Fact: Family courts bleed fathers to death as they force them to pay absurd percentages of their gross income for child support; if you have any doubt about it, just read the recent comments on this blog.
Fact: On May 30 of this year, the settlement between actress Halle Berry and her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry was approved by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gordon. Berry will pay $16,000 a month in child support, or $192,000 a year to Aubry for their six-year old daughter. Let see: that’s almost enough to pay – each year !- the tuition for a four-year degree in the most expensive U.S. universities.
Some will see in this agreement a great victory for justice on the grounds that a woman – and a famous one- has to pay child support like the rest of us. I for one would not agree. I see a saddening consistency between the Berry-Aubry’s settlement and traditional child support policy for the commoners. The commoners, in their vast majority, are poor, and the poor being poor,are not supposed, according to family courts, to figure out how to make their kids happy. That’s why family courts are there for: Tell the poor chap what to do and squeeze the last dime out of him. On the other hand, family courts have no problem with rich folks, provided a privileged kid remains a privileged kid. Thank God, Halle Berry’s daughter will. These two parallel facets of paternalistic child support’s policy are always carried out in the name of the best interest of the child.
Fact: There is a Piketty mania going on in this country, but obviously family courts have not heard about it. This Piketty mania spreads from Thomas Piketty’s last book , Capital in the Twenty- First Century, which talks about a wealth inequality fever particularly acute in America. Nobody is saying that family courts are in the business of correcting for wealth inequalities. At least, they ought not help reproduce them, while stamping the seal of justice on absurd child support payments that secure a kid the standards of living he’s born with.