In many countries, the financial ramifications of a divorce are only marginally regulated, often compounding an already difficult situation.
If parents decide to split up emotions can run high. While there are likely myriad practical issues that have to be arranged, child support is one of the most important which needs to be addressed. However, in many countries there are no clear standards on how support payments should be established. Therefore, lawyers may be tempted to ask for too much money, usually from the father. In contrast, the father has an incentive to offer an amount which may be much too low.
Benefits of a cooperative settlement
Ideally, both parties to the divorce can remain cooperative and reach a reasonable settlement, which will properly provide for the children. This means that life can continue as normal as possible; the father regularly seeing the children and the mother getting child support and housing. Such cooperation between the parents will benefit not only themselves, but, more importantly, it will benefit the children.
Consequences of difficult divorces in countries with little social security
However, in many cases of divorce, the relationship between the mother and father has deteriorated to the point that neither party is willing to cooperate. In countries with little social security, this can lead to serious repercussions. Although things are changing, many women still have far less earning capacity than men. For those women, a difficult divorce often means they lose their safety net. If there is no agreement, other sources of income have to be secured. This could result in their sons being forced to quit school and start working, while their daughters are pushed to marry at an early age.
Establishing a reasonable amount of child support
As the children often bear the consequences of a difficult divorce, it is important to come up with a clear standard which would allow the parties to establish a reasonable amount of child support. In many countries, formulas for child support already exist. These could serve as a starting point of the process of developing clear standards for calculating of child support payments.