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Not just money – Fraser wants emotion in child law

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A member of the parliamentary opposition has suggested that emotional bonding between parents and their children should be clearly stipulated in a new law being proposed.

Julian Fraser, who up to recently served as Leader of the Opposition, lamented that the proposed law seem to be only concerned about parents not paying money for child support.

“Money ain’t going to fix the problems that we have,” he said today (March 16) during his contribution to the debate on the Child Maintenance and Access Bill.

Government said the Bill seeks to establish a comprehensive regime to ensure parents provide adequate maintenance for their children. It also seeks to ensure both parents have access to their child in order to participate in the child’s upbringing.

But Fraser today indicated that he does not see anything in the Bill that specifies how the emotional bonding will be achieved.

He bemoaned the fact that the Bill does not say which parent – for example – “should take the child to church once a month”.

Fraser further lamented: “Nowhere does it (the Bill) say anything about when the child is to go to sporting events this parent should be seen taking the child to this sporting event once a month or twice a month.”

When the scenario about church-going was raised, one Government lawmaker scoffed at the idea of including activities of the sort in law.

But Fraser, while not backing down, chided those who think his point was pointless.

He said lawmakers sometimes think they are fixing social issues when they only make them worse.

“We create the nonsense that is going on around us. When the so-and-so hit the fan, we all looking for somebody to fix it, and we have done our jobs. I am tired of this nonsense; the society that we are creating.”

“We think that we are fixing things. We are not fixing anything. Over this past [holiday] weekend, everybody was at home. Nobody was coming out because of a society we create – we fostered the behaviour,” Fraser further said in the House of Assembly.

The legal framework regarding the maintenance of children is currently provided for in a few sections of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act, which will also be amended to facilitate the new law.

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