We part of a coalition in the midst of a campaign to change the way child support is perceived by the law in order to make social change to protect women and children’s rights.
As the law currently stands, as soon as a mother earns one agora over 6,000 NIS a month, the money received for child support goes down drastically. We see this as a grave injustice towards both the mother and her children. For women it means that if they take on legal work they need to earn substantially more than approximately 6,000 NIS otherwise they will not be able to afford supporting their children alone especially as they will probably not receive child support. It often means women take on illegal low paid and menial work in order to survive, or they remarry quickly (as often occurs in Haredi circles because child support is limited anyway to only support 2 children) and end up in another unwanted marriage in order to support their children. This has ramifications on the children. Apart from anything, this money is their right and should be received regardless of the mother’s income as it goes towards covering the cost of their basic needs. In addition they will suffer as a result of their mother being unable to work, unable to reach her potential and suffering emotionally.
The coalition asserts that in order to implement the objective of the Child Support Law in, which is ensuring payment of child support, a separation must be made between child support and the mother’s income. A few months ago we took this to the High Court in an appeal and while the court agreed with us in principle they said the only way anything would change is if we took it to the lawmakers. So, last week on ‘The Day for the Prevention of Poverty’ we presented our solution to the Children’s Rights Committee with support from Members of Knesset from the Kulanu party and MK Kahlon, Minister of Welfare & Social Services (with whom we have close contacts through our CEO’s work in the ministry). There was a really positive response to our presentation and we are now continuing our work on this to convince lawmakers to pass a law amendment to separate between child support and the mother’s income.