DEAR CHRISTINE: Court system just not working
The letter about three weeks ago recalling the experience of a mother and the marshals who could not find the father of her children for a court appearance was a flashback for me; the only difference was that I also got a lack of empathy from the magistrate.
I have been going through child maintenance proceedings for over a year now, being ordered to court three times and each time being asked where the children’s father is.
This is after filling out forms providing demographic data on the father of my children.
I also gave my data and was told I should expect a call when they were in the area to serve the warrant. I never received this call and find it hard to believe that having an address, workplace and phone numbers they don’t have the ability to find anyone in Barbados.
If that warrant was given to my postman he could serve it. I find it hard to believe anyone went looking for him.
In fact, I never even got a call to ask any information on his whereabouts.
I hope other mothers are able to write in about similar cases since it seems things only happen when they are highlighted in the media.
There are a number of changes that could be made to aid taxpayers who are not getting important services.
The first change that needs to be made is the way the people involved in dealing with these cases earn payment. These people don’t seem to care because it does not affect them as they will be paid regardless.
I think this should change and they should be paid according to the number of people who turn up to court as a result of a warrant presented. Another idea is to pay the postmen more and allow them to serve warrants.
This court system is not working for children.
The number of complaints about marshals being unable to locate deadbeat dads to serve summonses, in spite of being given their various addresses, says that the system established to deal with child maintenance matters in this country is not working the way it should.
Action needs to be taken by the relevant authorities to rectify this situation.
The way I see it, children are being deprived and mothers are being degraded as many say they are made to feel like beggars. This should not be happening in the 21st Century.
As a society that prides itself on its achievements in social welfare, we can do better than this.
I urge those responsible to seriously look into these problems and try to address them.