"Children First" & Sharing of Care: Problems with the proposed formula, and a revised proposal
by Barry Pearson
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Reminder of the Green Paper formula

The Green Paper first identifies the liability for the case where only the PWC cares for the children. Then it proposes reducing this liability by one seventh for each night per week that the NRP cares for the children.

This has the following unjustified inconsistency:

- For the nights when the PWC is caring, the maintenance scheme operates. The NRP transfers money to the PWC for those nights so that both parents co-operate in the upbringing of the children.
- For the nights when the NRP is caring, the PWC is not part of any maintenance scheme. He/she neither pays nor receives, yet doesn't care either. During these nights it is as if the NRP is a true lone parent with no-one to assist.

The consequences are serious:

1. There is a major financial step at 3/4 nights, or PWC/NRP status, which will inevitably lead to disputes and injustices. [Example 1].
2. There is no financial support for an NRP on low-income who wants to share care of the children. [Example 2].
3. The maintenance liability reduces too slowly & unfairly for the case where PWC & NRP have similar incomes. [Example 1].
4. In certain cases the separated parents are encouraged to lie, play the system, and attempt to reduce the liability and maximise the money obtained from the taxpayers. [Example 3].
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Page last updated: 13 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 1998