there is no requirement for the woman to prove that the child is his then there must be problems. As one of the commentators said these laws were only drafted in the interest of women, not the child or the man. The law was only seeking to make a woman more financially stable and not to remedy the plight of the child. A typical example, when a woman divorces she becomes an unmarried woman, however the law does not recognize the man as being unmarried if he was married before. Therefore all obligations of the man are still in effect, he is never completely separated from his ex wife. What is needed is reform and equality and look at the law from a perspective of the interest of the child. Then again we cannot mordernize a law while we have a forensic lab which is closed.

    (7)(1)

  15. I am a man and really upset about that. Thease fathers need to be in Jail. So even if the law says that what the hell thats your child. Expose his name and his wife if you are part of it you will feel it some day. Jesus said let the little children come to me and do not send them away. Lady let come together to fight for the injustices against our children on all fronts. Let stop lip service and act. Until we do that it wont change anthing.

    (12)(1)

  16. Please don't stop with this letter, take this further, to the news, radio talk shows, television talk shows, make it public. that's a serious matter and a lot of woman isn't aware of that. That's the first time am hearing this. St. Lucia Law is crap. Need serious revising.

    (15)(0)

  17. If this is the law, i say shame on it. Whoever wrote it needs to go back to the drawing board and return with something which makes more sense. Those persons may have graduated from the backdoor university of bullshit..

    (13)