PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – USP Candidate for the upcoming Parliament election, Gromyko L.N.V. Wilson, has raised some concerns over the process specifically related to the application request for Child Support by single parents and the Legal Guardianship of a minor, which requires the party requesting legal support via legal counsel or lawyer so they can write the official court petition.
This will create an extra financial burden on the parents/guardian to pay legal counsel plus court fees, which are requirements in the application process.
The process dictates that the application can be submitted to the Court, by a lawyer, applicant or the Court of Guardian. If the Court of Guardianship does the application process for the parent/guardian they will be exempt by law to pay the court fee. The applicant will have no financial burden.
In his weekly Sunday Chat on Facebook Live, Wilson criticized the process which he observed in its current state adds additional financial and emotional strain. “Majority of these parents who apply for financial support from their co-parent are women. Women who are already struggling financially. So, to require them to pay, to ask for child support payment is not only unfair, but downright wrong,” he said.
“It is almost as if the system is designed to deter these women from seeking the help they desperately need or are being punished for ensuring that their partners take responsibility.”
According to Wilson, the issue needs to be addressed immediately and head on.
He noted that in Aruba and Curaçao, this application process is free of cost once the Court of Guardian does it for the applicant. “I urgently request that Minister of Justice Anna Richardson, as the Court of Guardianship falls under her portfolio, to look into the matter as soon as possible. If you think about it, somebody who gets arrested is appointed a free attorney if they cannot afford one, so why is the applicant of child support or guardian, who are trying to make a better life for the children being punished for doing so?”
Wilson said that this is one area he is passionate about and wants to see real change in. He will be focusing on it during his campaign, as many hard-working mothers have reached out to him with their experiences, and to add insult to injury, even after paying the fees and going through the legal process, there are no safeguards in place for the men who renege or default on the monthly payment stipulated by the Court.
“We need to have a complete review of the Court of Guardianship process to request child support and legal guardianship, to see what the challenges and bottlenecks are,” Wilson said. “By doing so, we can analyze where the true issues lie. For example, they are not rendering this service because of lack of manpower, legal research, tools, etc. Only by doing this and by looking at the complete picture can we begin to make the process better.”
The Gromyko Wilson weekly Sunday Chat can be viewed via Facebook each Sunday Live, and you are invited to join and participate. (The streaming time is 11:00am or 8:00pm)