France is launching a new government service that takes money directly from the bank accounts of parents who fail to pay child support. This move is targeted to help many families-vast majority of whom are single mothers—emerge from dangerous financial situations.
President Macron denounces deadbeat parents in a tweet
President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that unpaid child support is “an unbearable situation for hundreds of thousands of single parents.” He also visited the benefits’ agency in central France that is providing the service.
“Thank you for the measure,” a single mother of three told Macron, after detailing her experience, which included domestic violence and harassment from her ex-husband.
In a survey carried out by the French government, an estimated 30%-40% of child support amounts are either not paid, only partially paid, or paid too late.
Single parents represent one out of four families in France, 85% of whom are mothers. The measure hopes to prevent financial pressure, and threats sometimes exerted by deadbeat parents.
Other European countries face similar issues
France is not the only European country dealing with parents that refuse to pay for child support.
In neighboring Belgium, the government took action by creating a special service that helps people in the legal cases against partners that refuse to pay for child support.
In Czech last year, the government proposed a program to guarantee payment of child support to single parents, which will become effective on July 1. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs estimated that the state will initially cover child support payments of up to 3,000 Czech koruna ($140) a month for about 24,000 children.
In many other countries, like Greece, Spain and Portugal, the cases are usually handled in courts at high amounts, which often leads to long delays before any decision is made by the law.