Open Letter to Attorney General Marshall – Cry for Child Support Ease

Submitted by Kammie Holder
Dear Dale Marshall,
Everybody getting some moratorium on payments. What about fathers who are now unemployed will incur arrears. Here is your opportunity to do right by children and society.
Why not enact that amendment to the Maintenance Act that speaks to Support In-Kind for the benefits are tremendous.
Extended families would finally get to help with the support of children both emotionally and financially, access issues would be a thing of the past, fewer men going to prison for contempt, decongestion of courts with the removal of cases going on for years and the elimination of the financial incentive for mothers to abuse children emotionally by keeping them away from loving fathers. Very often many mothers put men before the law courts and end us with less financially.
This is an opportunity for you to create a legacy of parental justice when your political history is written?
It is hoped all who may wish not to hear this plea humbly Ignore the messenger and focus on the message.
David King. Can you help me with this appeal.

53 thoughts on “Open Letter to Attorney General Marshall – Cry for Child Support Ease

  1. Are the financial needs of the child reduced during a lock down ? Surely the child’s needs are paramount ? Abuse is abuse, regardless of the source.

  2. @ Hal Austin at 1:03 PM

    I was wondering the same. This is probably indicative of the Barbados Condition. The press seems immuned to the subliminal messages they send.

    • @Vincent

      Try not to follow the blind. The blogmaster posted the article as received from Kammie. It has nothing to do with poor journalism. Have you red the logo on the image?

  3. @Kammie Holder “Extended families would finally get to help with the support of children both emotionally and financially”

    Right now there is nothing stopping extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews from helping to financially and emotionally support children in their families.

    Why do we seem to feel that a legal solution, a legal paper, a court order is the solution to everything?

    if you believe that a child is your grandchild, niece, nephew, cousin, etc, then step up and offer to help.

    For goodness sake don’t wait for a court order to do the right thing.

    Children’s need for food, shelter, clothing, etc. does not go away when daddy or mummy is unemployed. Unemployed daddies may have to ask for help from their own extended family in order to to keep up with their child support obligations.

  4. @ Vincent

    From Trinidadian Hindu nationalists, to Guyanese racist, to white images, all on a black-focussed blog. Some people will never learn. Unless something is spelt out in simple language the meaning flies over their heads. It is learning by rote, an inability to analyse independently. It is easier to use foul-mouthed language.

    • The blogmaster is free to use whatever judgement he sees fit. This blogmaster is not focused on colour, it should be on the issues.

  5. Another time the color of the person portrayed would be of the utmost significance, for now, to ask the system to be lenient on those black bajan men who are out of a job because of this pandemic, one has to be stupid as RH to quibble about the color of the child and not what the writer is pleading. One does not expect financial support to be forgiven in total, but can be paid at a later date when the fathers get back on their feet. The taxes collected at the gas pump when oil is being given away by OPEC some of that money can be used to help children of unemployed fathers who can demonstrate their predicament is pandemic related. It’s unfortunate that these men should have to worry about imprisonment when they have been working all their lives and supporting their children.

  6. Am I right in thinking there was widespread condemnation on BU of the editor of the Nation for putting pictures of a same-sex marriage on the front page, and on another occasion, one of a family row between the late David Thompson’s widow and mother?
    Do make-believe journalists have a freedom that ‘real’ ones do not?

  7. @ David BU

    We all see things from our perspectives. You claimed that right. Kammie claimed that right. Vincent claimed that right. Hal claimed that right. Whitehill claimed his right . Silly Woman claimed her right.
    You asked for our views. Is it not unreasonable to expect us to have the same views from a diverse of perspectives?

    • @Vincent

      Have no issue with different views being posted. Have a problem with others who would deny the same courtesy to the blogmaster.

  8. @ David BU

    My profession involves digging below the superficial. In a sense Silly Woman zeroed in on the fundamental issue and dealt with it more sensitively.

  9. @Davd the article mixes up two issues. The author clearly accepts that the economic crisis causing unemployment will result is an assessment for the arrears to be paid at a later date… so in fact this has nothing to do with covid per se.

    The author is using the covid problem and the resulting hardship to press his broader request for an “amendment to the Maintenance Act that speaks to Support In-Kind” for children supported between separated parents.

    Nothing wrong with his pressing his clams wherever and whenever he can but as @SS and @Vincent suggested: covid or not the child still needs support.

    He seeks reforms and I respect his continued, aggressive fight to get some more weight on his side of the scale.

  10. “What about fathers who are now unemployed will incur arrears”

    What about mothers that are now employed? I do not want to make this a man vs. woman thing. I just want to make the case that we may not be able to apply waivers based on gender or we may not be able to apply them at all. The responsibilities of both parents must remain intact.

    I must add that a dogmatic approach should also be tempered with common sense. Jailing mothers/fathers or trying to extract juice where there is none is of no use to the child.

    • @Dee Word

      No need for palaver.

      Almost 5000 people have been laid off in the hotel sector and else where. Fathers ordered to pay child support must do what in the prevailing climate.

      Leave the prolixing at the rh door.

  11. @ Theo Gazerts at 3 :23 PM

    “Trying to extract juice where there is none is of no use to the child”. That implies juices literally and figuratively speaking.Well said.
    In our justice system the judicial officer introduces the element of common sense, after reviewing all the facts and probation officers reports etc. My opinion is based on the court reports in the daily newspapers.

  12. @David BU

    Do what ever fathers, who do not pay child support by court order,do. Support as best they can. Which court in Barbados will jail a man for not doing the impossible?

  13. @ Vincent

    The truth is that in all Western Liberal democracies the principles underlying family courts are biased against men. The basic assumption is that the child, in whose interest they claim to operate, will be better off with the mother. Family courts penalise rogue fathers as a basic principle.
    A mother has to be really terrible for the father to be given custody. But, what I find interesting in wonderful world class Barbados, is that it is OK for the press to identify the children involved in the custody/maintenance row.
    That, I am afraid, in most jurisdictions is contempt of court and the offending editor faces a prison sentence. Remember the case of the Rasta who wanted home schooling? Not a word was said about the abuse by the press.
    All this was discussed on BU at the time.

  14. All the time? Not from my reading of the reported cases. Nor evidence from primary sources. Both parents need to stop using children as pawns in gender battles. It is the children that are the losers.

  15. Fathers who are unable to pay on time, who are waiting for their unemployment insurance which in any event is a lesser amount should not be punished by the mothers or the courts for paying late or paying short for the time being. But every father who is able to pay from unemployment insurance, savings, borrowings from his family of origin, can provide food from family land etc. should pay as much as they can for as long as they can.

    Children have to eat.

  16. @Hal Austin April 17, 2020 4:13 PM “Family courts penalise ROGYE fathers as a basic principle.”

    Rogue fathers deserve to be penalised.

    Rouge mothers too.

    In fact ALL rouges deserve to be penalised.

    That is why judicial systems exist. To penalise rogues.

  17. @David, your shock and awe distresses me more than anything…when is it OK to riposte with unnecessary (feigned) indignation to a practical remark.

    I am completely lost how it is palaver to respond to the point raised that author Holder ‘misstates’ COVID’s impact on the child support matter….David, if this was a hurricane, or any other force of nature event that had caused the unemployment would the situation NOT be the same…so what DOES COVID specifically have to do with this….

    Did you had too much blog rum today or something!

    Of course Almost 5000 people have been laid off in the hotel sector and else where and of course Fathers ordered to pay child support will be the ones screwed but in the name of commonsense is it prolix to ask Mr Holder to tell the blog what exactly this has to do with the “amendment to the Maintenance Act”

    If you are saying that the Bajan courts routinely jail unemployed men who cannot pay their child support with your “It happens all the time” then I STILL ask what does that have to do with COVID per se… if so, then that’s an ingrained and very difficult Family Life issue in Bim’s legal circles and for damn sure it will NOT be taken up now or resolved now.

    Mr Holder has every right to press his legitimate clams for a better judicial process…COVID has made it worst and so he rightly complains but come now David, you cant be that ridiculously devoid of proper analysis to resort to stupid cussing now can you! Step up!

    BTW, as you know bro, you can leave that false indignation at the DOOR…this is a BLOG remember…BLOGS do PALAVER remember…we dont legislate, appoint judges or ease regulations…we PALAVER… remember, I remind you again 🙂

  18. Family courts penalise rogue fathers as a basic principle….(Quote)

    @Hal Austin April 17, 2020 4:13 PM “Family courts penalise ROGYE fathers as a basic principle.”…..(Quote)


  19. Silly Man, Silly Woman’s “ROGYE” could be a simple mistake. The Y and U keys are next to each other and she may have pressed the Y by mistake. It happens to all of us, even you.

    Here your words some to haunt you again.

    Some of us can spend our time more usefully by adding value to discussions instead of ferreting around for nonsense to prove a petty point. {Quote}

  20. @Hal Austin April 17, 2020 5:57 PM “Family courts penalise rogue fathers as a basic principle….(Quote)

    @Hal Austin April 17, 2020 4:13 PM “Family courts penalise ROGYE fathers as a basic principle.”…..(Quote)


    My dearest Hal:

    You are not my editor.

    You are not my teacher.

    You are not my husband.

    You are not my father.

    You don’t rice me.

    So get lost do.

  21. Some of these comments are off, devoid of reasonableness and practicality,

    Sorry, many of you are missing the point. Every Tom, Dick and Harry, Sam Poochie and De Duppie getting a moratorium of financial obligations. Why cannot parents?

    Children will still eat for that parent can still use Support In Kind thanks to kindness of others sympathetic to their obligation.

    Why is it so difficult to objectively look at the plea? Cognitive bias, perhaps.

    Can a family not provide a basket of goods for a child. We are so hooked on money that it seems we only want the monthly cash flow. No wonder family courts are in a constipated mess.

    Is it fear for a man or woman who has become unemployed to incur arrears on child maintenance?

    Before it was so damn easy to run and to put another parent in court, Support In Kind was the norm. The grandmother, uncles, aunts and many others contributed, the said things the money from child support buys.

    This has nothing to do with a cop out for any parent who has a moral obligation to look after the needs of his or her offspring.

    Let me shout below.. as many seem far removed from reality and are totally oblivious to what really happens.

    A man told me he gave his two kids some of his birthday cake and it was thrown away in front of him when he dropped off the kids. Many men have reported instances where groceries were rejected or thrown back at them as money was preferred. Many paternal connections are erased because of Parental Alienation, let’s not be so naive it does not happen.

    We need to get with it and stop seeing Child Support as only money…

    It’s easy to trivialize this plea or even juxtapose it with a hurricane. This is not a hurricane and if it was a hurricane and major disruption caused such major layoff I would have made the same plea.

    Perhaps we will embrace more objectivity and not just take every thing at face value as a country.

    Too many of us lack empathy and only show show real concern when it hits home directly or indirectly.

    @David King, thank you for posting as is. I will be relentless in my pursuit for equality, fairness and justice of parents mainly good non threatening supportive fathers as Gynocentricism looks after mothers even the ones who emotionally abuse their kids.

  22. @ Kammie at 8 :26 PM

    May I humbly suggest that you shift your focus from justice and equality for parents to justice for children who end up as victims of the separation of their parents?

  23. @Mr Holder, please check YOUR objectivity first and not let your anger and frustration lead you to make irrational remarks.

    All who posted above (as I read) did so with a clear understanding of the overall dynamics. A key question was : are Bajan men given jail time if they become unemployed and cannot fulfill their support obligations.

    The point I raised was simple….and if you read CAREFULLY you would understand that it was that a father before the courts on a child support judgement should be accorded the same considerations that he would if his employment was badly affected by ANY force of nature/act of God event…. are you saying there are NO SUCH considerations made?

    If a man loses his job via an unforeseen event like this or a hurricane then it’s ridiculous that the law would punish him with jail for outstanding child support….on the other hand, If he is unemployed because he directly chooses NOT to look for work then he deserves to be penalized for his outstanding obligations.

    And of course marital disputes can often become VERY, VERY contentious… we understand that… more of us have been ‘there’ in some way than we would readily admit… so minimize the lectures, bro…. Any man of our quite older ages who does not grasp the ferocity that can flow from a woman scorned by a broken marriage/relationship is an idiot … few of that description congregate here!

    Your issue of non-monetary compensation is clearly a long term debate that has NOTHING to do with COVID … press your claim relentlessly surely.

    Amazingly you took general support (certainly mine) and called it lack of objectivity… so again respectfully I would suggest you stop and reflect more carefully before you fire off!

    And … if more of us – myself included – would examine carefully the dynamics and personalty of the lady we impregnate then we would avoid the pain, anger and absolute frustration of seeing our children being manipulated in a way that will be detrimental to their long term growth…and being quite powerless to modify … I wish you luck with your court battles!

  24. We have to watch out for the passive/aggressive tyrants who pose as reasoned debaters. But, fundamentally, the interest of the child must come first and if the mother (the usual custody parent) is hostile, instead of going before the court, there should be a court-appointed arbitrator to settle any rows.
    But the children come first, second and third, not the egos or hurt feelings of the parents. But this unresolved has been going on since the 1950s, it is not new.
    In the absence of a family court, the late Magistrate Bourne used to hear all child support cases. What we need is our legal historians to document all those old cases to give us guidance.

  25. 75 cases located, 5 deaths to date.

    We owe Dr. Gale and the Cancer Society a debt of gratitude.

    … and it isn’t as contagious as was at first imagined.

  26. What is the Job of an AG in Barbados? Child Support Czar ? When he cant even support Rule of Law and crooks in office all over Barbados, A Green Monkey can Be AG in Barbados!

  27. @ dpD at 10 :47 PM

    I concur. A very tightly argued case for reexamining what the fundamental issues are. We have a tendency, by leger de main, to introduce our agenda under very different captions.

    Men and women need to be careful about the persons with whom they enter into relationships .Are their goals identical? Do they share the same expectations? They should ensure that head and heart are synchronized before connecting at the hip.
    Old fashioned. But it worked for us old codgers.

  28. Fathers should continue paying maintenance. Obviously if they have not currently got the money because of todays situation then they will be unable to pay unless they have savings. If they have savings they should continue paying. If they do not have savings then they should talk to the mother or guardian of the child and undertake to catch up on payments once working again.

    Remember the child is the innocent one in these matters.

    • They should pay maintenance until their savings is deleted and then what? They become vagrants and street bums? There is a misconception that all men ordered to pay child maintenance are buns.

  29. @Vincent no doubt that “Men and women need to be careful about the persons with whom they enter into relationships .Are their goals identical? Do they share the same expectations? They should ensure that head and heart are synchronized before connecting at the hip.”

    Not only old codgers tried that!

    But as my phone will synch perfectly with my PC but then bruggadung the connection is lost causing a reboot to re-synch so too relationships lose their synchronization … I can blame FLOW or Rogers or AT&T or Vodafone for the broken connection (external force) but sometimes it’s a screw-up with the modem at the home or how you handled the devices (ie ant’t got a thing to do with external forces)…

    Unfortunately in many case those personal ‘reboots’ never synch properly ever again.!

  30. Again many have failed to grasp the underlying benefits and rationale of this plea. No wonder our socialization is so geared towards acquisition of money, that our youths live what they see and hear that they have become socialized to believe, acquire money at all cost.

    Our social intelligence coupled with the belief that money is the only form of acceptable Maintenance sees children emotionally abused while their emotional wellbeing is ignored. Very often Support In Kind equates monthly to much more than a minimum pittance $75 weekly at the lower scale.

    How much of financial maintenance actually is spent on children?

    What is wrong with Support In Kind which removes the singular focus that child support is only about money.

    Yes men can apply for amendment of order. Oh …when will that date come and the adjournments is another issue. Judiciary Officers have being trying of late but lawyers are an albatross. A father applied for custody of his child as mother drug usage saw child abandon and mother having to seek treatment..over a year and matter still unresolved. Jesus Christ, you mean reports confirmed mother irresponsible yet child still with mother. The resolution of these matters are sometimes compounded by some lawyers who behave like financial mercenaries as the Legal Aid fees are their only source of income.

    If I do not make an appeal will MESA, Mens Fellowship or MENS do it….they do not have the balls for they will not do anything that would have them offend the status quo irrespective of how noble and just a cause it is.

    Our society is becoming one of extreme hypocrisy laced with chronic pretentiousness for the social invites and access to largesse seem more important than speaking the hard unpalatable truths.

    Never will I compromise my conscience to respectfully speak the truth irrespective of who may be offended.

    My concern is genuinely for those fathers who are concerned and feel lawyers and the system are takkng them for a ride.

    Who cares about the Non Threatening, Supportive Fathers who before were hardly making ends meet? Unfortunately it’s not election time so no empathy will be shown or promises will be made to ensure equity, fairness or justice. 2023 is just around the corner nevertheless…the history of this plea will be here for all to see.

    Politicians are not to be so arrogant and not listen to the concerns of the citizenry or proactively enact legislation to be relevant for the times. Very often laws are imposed upon us in stealth, thus why cannot the parliament of Barbados also do something across the board for fathers….so stop the pessimistic myopic excuses…Oh nothing personal just my passion of life persona.

    • @Charles Skeete, You begs our indulgence as you revisit the color issue, I anxiously read on looking for something spectacular; out came this warmed over bull shit about your times around the courts and not seeing white men there on child support issues., Hell, Mr Skeete, I have never been incarcerated at Dodd but I’ve heard not too many white men are up there. Does this means that they don’t commit crimes punishable by a stay at Dodd? I don’t want to rehash the case of those white men: the one who shot his son and those on the boat from Grenada with drugs, take the drug charges of the white man and how it was dealt with relative to the heavy handed way in which a black boy with a spliff is viewed by the same black ass Magistrates. Anyway Mr Skeete, please, if you can’t stand with the brothers who are being castrated by the court, maybe you should stand to fuck down, leave this conversation alone, pop in on another topic. Finally, this shit with you Bajans with regards to white people must stop, you have any idea how many times I have been treated indifferently relative to white men at restaurants and hotels by black women in Barbados? Less some schmuck chimes in that it was maybe my attitude, let me say, not only me but often the other blacks seeking service at these establishments.

  31. Since at a point in time the discussion did intellectually drift into color
    My focus would continue in that vein because I see it as indictment of men of my color who deliberately fail to accept their fatherly responsibility of supporting their offspring
    I do not know if the situation is the same in the white community where children as must be the case as well born out of wedlock but in all my years around the courts have never seen a white man before the court for child support

    • This is a narrow perspective. Couples separate through divorce for example and maintenance arrangement has to be put in place. It does not mean the actors are bad parents, the the man is a deadbeat father.


  32. @John April 18, 2020 8:29 AM “We owe Dr. Gale and the Cancer Society a debt of gratitude.”

    I rarely agree with John, but I agree with his sentiments about Dr. Gale.

    Dr. Gale was relentless in his anti-smoking campaign, he never seemed to tire. But at the same time he was always so charming.

    I believe that he is largely responsible for the significant drop in smoking rates in Barbados.

    May he rest in peace.

  33. @Charles skeete April 18, 2020 2:04 PM “I do not know if the situation is the same in the white community where children as must be the case as well born out of wedlock but in all my years around the courts have never seen a white man before the court for child support.”

    Well you have never seen probably 95% of black Bajan men before the court for child support either.

    The population of Barbados is predominantly black (92.4%) …2.7% of the population is white. Of that 2.7% white about half are female, so white Bajan males comprise about 1.35% of the population, about half of that 1.35% are too young or too old to have young children in the house, so we are left 0.675%, of that number let us say that 90% willingly support their children, so we are left with 0.0675% of white bajan men who may appear in court for child support matters.

    Why are you surprised then that you have never seen that 0.0675%?

  34. There is probably somebody in Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, New Hampshire, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, Maine, Idaho or Montana wondering how come they see so many white men in court for child support matters, and nary a black man.

  35. What i am drawining from this article men who have been good fathers to their children and have taken their child care responsibility to paying child support
    If this is the case i would force to belive that the mother and extended family mothers would understand the father position of being unemployed and would not hold it against him
    Dont really understand the need for asking govt to become a temporary take caretaker for the child
    What if the father does not get a job again ?
    In all probability i belive that under these circumstances the court would look at the fathers record of providing maintenance and give a fair assessment towards in accepting his challenges in this time of crisis
    Outside of providing welfare for families in hardship govt does not and should not become in having laws which provide monthly payment fees for fathers
    This set a precedent for lazy fathers who would try to scam the system

  36. To many comments to pour through on this one. But, THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING MY TRUTH!!
    In case anyone is unaware, the CARES funds specifically stated that fathers with any amount in arrears will not receive their funds. My state also pays unemployment straight to the child support program instead of the person filing in the case of arrears.
    That’s two sources of emergency funds that people (read: mostly fathers) are being denied in this time of national crisis.

  37. The death of court reporting. Whatever happened to shorthand? It is important to note that in England and Wales, a contemporaneous report of a court hearing, ie shorthand, is accepted as evidence, whereas a tape recording is not. It will be interesting to see how this is played out in Barbados.
    It is but a short step from an audio recording to introducing television cameras in the courts, so trials will become daytime entertainment. Why not go the full hog and hang people on camera for ratings? We are dumbing down at every level.

    A proposal to allow journalists to record court hearings is under consideration following a submission from Barbados Association of Journalists and Media Workers (BARJAM) to Attorney General Dale Marshall.
    That was one of the initiatives the group announced on May 3, World Press Freedom Day. It said following the request for reporters to do audio recordings of proceedings in court, it was informed that the matter was forwarded to the Registrar of the Supreme Court for discussion with the judiciary.
    “We look forward to a favourable outcome,” said president Emmanuel Joseph. His comments were contained in a press release to mark World Press Freedom Day in which he also saluted the “hard-working and productive members of the reputable media fraternity in Barbados”.
    “I say to all media personnel, especially the front-line reporters and photographers and their media houses, stand up and take a bow for weathering the COVID-19 storm which is still raging, to keep this country abreast of developments surrounding this devastating virus. Your day will come for reward in this generally thankless profession,” Joseph said.
    He stated that while the COVID-19 virus has blocked a number of plans and programmes by BARJAM, including this month’s media awards, there was progress on others. The association made successful representation to the leadership of a key organisation which had on two occasions in February and March, turned away media workers after notices had been sent to the media houses.
    “Based on the proposals outlined in the entity’s response letter to us, following what they described as a series of miscommunications, and once they act on their measures, the conflict between media professionals and the organisation is unlikely to happen again.
    “I can also state that a window of hope has been opened for the news media and the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) to work more closely together in a mutual and respectful partnership of information flow. I cannot say anything more specific at this time, except that I represented BARJAM earlier this year where I was invited to address an interactive session for security operations personnel of the BDF during a one-week training workshop in which media relations was a key component,” Joseph stated.
    Still at the top of BARJAM’s agenda is the establishment of a Benevolent Fund to assist members who fall on hard times and the need for Government to introduce that long-mooted Freedom of Information Bill into Parliament.
    The media body was recently admitted to sit on the UNDP’s Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme National Steering Committee for Barbados. The programme offers financial and technical support to civil society organisations for community-driven projects that contribute to conserving global biodiversity, adapting and mitigating global climate change, protecting international waters and preventing land degradation. (Quote)

  38. “In case anyone is unaware, the CARES funds specifically stated that fathers with any amount in arrears will not receive their funds. My state also pays unemployment straight to the child support program instead of the person filing in the case of arrears.”

    Not getting your point. Are you saying the state should ignore the child and give money to the deadbeat Mom/Dad?

    Note that it is a question.

  39. On his last appearance on the CoVid communications task force, the attorney general was asked what appeared to be an interesting question, which went largely unanswered.
    He was asked if someone had a visitation order from the family court which the CoVid Emergency regulations were in danger of hindering, which one should the person obey.
    With a grin on his face, the attorney general meandered around the authority of the courts and mumbled something about obeying the court order.
    In a society with 70 per cent of children born out of wedlock, this question goes right to the heart of the social crisis in Barbados.
    Was he right?

Leave a comment, join the discussion.