BVI News


Women to be punished too

Left to right: Dr Kedrick Pickering, Julian Fraser, and Myron Walwyn

Left to right: Dr Kedrick Pickering, Julian Fraser, and Myron Walwyn

By Horace Mills, BVI News Online Staff

Representative of the Sixth Electoral District Alvera Maduro-Caines ran into masculine correction yesterday when she went soft on women while rebuking men for not paying child maintenance.

She also suggested that the House of Assembly should not be asked to legislate on “often illusion-filled scenarios” of mothers misusing the money they receive from fathers for child support.

“Let the mother’s conscience be their guide and your (fathers’) conscience should be your guide to never allow your child to go without care,” Maduro-Caines said during a debate on the new Child Maintenance and Access Bill, which was passed last night with amendments privately made among lawmakers.

Maduro-Caines openly outlined a number of what she said are “often illusion-filled” scenarios that men mention when they are reluctant to pay child support.

“The stories are varying, but they are always colourful: ‘mothers spend the money for the child on their hair weave, or on their nails, or on other children who are not theirs, or on a new partner.”

“This Honourable House cannot be asked to evaluate these often illusion-filled scenarios. And, even though sometimes you may find small pockets of truth, a father who has knowingly fathered a child should do what he has to do,” Maduro-Caines emphasized.

Her comments did not sit well with Opposition lawmaker Julian Fraser, who thought she was being one-sided in her assessment as it relates to gender.

“My colleague got up and talk about the men, the men, the men. It’s not only men; it’s not only men.I know some women who get the money and the child don’t see it. It’s all of them, and one is too many,” Fraser reasoned.

Deputy Premier and representative of the Seventh Electoral District Dr Kedrick Pickering also weighed in: “The issues between man and woman are not simple issues. I had to chide my honourable colleague from the Sixth District (Alvera Maduro-Caines). She was making it sound like only the male delinquent… It’s mutual gender.”

Gender mutual

During the debate, which touched on various other issues, minister responsible for youth affairs Myron Walwyn welcomed the fact that women are also being made to pay child maintenance under the proposed law, which he described as gender mutual.

“Most times in situations where there is a breakdown in the family structure, the child often resides with the mother. And so the father, in most instances, is the one who has to do his part in making sure that he has to maintain the household where the children reside.”

“But there are few situations as well where the child resides with the father. And so, what this piece of legislation is saying is that there is also an obligation on the mother who is a parent as well to make sure that she does her part,” added Walwyn.

He noted that a parent, under the Bill, is defined as the mother or father of the child. The parent can also be any person liable by law to maintain a child or to be in custody of the child.

“What I like about the Act is that it doesn’t discriminate between mother and father. And that is sometimes something that we have to correct in the community. The responsibility for maintaining a child is the responsibility of both the parents,” Walwyn noted.

Alvera Maduro-Caines. File photo

Alvera Maduro-Caines. File photo

According to the government, the Child Maintenance and Access 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.

The Bill, which was piloted by Minister of Health and Social Development Ronnie Skelton, proposes the garnishing of salaries and other measures to force delinquent parents to pay child maintenance.

The toughest penalty for a delinquent parent is up to six months imprisonment, enforceable if a parent willfully fails to pay child support.

Also, the proposed law states that a person who misuses money paid over for child support is liable on summary conviction ‘to a fine not exceeding $1,000 OR to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six weeks – OR both’. The offender will also be made to repay the ‘misapplied’ funds.

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  1. Nuff Said says:

    The woman only speaking from experience.

  2. Hight Of Ignorance says:

    They using the money to buy brazillian hair and do nails, while the child wearing shoes from payless….

    • Tburse says:

      Not all of them are like that. I can’t even afford Brazilian hair because I take care of my kids by myself.

      The father of my child pays 122 every other week if that depends on how his hours are he’s only bought our daughter two pairs of shoes since they’ve been born. His child support i use to make sure our girls have.

      Besides that I pay rent, I feed them and we still are struggling and he has a nerve to complain because he has to pay child support.

      I told him if you ever had custody of our girls I wouldn’t mind paying you.

      He didn’t even report that me and him had another child because his other baby mama who gets public housing which I don’t have, she has food assistance, she done had three brand new cars and I’m still trying to get one, she’s 525 a month from him plus their sons disability check. She has no job.

      He’ll what would she need one for if her sons disability check is 733 dollars on top of 525. That’s 1285 a month. You talking about a lazy cow. All the way. She rather not work and live off of her sons disability and child support.

      In some ways, I agree. They need to make changes in the law of child support. There are too many women getting away with murder with riding the system.

  3. sigh says:

    they need to put in place of a parent who buying 100$ plus shoe per term for the child n taking invoice into court to get back half..

    How can a mother bring in an invoice to the court and talking bout she order shoe cost 120$ September…January another invoice 139$ school shoe again …

    Something need to be put in place if your ordering name brand shoe and talking about shoe small and order a next i don’t think it fair for a father to have to give back half of that amount for a shoe every term when that man himself is wearing a shoe to work for a whole year.

    Another thing is some man owe 4 plus month child support so by time they pay a 200$ hell yes the money should belong to the mother because he is done behind by 4 months where she done do what she had to do for the child…but if he up to date and paying every month and she running salon with the money and the house in need then we have a problem…so this is a two way street to you three man bout woman spending money on themselves…

  4. veterinarian says:

    Some of the women need to be spayed or neutered

  5. kim says:

    we need to talk about raising the maintenance fee up ever two years why should a man be paying $200.00 for the child for 18years please food gone up the child eats more clothes get more expensive etc

    • Tburse says:

      I totally agree.It should be raised every two years.Hell, sometimes I barely make it working plus on public assistance and all my father of my children do is pay 122 every other week if that for my girls and his other baby mama gets 525 dollars a month.

      This woman is on public housing, doesn’t have a job, has had three brand new cars and gets disability for their children.

      He’ll yeah I’m kissed no wonder why she never has to work. Stanking b####.

  6. Reply says:

    Here is the bottom line: stop sleeping around with every Tom, Dick, Harry, Sue, and Jane, and you would not have to worry about proving if a kid is yours or belongs to someone.

    There will be no need for DNA if you have a monogomous relationship. There will be no need to worry about child support, or how that money is being spent. Too many out of wedlock kids being born in the BVI according to the stats.

    If you want to sleep around, birth control is a must. Not only wont you have to worry about potential child support, but the risk of becoming infected with some STD, some of which can be deadly if not adequately treated (i.e. AIDS), would be drastically reduced.

    Wrap it up/protect yourself or deal with all the ontoward drama and consequences.

  7. smh says:

    It’s about time the courts are biased against men

    • Just saying says:

      If a man has proof that he’s talking care of his child/ren, he should not have to pay child support. That’s how I feel.

      • Ok says:

        He might have proof but is it his fair share

      • So says:

        If he paying two hundred dollars, and has proof then he shouldn’t be made to pay more? Daycare alone going take that. Which part of this world do you live? Maybe back then but things have changed; expenses are up.

  8. Born Here says:

    They need to keep that portion for mothers who misappropriate the money to themselves.

    That thing happen too often so I don’t know what Alvera taking bout

  9. So happy says:

    My son is 14 years old. His father and I are not together but, from day 1, his father gives me $300.00 per week child support.

    He is a good father to his son and sometime

    I don’t take the $300.00 a week, I tell him to just buy groceries for the week and whatever else his son needs.

    We always agree that we don’t and will not end up in court over child support.

    • Too much says:

      I have 3year old girl I don’t believe she need 672.00a Mon. The mom don’t work she don’t need babysitting money she don’t eat much and her clothes are very cheap to buy..I got 14% with my child .

      Why can’t I get my daughter and the mom give me a100.00i can survive with that .. this is unfair..

      To father’s who have to pay so much no kid need that much money I’m not paying for her mom to live Jesus Christ .

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