DAVE HUGHES: Tight
DAVE HUGHES: Tight

Focus of child support ?wrong

By RACHEL SCOLLAY

DAVE HUGHES, from Rosebank, said there shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all approach to child support payments.

He said prescriptive formulas caused tension and friction between separated couples, and he believed many fathers would welcome an overhaul of the system.

Dave has three children at home with him and his partner, and one child living with an ex-partner.

He said payments were set at 18 per cent of gross income for one child, but a friend with three kids paid 42 per cent.

Dave said because he was bringing up three children at home he was allowed a concession of a few thousand dollars before his income was assessed for maintenance.

"That makes things very tight," he said.

"The problem with it is there's too much focus on money and not enough focus on the social and emotional needs of the kids."

Dave said a lot of women had been also forced into poverty because of the same 'restrictive rules'.

"You have to pay such a large amount of your wage in maintenance that a lot of men go on the dole, or take a part-time job, because you end up with more money not working," he said. "And the kids suffer because there's less money for either parent to spend on them."



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