In the last post, I discussed all the horrific and unfair methods modern society uses to deal with the issue of child support. In that post, I also said that I 100% support the concept of child support (I pay it myself and am happy to do so), but that the system we currently use is ridiculous and evil.
Today, I’m going to lay out a very specific system on how society should handle child support. This system is 100% fair to both men and women, with no favoritism being shown to anyone based on what kind of genitalia they happen to have been born with.
I have discussed aspects of this system before in various different places, but this is the first time I’ve laid it out here in its entirety.
Child support is normally paid by the higher income earner in the couple. Since usually that’s the man, the below description assumes that the man will be paying child support to the woman, but it’s certainly possible in this system that the woman could be the one paying if she made more money.
Here we go…
A Customized Legal Contract
Under this new child support system, if a man and woman wanted to have baby (regardless if they were legally married or not; that’s completely irrelevant), they would sit down and together write up a legally enforceable contract on exactly how much child support would be paid and when. The contract could say whatever the man and woman want it to say. They could decide child support could be $20 a month or $100,000 per month. Totally up to them. Whatever they put down there, that’s what the government will enforce.
They could also put down other details, like how long child support would be paid, certain conditions where the child support would automatically decrease or increase, and/or even clauses where the obligation would cease. (For example, if the mother re-marries to another man.)
The point is the contract would be completely customizable to whatever the two people decide. The government would have no say whatsoever as to what the child support contract “should” say. Either man or woman could enlist the help of an attorney if they wanted, to make sure the other person wasn’t trying to screw them over. Under a system like this, these contracts would be so common that couples could download template child support contracts from online sources and customize from there.
What if they can’t agree on the amount of child support? Then they don’t sign it and don’t have a baby. Eventually they would break up and go have a baby with someone else whose opinions on child support were more similar. Which is exactly what is supposed to happen.
If they agree, they get the contract signed, witnessed, and now it’s “law”. They have the baby, and if they break up or get divorced, they simply pull out the contract and do what it says. No arguments, no custody battle, no court battle, no paying attorneys thousands of dollars, no government involvement whatsoever.
“Okay that’s fine,” you say, “But what if the asshole guy leaves her high and dry and refuses to pay the child support he agreed to?”
Ah, then the courts get involved. One of the few valid roles of government is to enforce contracts. She would take her signed, witnessed, legally-enforceable contract down to small claims court or arbitration, pay a very modest fee, show the judge the contract, and make her complaint. The father would also be present to defend himself and present whatever evidence he has. If he indeed hasn’t been paying what he agreed to pay, he’d be in very big trouble and would have to pay it, period. From that point forward, the government would enforce his compliance just like it would in any other civil breach-of-contract case. Do what you agreed in writing you said you would do, or face the consequences.
However, if he could show with real evidence (not just his word, but real evidence) that he is unable to pay what he agreed to due to circumstances beyond his control (such as heath issues or an economic downturn), accommodations would be made and adjustments would be applied, based on whatever the judge rules. Perhaps to make it really fair, you make it a three or five judge panel of mixed genders instead of just one judge who may be biased.
What If There Is No Contract?
In any society, you’re going to have irresponsible idiots who impregnate each other in completely unplanned ways. What happens if a guy idiot has sex with a girl idiot without wearing a condom and she gets pregnant, without them ever writing up a child support contract?
Hopefully the girl idiot, knowing she had nothing in writing to enforce her financial will on the guy idiot, would get an abortion. Under a system like this, many more women would get abortions than they do now. Which is a very good thing, since we now have way too many young single mothers with no money cranking out babies who grow up and fill prisons and welfare rolls.
However, you would still have some girl idiots who would stupidly have the baby anyway. What to do with them?
Under this system, most girl idiots like this wouldn’t involve the government at all. They would go running to their parents who would help take care of them, similar to what happens now (just without the massive taxpayer overhead of a traditional family court system).
What about the girl idiots who don’t want to do this or can’t do this? Well, if they really wanted to involve the government, such a girl would, while still pregnant, go down to the same small claims court or arbitration office. She would pay a very modest fee, then petition the court for a child support order. The guy idiot would also be called in to acknowledge and possibly contest the order. No attorney would be required for either person to do this.
Let’s say the guy idiot clearly showed real evidence (not his word, but real evidence) that the woman defrauded him. For example, she showed him a fake doctor’s note saying she had her tubes tied, when she obviously did not. If the three-judge panel rules in his favor that the pregnancy was committed under fraud, guy idiot walks away completely scot-free. He never needs to pay her child support, and she gets nothing. The court reminds her that she is more than welcome to give the baby up for adoption if she cannot afford to raise it.
On the other hand, if the guy really was an idiot and just got her pregnant because he was stupid, the court issues a child support order. He must now pay her child support on a monthly basis until the child becomes a legal adult (which under a modern-day Blackdragon system would be age 16).
How exactly is the monthly amount of child support determined by the court?
The City Table
The court, in conjunction with other municipalities, would maintain an always up-to-date web site called the City Table. The City Table lists the name of every major city in the entire country. Next to each city’s name is a number. This number represents the average monthly cost to raise the typical child in that city within a lower-middle class lifestyle. It would be an amount that would include the cost of housing, clothing, feeding, and educating an average child, plus buying a few toys within a lower-middle class lifestyle. It would not be enough to send the kid to an expensive college or to buy him/her a new iPhone or Xbox every year, but it would be enough to raise the child and cover basic expenses.
Note that every city would have a different number that reflected its cost of living and median income levels. A place like Kansas City would have a much lower number, while a place Beverly Hills would have a higher number.
In the case of two idiots with no contract and a court-ordered child support order, the judge simply pulls up the City Table, finds the city they are in, and looks at the number. He takes 50% of that number, and boom, that’s what the idiot guy must now pay the idiot girl.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with the idiots’ income, nor the personal opinion of the judge, nor the political opinions of the politicians who happen to be in power at the moment. It’s simply raw economic data; 50% of the figure on the City Table. That’s what the guy needs to pay on a monthly basis once the baby is born. He will be liable for this monthly payment until the child is 16.
The idiot guy could lobby for accommodations to be made in extreme cases. Like if the guy had no hands, and it affected his ability to earn an income, he might be given a break on the amount. But other than unusual cases like that, that’s what he pays. If he doesn’t pay, he’s in trouble.
But wait! The process isn’t over yet. Paternity has not been established. The idiot girl can’t get a child support order issued against a guy who is not the baby’s father. That would be insane.
So before any child support payments from idiot guy are paid, there must be a DNA test on the baby to prove idiot guy is indeed the father. You can buy a DNA test at Walgreens for $20.
If he’s the father, he pays. If he’s not, idiot guy gets off scot-free and never needs to pay idiot girl child support, ever. As idiot guy dances with joy out of the courtroom and idiot girl bursts into tears, the court reminds idiot girl that she’s more than welcome to issue a new child support order against the baby’s real father. (Or she can give the child up for adoption as always.)
Under this system, women would already know all of this, and would be very careful to collect DNA samples of men they had sex with, like little bits or hair or whatever. Women would know that they could never get child support unless paternity could be proven, so they’d keep pieces of hair or something. Even the idiot girls would do this. (But if they didn’t, their problem. That’s the price you pay for being an idiot and lying about who the father is.)
So now there’s a child, and regardless if there was a prearranged child support contract or not, the father is now paying a regular monthly amount of child support. How would the money get from father to child?
Under our current system, the father gives the money to the mother, and the mother does whatever the hell she wants with it. But that’s obviously insane, so our new system is a little different.
Under this new system, payments are made from the father directly to the provider of the product or service, not to the mother. To ensure fairness, the mother has the power to decide which provider gets the father’s money, selected from a list of approved provider types.
Here’s an example. A man and woman write up a child support contract that states the guy will pay $300 in child support until the child is five, or $400 a month if the child is between the ages of six and 18. They have a baby and all is well. When the child is seven years old, they get divorced. Now, per the contract, the father must pay $400 per month to help support the child.
He’s not going to just give the mother a check for $400 every month. That would be ridiculous and unfair. Instead, he will help the mother pay one of these providers: rent, groceries, clothing, school actives, or medical bills. He asks the mother where she would like the $400 to go. It’s her decision.
She says she would like $200 towards rent and $200 towards monthly groceries. No problem. Once a month, he cuts a $200 check directly to her landlord (or bank if it’s a home mortgage), and she gets a $200 discount on her monthly rent (or mortgage). In addition, once a month he mails her $200 in gift cards for her local grocery store. He makes sure to keep receipts for all these things in case of a dispute down the road.
The mother has the option of changing the distribution of the $400 at any time. Perhaps little Johnny needs braces, so she instructs the father to redirect $150 of the monthly grocery money to the orthodontist.
If for some reason mother and father hated each other, this would all be done electronically on a third-party web site so there would be no need for actual communication. Most payments to vendors could also be made electronically.
And again, if father suddenly stops paying, or if mother suddenly stops letting father see the child, either parent can go right to small claims court / arbitration where no attorneys are needed and get the government’s assistance in enforcing the child support contract (in the case of normal people) or the City Table-determined child support order (in the case of idiots).
Father now knows that 100% of his child support money is being spent to support the child, mother has the assistance she needs, the expenses for the child are covered.
This System vs. The Current System
Is the above system perfect? Of course not. No system involving human beings is.
Is it far superior to the one we have now? Far more fair for both parties? Far less expensive for the taxpayer? A system that incentivizes people to be far more responsible and think ahead more? A system that attracts less dishonesty and fraud? A system that discourages idiots rather than encouraging them?