$81,000 owed

Lawyer appeals for relief for mother of two

A mother of two young children is now owed $81,000 in unpaid child maintenance over the past eight years, her attorney claims.

While complaining bitterly that the woman was yet to receive “one blind cent” of the outstanding amount, attorney-at-law Arthur Holder Sunday night suggested that the two delinquent dads –– who both reside in St John –– were not the only ones to blame, since neither had yet been summoned to appear in court.

Arthur Holder

“It is a ridiculous thing,” Holder told Barbados TODAY after initially highlighting the plight of the unemployed woman and her family at a political meeting of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Sunday night.

“You know what is eight years and you not getting a cent? It is a disgusting thing,” he said, while blaming Government and in particular Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite for the current shortage of court marshals in the country’s legal system.

Holder, who is preparing to contest the next general election on a BLP ticket, suggested to those attending the Opposition’s meeting at the George Lamming School that Brathwaite could easily remedy the situation by invoking Section 9 of the Special Constables Act.

The statute currently provides for island constables to issue summonses in the same way that court marshals do.

However, Holder complained that while his client and her children –– ages six and nine –– were being made to suffer, the Attorney General continued to sit on his hands with there being no immediate end in sight to the desperate family’s eight-year plight.

Efforts to reach Brathwaite for comment today were unsuccessful.

However, back in 2014 when he tabled the Maintenance (Amendment) Bill, Brathwaite had taken the opportunity to remind fathers of the roles they needed to play in their children’s lives.

Adriel Brathwaite

“We accept that, as a society, there are many single-parent households and we must remind fathers of their responsibility which goes beyond paying money for the child. It is about being a father. When you drill down into the experience of many young men, that male guidance is missing. We want to encourage all fathers to be fathers even if the relationship with the mother has ended. There is something about the male bond that is innate,” he said at the time.

Brathwaite had also recalled a concern repeatedly expressed by the Men’s Educational Support Association that fathers were asked to pay maintenance but were being deprived of access to their children.

He had also lamented that there were mothers who did not know the correct names of their children’s fathers or even who the fathers were.

“With the advent of DNA testing, Government is making it easier by ensuring that the cost would be shared by both parties. I know first-hand of a case where a gentleman was paying maintenance of a son for 14 years, and because of a default in paying up the maintenance a test was done and it was shown that he was not the father. There are, unfortunately, many incidences where paternity is an issue,” Braithwaite had said in addressing the issue of paternity.

Nearly three years later, an upset Holder told Barbados TODAY that very little had been done since then to address the plight of those children whose fathers had abandoned their responsibilities, leaving them at the mercy of the court.

He explained that in his client’s case, the $81,000 was broken down into $54,000 and $27,000 for each of the two fathers of the children whose identities and that of their mother was deliberately withheld for their protection. However, the outspoken attorney-at-law revealed that the mother had been unemployed for a while and forced to rely on welfare.

However, Holder said even that process has been fraught with difficulties, despite his numerous interventions on their behalf.

He also warned that his client’s situation was just the tip of the iceberg, since they were many more families in legal distress.

“I am told that no summonses are served in certain districts. So for example, for the past two-and-a-half years they ain’t got no marshal for St John,” said Holder, adding that “for the past three years there have been 23 vacancies in the court process office in relation to marshals in this country”.

43 Responses to $81,000 owed

  1. Sharon Taylor
    Sharon Taylor February 21, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Smart man… He picked a fight most women will back him in, some men will as well! The most sensible argument I have heard since candidates started campaigning! He will get the interest of the masses!

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine February 21, 2017 at 8:34 am

      I concur. Not because I am a woman, but because this candidate is hitting home at core value issues. He will do well in his bid for selection. Pity he has to be with the BLP hold machinery.

  2. M King February 21, 2017 at 12:46 am

    There is are simple solutions.
    Pass a child support law law to enable the following:
    1. Suspend Drivers Licenses.
    2. Suspend passports.
    3. Place a Judgement/lien on physical and Real Property.
    4. Freeze bank accounts.
    5. Send an order to their employer to automatically deduct from their paycheck.
    6. Any winnings from the lottery or racetrack deduct all arrears from the winnings first.
    Do this and they will pay up.

    • harry turnover February 21, 2017 at 7:14 am

      M.King….DNA TESTING SHOULD HAVE BEEN NUMBER 1 and while you are so interested in passing LAWS…pass a LAW that jf a child is put on a man …that the mother should be subjected to those SAME Laws or JAILED for every month the man has been paying child support and in addition be made to pay back EVERY FRIGGIN CENT to the man.

      • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 9:21 am

        @harry turnover. Please do not have anyone jailed for not paying child support, men or women. Then all of us (tax payers) would have to fund the cost of confinement.

        Instead, find work for them. So a woman is unemployed and the man owes child support. Shouldn’t men and women be made to contribute equally to the maintenance of a child?

        Seriously now. Two people would have co-operated in the effort to bring the child into this world. Why should only one party support?

        The mother that is owed this money should also be assisted with finding a J.O.B. to care for the children! Do not just sit and wait for child support money. Get up and find work!

        • Patricia Harvey February 21, 2017 at 12:44 pm

          Is the child eating and being fed every day? Who is doing it? We have this situation that is a holdover from slavery, that responsibility for the damage you sex organ has committed is an option if you are a man. A child cannot wait even one day for food, shelter and clothing. If it is receiving this from one party, it means someone is getting away with murder. I have never seen a hospital stick the name of a baby on a man. The man can run if he wants because the child is its mother’s.
          From home our men need to be taught a sense of responsibility and see children as human beings that are more important than their feelings, their money or any other thing. And where the home fails, the government should be stringent on this. I believe many of them need their cavalier ways beaten out of them one way or another.
          Time to realise that BABY FADA SYNDROME needs to be eliminated and just because men of every stripe in this country can wag their dog and get away with it does not mean that they have a right to throw away the child they helped to create. THEY NEED TO PAY, AND MONEY IS THE LEAST THEY CAN DO AFTER THE CHILD HAS BEEN CREATED.

          • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

            I would hope that the alleged fathers of the two children get tested to ascertain paternity. Both parents MUST parent financially and otherwise.

            Another thing, we women also need to be responsible and not open ourselves to have children for multiple men. We ought to make repeated errors.

            We need to take a serious look at ourselves and our lifestyles and change for the children’s sake.

            So yes, both parties MUST be made to pay, agreed.

            Both parties also need to be involved. Therefore, women need to desist from using the children as negotiating tools in order that the legitimate father have access.

            She needs a J.O.B. too so she can continue to do her part!! And yes as soon as paternity is determined by all means. Pay the sums owed!

          • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

            *Ought not to make repeated errors

    • Donild Trimp February 21, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Agree with 2,3,4,5,and 6.

      Suspending drivers license may cause more of a problem than solving it.

      If the delinquent person’s occupation is driving, suspending the driver’s license won’t make much sense.

    • hcalndre February 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      M KIng, all what you mention is being done in the US. The problem with barbados is that they hear about things being done but they don`t know how to implement them.

  3. Meakai February 21, 2017 at 1:15 am

    It is indeed disgusting that you would air the woman’s business on a political soapbox to score political points.

    Any man that refuses to support his children has psychological issues and need professional help. What manner of man can sleep comfortable at night if his child is hungry and suffering?

    A normal man would give his children his last and do without to ensure they do not go hungry. Women need to beware of these abnormal man and their silver tongues.

  4. Shadane Mayers
    Shadane Mayers February 21, 2017 at 1:55 am

    a lot more cases like that it needs addressing that system stinks

  5. John Wick
    John Wick February 21, 2017 at 1:58 am

    That whole system need overhauling and alot of women need checking out also

  6. judiesumaylo February 21, 2017 at 2:59 am

    The bad economy is now striking. Trading is one thing that helped me financially. Googling Superior Trading System is the best thing you can do if you want to learn how to trade.

  7. BaJan boy February 21, 2017 at 5:21 am

    @Meakai if you part time fathers would respect your children and ensure they are brought up in decent restful and godly manner by honoring not only your financial commitment he wouldn’t have anything to talk about. He is absolutely correct no one can identify the woman what we need are results by any means necessay from you dead beat dads…

  8. Doreen Waithe
    Doreen Waithe February 21, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Lol lol

  9. Rawle Agard
    Rawle Agard February 21, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Ànd cell phone to the list too

  10. Che Anika Percell
    Che Anika Percell February 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

    This mess didn’t start eight years ago. So if you are saying so for cheap political votes I got you covered because you politicians only know what’s wrong when you are in opposition

    • hcalndre February 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      @ Che, so what that has to do with 8 years ago, Was he the minister?

  11. Alana B February 21, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Time for men to demand DNA testing. It cannot be fair to have anyone pay child support for fourteen years and not have fathered this child. Where is this man’s redress? What action can the man take against her? Make her refund the money, all fourteen years worth?

    DNA Testing should be done. This cannot be right!

    • harry turnover February 21, 2017 at 7:25 am

      Well said Alana.I scroll down to see if any MAN would have mentioned DNA testing,but here you are… a WOMAN had to enlightened these so called men.
      I know of men who have supported children NOT THEIR own and some were told as soon as the child reached 18.Others were told before the child reached 18 but had not reacted BECAUSE they were so CONNECTED to the child that they couldn’t just ‘ let go” of the child so.
      ….and other men SUSPECTED but where afraid to check it out BECAUSE they knew that the result would have DEVASTATED them if it was not their child

      • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 9:11 am

        @ harry turnover. I have no choice but to call it as it is. I am tired seeing men subjected to humiliation because they cannot afford to question the paternity of a child until it is too late, since most cannot afford the $1500.00.

        I would suggest that men strengthen their efforts by being part of an association to highlight and address their concerns collectively. I am not saying I am against child support to be paid by either parent. I am saying that the law must address the concerns of both parents equally. We women ask for equality of treatment and equity and fairness but this should be across the board on all matters including matters relating to children.

        Access is another issue which needs urgent attention. Men need to DEMAND the right to bond with his child!!
        There are men who pay child support dutifully, yet, some women, acting upon emotion and indiscretion withhold access for reasons that can be labelled ‘baseless’. ‘Bitterness and spite’ get into the fray to the detriment of the child not having a fair opportunity to bond with his or her NATURAL father. That too CANNOT be right!!!

        • hcalndre February 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          Allana B; what the judges have to say to the other parent is, visiting rights or no support.

          • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm

            Fathers have a RIGHT to access their child/children! This is not about negotiating with Magistrates and Judges. This is about what is in the interest of the child.

            We women cannot father any child. We cannot!

            BTW, Men better ascertain how monies are being spent because some of us women claim that the children are in different kinds of extra curricular activities only to realize their children ceased going sometimes months afterwards. All evidence of dishonesty should be brought to courts as well.

            Demand visitation. Demand copies of school records so that you are informed of your children’s progress. Get involved in the affairs of YOUR children. Pay yes, but demand you right to parent!

        • Donild Trimp February 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

          Alana B, if a man cannot afford $1500.00 BDS for a paternity test he should not be having children.

          • Alana B February 22, 2017 at 6:33 am

            Good morning. @Donild Trimp. The point I am making here is that $1500 is a good investment to have a DNA test done. It may very well save some men more than $81,000 BDS or future financial demands for which he may not be obligated. If it turns out that a man is not the father of the child, then, he should also ask for a refund from the mother bringing the allegation. However, if it turns out that the man fathered a child, then, he should continue to make good as a parent meeting half of all financial and other obligations pertinent to the child.

        • Coralita February 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm

          Are you aware that people bring in the DNA testing kit from overseas and do what they have to do?

          I know of one such case and the man was able to prove that one child was his, the other was not. The one that was his, he gave his surname to that one.

  12. Jennifer February 21, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Here we go yet again these politicians making my people a pawn and a political football. Distracting the masses, it is like taking a ball and giving it to a child to go outside and play. How LONG was the system like this??? with government after government coming and going and doing NOTHING. While the whyte collar hog eating everything in site and the goat climbing high on every rock and when its way is not given they throwing toys to get what they want. While we the donkeys continue to carry the food on the backs. Mind you then we got on the other end, some house Negros especially the ones with the accolades who feel proud and acclaimed to be dining, drinking and living with them. Until you start to target the real problems such as Alice, Goldilocks, Pinocchio etc you will see no ease, ONLY SORROW. ALL of these politicians are looking for the same thing and doing the same thing, cause their hands are TIED. Notice two stories down from this one.

    And this STUD AND WOE thing is normal too.

  13. kathy-Ann Clarke February 21, 2017 at 8:12 am

    81’000.00, wooo, that’s a lot of cag, well I hope that when she eventually gets it, it is used wisely.

  14. Frank Lucas February 21, 2017 at 9:06 am

    DNA testing should be made mandatory and nuff of these women don’t let some of the fathers see the child. Children should not made to be suffer because of the ignorance of the parents. Sad world for our children to be coming up in, then we would be wondering why the children are the way they are.

    • Alana B February 22, 2017 at 6:49 am

      @Frank Lucas. Well said Sir!

  15. Meakai February 21, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Little Boy, what do you know about me? Of course you would see nothing wrong with anything a BLP politician does so you just airing yuh mout as usual.

    The man gave the age of the children, specific amounts owed, the number of fathers and where they live and yet you believe no one can identify her. Boy CYC!.

    You probably believe that confidentially and right to privacy are buzz words in Barbados. I say again boy CYC do!

    BTW, I duz see you and doan see you, please return the favour.

  16. US Citizen February 21, 2017 at 10:37 am

    A signed Acknowledgement of Paternity is the first step in requesting Child Support Children.
    Both parents need to sign and agree to this and have it witnessed and notarized as soon as the child is born. If this cannot be obtained then complete a DNA test.
    If the father is the custodial parent, then the mother needs to pay him to maintain the child.

  17. antoinette sealy February 21, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Ha ha ha . What about the BLP economic village-ram guru who fathered over 8 children before he got married and started wearing collar, tie and Jacket? How many has he supported over the years. Barbados is a real mock-sport country? Yes, I as a woman would like to see every child supported by the father. However the lack of child support spans the whole gamut of Barbadian society. Do you know how many middle class and upper middle class young ladies are struggling to make ends meet just because they don’t want to take the children’s fathers to court? Grandparents have to use their savings and N.I.S pensions to help out. As somebody rightly said , the problem hasn’t started 8 years ago. When will it end ? Nobody knows. May I remind Mr. Holder that the leader of his party , Madame Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C, was once the Attorney General of Barbados? What was done during her tenure to change the child support laws of Barbados? Think before you talk , Mr. Holder. Do you see why you were rejected at the polls lst time? Don’t just blow hot air. Don’t come with alternative facts. Bajans will see right through you. Will you and other defense lawyers refuse to represent delinquent fathers even after the DNA confirms that they are the rightful parents of the children? No way Jose. While he was representing the concerns of the mothers at Sunday’s meeting, other defense lawyers were on the ”blocks” looking for loopholes in the legal system to prevent delinquent fathers from supporting their children. I end by asking this question ”Is there anything known as an honest politician or an honest lawyer’?” My solution at this point in time of my life is to vote according to your conscience when you get at the polling booth. Mr. Grenville Phillips, you can add ” Child support” to Solutions Barbados manifesto. Your Party has never contested an elections, so anything you promise can be believed. lol

  18. Aneta February 21, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    A lot of Nick picking and name calling won’t solve the issues in this country. Wunna behaving like Donald Trump. This matter has been ongoing under both the BLP & DLP. Our judicial system is very poor and slow. Men need to understand that when u lay down with a woman and take the honey and a child comes out of that union, he should be held accountable don’t matter what. Same thing for women, if you wickedly claim a man father your child under falsehood, you should pay the highest fine

    On another note. We have lost our true identity. What the hell is “alternative facts” give me a break. Must all the negative be drawn from the silly American? Just saying

    • hcalndre February 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      @Aneta: Silly American? Smart and educated bajan, tell me about the inventors and scientist, just saying.

  19. Greengiant February 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I’m not in support of deliquent dads who won’t take care of their children, but some of these claims by women are in dispute. Now how did she find herself in this situation twice?

    Some of these same women treat good men like rags, and sweet boys like kings. This they do while their children suffer.

    • Alana B February 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      @Greengiant yes, these claims by some of these women are in dispute! Raise the red flag now please! Same situation, same parish?

      On point! The children are the casualties of the situation. They should not be made to suffer. It takes two to parent.

      Us women need to woman-up!

  20. antoinette sealy February 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    @ Aneta
    What is our true identiy? is it speaking and writing Bajan? My dear darling lots of words which never existed in the pre-Churchill era were introduced, accepted and printed in the Oxford dictionary which hopefully you used at Primary and Secondary schools. In the most recent edition, the word ”Phablet” appears and it is defined as a smartphone with a screen of a particular size”. Furthermore, a ”tweet” until recently was the chirp of a young bird. Now, Oxford dictionary defines it as a message posted on Twitter. In the next edition of Oxford, look out for ”Álternative fact and its synonyms ”. Feel happy with your identity “” Aw rite den” . lol

  21. Kheyali February 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Ok so not taking care of your responsibility is awful regardless of your gender.Next thing the child maintenance laws of Barbados is ridiculous. Men are able to rack up a huge bill in child maintenance fees,(which should be closely monitored by the courts, but it has to be tracked by the mother.The mother then calls to the authorities and ask a bailiff locates the person.. in most cases the person can never be located.If they are though they are taken into custody and ask that the overdue or a portion if it is paid.If not they are incarcerated for 6 weeks or longer.. then released. In some cases, the money is not paid And during this entire process, that child still has to get pampers, books, milk , etc !school etc! So that process needs evaluating.On the other hand.. what speaks out to me is this.. she has 2 kids 2 different fathers and she is unemployed. Is something wrong with birth control ? Why as women do we find ourselves in the same situation ? Because as a woman if I have one child that the dad is deadbeat Im not trying to repeat that action.. people change yes but getting more children does not help the situation..

  22. Tired February 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    All i will say on this is that men are dilinquents but men like me who deals with thier kids dont get a word in with a crying woman in my opinion i think the court should investigate those matters more so those who women put in court through spite can be freed from this same thing. Women can be very wicked some men who supports thier kids out of court and living with the kids still still go to jail which i view is very wrong

  23. Kammie Holder February 21, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Lawyers are also the problem and my namesake must also speak to the issue of men who are unemployed and sent to prison for contempt of maintenance orders. What about men paying maintenance and not seeing their kids?

    • Alana B February 22, 2017 at 6:44 am

      @ Kammie Holder. Please remember, it is the duty of an Attorney to seek the best interest of his or her client. However, an unemployed person cannot make good on any of their commitments. The Government of Barbados can seek to amend its laws to address finding such an issue by assisting in temporary unemployment relief efforts to ensure that the children do not become a burden on the States resources. Remember, there are also two (2) parents who has a duty to care for their child or children. Therefore, the mother of the child MUST in these circumstances continue to parent. This suggested even if the situation was reversed, that is if the mother is was confined for breach of a maintenance order.


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