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HoA passes Bill to allow for equality in child maintenance

- Hon Marlon A. Penn called for wages of persons to be garnished to pay maintenance
The House of Assembly yesterday September 25, 2014 passed the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure (Amendment) Act eliminating discrimination against men in the court and ensuring that when it comes to the maintenance of children there is equal responsibility. Attorney General Dr the Hon Christopher P. Malcolm and Territorial Member Honourable Archibald C. Christian among others spoke on the Bill. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking on the Bill, Representative for the Eighth District Honourable Marlon A. Penn said that he has discussed the option of garnishing of wages as an option over sending men to jail. Photo: VINO/File
Speaking on the Bill, Representative for the Eighth District Honourable Marlon A. Penn said that he has discussed the option of garnishing of wages as an option over sending men to jail. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The House of Assembly yesterday September 25, 2014 passed the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure (Amendment) Act 2014 eliminating discrimination against men in the court and ensuring that when it comes to the maintenance of children there is equal responsibility.

Speaking on the Bill during the Tenth Sitting of the Third Session of the Second House of Assembly, Attorney General Dr Christopher P. Malcolm said that the passage of the Bill would remove discrimination which currently occurs in the Magistrate’s Court.

“In short Madam Speaker, This Act when it would have been passed will remove discrimination which currently exists under the Magistrates Code of Procedure Act in terms of how matters relating to maintenance are dealt with. And this is as indicated a necessary companion of the Status of Children’s Act which has already been passed,” said Dr Malcolm.

Territorial Member Honourable Archibald C. Christian said the Bill was a very important one. “We have no perfect Bills in this country but we have Bills that could impact the lives of people and ensure that justice is dispensed in a fair and equitable manner,” he said.

“This Bill before us today does that. It also removes the elements of discrimination against a man and a woman thus impacts the wellbeing of the children. Thus Madam Speaker the Bill is a timely one,” said Hon Christian.

He spoke of the provision in the Bill which allows for the father of a child to be able to apply to the Magistrate’s Court for a summons to be served on the mother of that child to show cause why she should not be compelled to maintain the child in instances where the mother has failed to provide for that child’s maintenance,” he said.

“Men should feel very happy today that they could seek justice through the courts to ensure that their children or their child get the support that is necessary,” he said.

He stressed that the Bill will ensure that whether it was the man or the woman who made the mistake, the child will be provided for.

The Bill provides that not less than $25 per week must be provided for maintenance of a child.

Speaking on the Bill, Representative for the Eighth District Honourable Marlon A. Penn said that he has discussed the option of garnishing of wages as an option over sending men to jail.

“There must be clear mechanisms to ensure the funds get to where they need to be,” he said. He called for the amendments to come to the House to allow for the garnishing of wages.

9 Responses to “HoA passes Bill to allow for equality in child maintenance”

  • power (26/09/2014, 16:58) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dem women want equlity dem get equlity
  • Pool Has no water (26/09/2014, 20:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    big step
  • Watch it! (27/09/2014, 08:22) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Amazing the NDP getting rid of the Att General who has done so much
  • Outspoken (27/09/2014, 08:34) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a step in the right direction but my only concern is, it is high time we move away from that $25 per week, that simply cannot suffice anymore.
  • father (27/09/2014, 09:56) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Thank God cause I pay my money and can't even see my child, they do what they want no input from us, might as well we support a child in Africa cause they tell you more than these woman here, the court have given women too much lead way and the only part of the order they inforce is collecting our money they don't give a rats about weather we see our kids , thats my 2 cents
  • Father2 (30/09/2014, 10:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What is so important and celebrating about. Its not automatic that you share custody of your own children, those that want to be part of there children lifes. So celebrate that you still have to spend another $800.00 to submit the same custody battle that should be automatic in Magistrate court. If i have to pay or go jail well, why should It be a separate herring to sort out visitation rights. U all r full of F..k! FATHERS GETTING FED UP. WHAT IF WE RESORT TO TAKEN OUR YOUTHS. THEN IT WILL BE KIDNAPPING . BUT WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS SOONER THAN LATER.
  • fed up wit it all (30/09/2014, 22:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Somebody please tell me in which country these politicians living in?????? Where in bvi a child is considered maintained with $25 a week? Thats some bull! I dont care who u is man or woman that cant even feed the child! My god man wey dem live?
  • VGMWA (04/10/2014, 17:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If a man has to wait for the court to tell him to support his child, something is wrong. The court can only do so much, it cant make the fathers love their kids, say an encouraging word to them, hug or kiss them. Money is not all. Lord have mercy on these children and WOE unto these men.

    Life is a boomerang, what goes around, comes around, these kids will automatically do the same thing (hope not)
  • vgmwa idoit (04/10/2014, 19:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    First of all Kids is small goats. Some as I use the word some because when u say men you mean all. Some women are the cause of all this confusion. The system is not equal until its mandatory once your paying child support for what may have been the circumstances you should automatically be issued visitation wrights . TELL ME WHY NOT.


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