I start this post by saying I am lucky. I am very lucky that both the The Brats have their Dad living with us. I say lucky as I know a fair few who aren't and who sadly, the Dads are reprehensible scumbags.
At any time that a couple decide to have babies, I would imagine for the majority its at a time when you're in love, and make the decision together, or, like Mini, they are a welcome and happy surprise.
However, for decades, having a child has not meant a couple, male, female or same sex, is guaranteed to stay together until one of you passes away. The notion of staying together for the children has long since become an outdated throwback.
In most cases, the parents are able to spit amicably, and whoever should be the one who takes the lions share of custody also receives money from the other for the upkeep of their joint offspring. Its what normal, mature people do.
But unfortunately, and I know from friends, that sometimes this doesn't happen. Sometimes people don't agree, and have to chase that money through courts, using the CSA.
Now, I have been told by these friends that the CSA can be a complete pain in the rear end, and it can take months, in some cases years to track down and shake them upside down until they pay what is right and proper for their child's upkeep. In some cases, they have been violent to their ex-partner or even their child, and thus, the parent left to pick up the pieces welcomes whatever help the CSA can give.
Cut to yesterday though, when up and down the land single parent's woke to find out the CSA is having an overhaul.
In fact, its being completely changed, and never one's to miss out on picking on the poor, the Tories have decided that, should you not be able to agree as an ex-couple, one of you will be expected to pay for the help of the CSA. Whether they get results or not.
Is it just me though who feels a lot of single parent's go through the annoyance of CSA because, financially, they are responsible for the child or children and they cannot afford to manage by themselves, and to make them pay is just not going to work for most?
I saw anguished tweets and facebook messages up and down the country. One friend has spent years and years waiting for any small amount (and it is tiny in most cases), only to find out her violent ex who has not so much as sent a word of concern for his children in near ten years and who has played no part in their lives in that time, who had to be chased and chased to pay up, is now going to, effectively, get off scot free.
Who would want to be in that situation if it took years to stump up the courage to leave? Yes, there will be those who argue that for the sake of the child or children you should be able to discuss a financial plan like adults without a tax payer funded agency to do it for you. But not every case is as simple as a former couple breaking up amicably. Some I dare say wont want their ex to even know what part of the country they live in.
I don't want to sound like Jeremy Kyle here, but there are enough lax and lazy parents out there who simply go through life having a football teams worth of kids with different partners and dumping the responsibility on someone else.
Doing this amounts to taking food yet again from vulnerable kids.
It means that one big deterrent will be gone, as most absent parent's will live safe in the knowledge their ex wont be able to afford to chase what is rightfully their child's money.
I say this CSA shake up should be scrapped, and if you must revitalise a much maligned agency, then do it to the detriment of the absent, non paying parent.
Not to the detriment of the poor kids already missing one parent.