Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Child Support

Centralized Debit Card System for Child Support
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Problem: Child support payments blown on anything other than children (drink, cigs, etc.).

Solution: Instead of paying child support directly to the spouse, the payment would be made into a state system, which then issues a debit-like card (similar to many states WIC cards or food stamp cards). Purchases are tracked and limited. The Payor gets a statement every six months and can return to court if payments are not being used appropriately. I figure if my credit card company can tell me what, when and where I purchased something, this ability is out there. And the threat of knowing that payments will be cut off if you start blowing them, should be enough to self-police the system. Just thinking of the kids...

sockmonkey, Aug 22 2002


       The kids or your kids? There is next to nothing "fair" about divorce, when a pact made in love is broken apart in vitriol, and this certainly wouldn't make much difference. The hardest part of child support is getting the delinquent fathers to cough up at all, not fixing how the mothers spend it.
DrCurry, Aug 22 2002

       This is a sore issue with me.
Every single damn time I have the displeasure of speaking with my ex-wife, I hear the following:
The Bitches voice
My daughter's voice in the background saying, "UPS/FedEx/Delivery man is here"
The Bitches voice saying "Put it over there, she can sign for it"... "Oh, I got a steam-cleaner/couch/TV..."... "No, she's not here"... "I want more money"
One Gold-Plated croissant for you, Comrade sockmonkey
thumbwax, Aug 22 2002

       Child Support Agency in UK. State gets the money. Ex-wife lives at poverty level. Ex-husband is harrassed to the point of mental breakdown. Children are piggies-in-the-middle. Has anyone anything good to say about the CSA? I doubt it.
po, Aug 22 2002

       In theory, the CSA was an excellent idea. There are far too many absent parents (usually fathers) contributing nothing to their children's upbringing while the state picks up the tab. The CSA was intended to trace those parents and make them take responsibility, thus reducing the burden on taxpayers. Where it went wrong was in taking the easy way out. Instead of chasing the guys who basically said "Stuff you, I'm not paying anything, and anyway, I've moved house so you can't find me", they went after the responsible parents who had mutually agreed a sensible maintenance scheme, enforced a further payment (unwanted by the recipient) and drove many of them to desperation.
angel, Aug 23 2002

       ... all the while ignoring grand theft, larceny, fraud on part of Custodial Parent - including charging over $50,000 US + to non-custodial parents charge cards, stripping bank accounts of $10,000 + dry, breaking and entering into storage facility, selling stolen property, with current *demand* (which will not be met) of daughter's-paternal-great-great-grandmother's handmade quilt. Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill ... )wheeze( and mocking the memory of custodial's own ancestors by indicating just how much was inherited (which exceeds the amount stolen from a certain halfbaker - including CS payments - which IS theft if said conspiracies are ignored)... Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill... all the while living in a multimillion dollar home overlooking a golf course, when she doesn't even *play* golf... Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill Kill... But I'm not bitter.
thumbwax, Aug 23 2002

       Having been a witness to the trauma being suffered by a close colleague who is still wrangling over custody, child support etc. with his former partner, this sounds like a truly excellent idea. Croissant.
8th of 7, Aug 23 2002

       The problem with the CSA is that is first makes the absent spouse pay for government benefits and only money that goes above that level goes to the parent with the kids. As [po] points out most of the money does not go to help the kids.   

       My wife was harassed by the CSA as part of a campaign by her ex-husband to make accept a lower settlement over the former martial home.
Aristotle, Aug 23 2002

       "martial home"! Nice typo (possibly).
angel, Aug 23 2002

       Thank God! I thought 'child suport' was going to be more pole pants. BTW, I don't think trying to limit the expenditure to certain items would help much, because discretionary spending of other income would shift to compensate.
pfperry, Aug 23 2002

       Fortunately combat was not a feature of the marriage. However these things can be really difficult as maintenance can be a very contraversial area. In the end I employed a solictor to keep things sane for my wife and a settlement was reached once my wife's ex-husband called off the CSA. This allowed complete financial independence for both parties.
Aristotle, Aug 23 2002

       pfperry: Say not the P-words within the bounds of the Bakery, lest thou summon Trolls from beyond the grave, oh foolish one .....
8th of 7, Aug 23 2002

       what's "pole pants"???????? anyone
amazing, Aug 23 2002

       [amazing] use the "search" function, or rather don't.   

       From my own family's experience, I can recommend that parents save up for the kids' college education as soon as possible, and keep this money separately. This way, at least the haggling is over when the kids reach this stage in their lives.
Gwenanda, Aug 23 2002

       Don't ask.
Actually, it was the basis of a series of stupid "ideas" by a recently-killed troll and some of his colleagues.
angel, Aug 23 2002

       (-) I agree with you, sockmonkey, with the stated problem. It IS a problem if child support payments don't go to the support of the children, and therefore I commend you for searching for a solution to it.   

       However, I must disagree with your solution. I think that you'll agree that government control of spending is a VERY dangerous thing. How can we trust it to ultimately administer that correctly/honestly? It's a very philosophically unsound concept to give the government that kind of authority.
neradt, Feb 22 2004


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