I see that the child support system in Australia (upon which, as I recall, ours was modelled) is suffering the same failures as the child support system over here. This story in The Australian today reports that parents owe their ex-partners more than $1 billion in child support payments and that no fewer than half of separated parents are failing to pay all, or any, of their child support liabilities. And all of this despite a five-year reform process. Sounds remarkably similar to our own experiences.
I don't know what it is about child support that governments persist with it, despite its manifest failure to achieve what it was designed to do. No business would be allowed to operate in such a way - it simply would not survive. Just how bad does it have to get before those in power admit that child support was an experiment that failed?
Meanwhile, in America Florida Divorce reports a case where a husband was ordered to pay $1,106 in monthly child and spousal support and then left his job and joined a religious commune which forbids members from making money outside the commune. The husband failed to pay the support and the wife filed for contempt. Interestingly, the court held him to be in contempt, despite finding that his new religious beliefs are genuine, and this decision was upheld on appeal. "Defendant did not quit his job and join a religious community until after entry of the support order," stated the judge. "That defendant's religious beliefs are sincerely held, as the trial court found, is irrelevant." In other words, as I understand it, you cannot simply avoid liability to pay the support by voluntarily giving up work, which makes sense.