Barry's other comment was on my posting about Liberal Democrat policy towards fathers.
He wrote, "This makes disagreeable reading on a supposedly liberal blogsite, and it is difficult to know where to begin. You mix general comments with specific which you clearly are inviting your readers to believe matches your situation. Firstly, your statement "the [father] loses his property." This is not the 19th century - these days marital property is assumed to be jointly owned regardless of whose name is on the deeds(and presumably your [marital]"property" was registered in your sole name - am I right?) Wives have property rights too in case you hadn't noticed.
Secondly, you appear to be demanding a regime in which there is "control" over how the "ex-wife spends the money" (the child support) Do you want a government quango to be demanding household accounts and scrutinising grocery bills, or do you want the non-resident parent[ in CSA jargon] to be able to enter his/her children's home to check on the pantry or audit bank accounts? Do you want your ex-wife to be providing receipts? Perhaps you want your ex-wife to draw up a "child support budgetary plan" for your scrutiny and agreement? Is it really true to say that your children are turning up at your house "inadequately clothed" and "ill-fed" and that you are forced to provide food and clothing for them? Or is this hyperbole to make your point?
You call for "shared parenting" This can work and many divorced couples arrive at mutually acceptable arangements but it all depends on the nature of the divorce. If you have not managed to agree a "shared parenting" regime with your ex-wife then it probably is because she does not want it. Perhaps - have you considered - she has good reason? Reading your blog, and the casual way you seem to want to control her life through control over her household finances and the way she is bringing up her children and the insinuation that she is starving her children and failing to clothe them adequately- I would say she had reason enough to reject a closer involvement with you over parenting. I note that you are standing for the European Parliament in my region (the south-east) I for one will not be supporting you. "
Barry, by all means take issue with things I say but don't attack me for things which I didn't say. My remarks were based on my experience in counselling fathers through Family need Fathers and not just my own experience. Your remarks about my attitude to my ex-wife are unjustified, insulting and absurd. For the record, I have not claimed and I do not claim that my ex-wife "is starving the children and failing to clothe them adequately" nor do I want to "control her life". Given your propensity to distort what I have said, I will confine any future posts on the subject to the general.
Firstly, property. As you rightly point out property is assumed to be jointly owned and not merely assumed but actually set out in the relevant deeds. Why then is it reasonable for the state through the courts to order that one partner's share in the property is taken away and given to the other partner, whom the state has decided should live with the children ? Of course, in some cases this may be the only solution for the sake of the children. However, in many cases it would be possible for the children to spend more time with both parents. In many cases, the value of the joint property would be sufficient to allow both partners to buy new but smaller properties if it were sold. The courts do not usually support such a solution, preferring to expropriate the share in the property which the parent now labelled by the state as "absent" has built up over years. The absent parent may as a result have insufficient accommodation for the children when contact happens.
Secondly, the question of what counts as child support. Of course, I am not demanding such an absurd regime as you suggest. I am simply pointing out the unfairness of a system where the resident parent is assumed to be benign and to spend child support on the children whereas the non-resident parent is assumed not to support the children even when such expenditure can be proved. Thus, if a non-resident parent buys clothes for a child, this will only count as child support if the resident parent agrees but, of course, the resident parent has every reason not to agree because that would reduce the money to be transferred to the resident parent. The law and the courts treat the non-resident parent as an occasional visitor and a source of funds, not as a equal parent with a share in bringing up children.
My point is simple. The interests of the child should be paramount as current law provides, but why can we not also say that shared parenting is presumed to be the best way to achieve this ? That is the policy that the Labour government and the Liberal Democrats have both rejected.
Finally, of course you must make up your own mind how to vote in the South-East Euro selection, but please decide about me on the basis of what I actually say and not what you wrongly attribute to me.