Dateline: Germany, EU
By: Seuddeutsche & Feckless
Via: The Honor Network
Priority News Exchange Program News Item (PNEP)
Titled: “A child is not a sack of potatoes”
An interview by Thorsten Denkler of Mathieu Carriere, paternity
In a sensational action in June 2006 Mathieu Carrière was bind on a cross in front of the Justice Ministry to demonstrate for equal rights for fathers. We have reached the actor Mathieu Carrière in Venice, where he regularly visited his daughter. Carrière has been fighting a long time – even publicly – to have contact with his child. During this time he became an icon of German fathers movement.
Sueddeutsche.de: Mr. Carrière when parents split up, then there are two questions: Who gets the children, who should pay? What is your experience?
Mathieu Carrière: In Germany the child is the possession like a sack of potatoes of the parent with custody. She decides about visiting hours and the alimony. It would need escrow accounts for alimony payments for the children. Then the parents cannot buy Prada-bags of the money that the children deserve.
Sueddeutsche.de: Many women are dependent on the money. Without this, they cannot care for the children.
Mathieu Carrière: The question of the money is a false debate. It is good that the burden of separation should be shared equally. But the real scandal is that almost 90 percent of children of divorce in Germany become possession of the woman who let the other parent pay. Women are, after all adult people. After getting children they do not get unemployable.
Sueddeutsche.de: The law requires that mothers from a certain age should work.
Mathieu Carrière: They don’t have to, they should. This regressive rule is also assuming that women must be protected like a shrinking violet. In practice, no alimony payer can prove whether his ex-lovers has a rich lover or a new job.
Sueddeutsche.de: The CDU wants to prevent a new alimony law that forces young mothers, to go to work.
Mathieu Carrière: For God’s sake! Young mothers! They aren’t particularly weak. Mothers aren’t under the protection of species. With equal rights this kind of old idea has nothing to do with life anymore. I can only respond with Alice Schwarzer (German feminist) who has been preaching for 30 years: Women, emancipate from the mother role. “A child does not care by whom it is taken care of and loved. It has since no gender related needs. And a single father must also work. Paternity rights, alimony obligation.”
Sueddeutsche.de: Did paying alimony to two of your three children make you poor?
Mathieu Carrière: Poor, but not broken down. Here I am paying a lot of money to the mothers and for my children. But I know many, many fathers whose shops were destroyed, which had gone bankrupt, whose careers were ruined. The money prevents women from emancipating. If there are children, both parents should take equal care to their education and also to the financing. If parents believe that they could educate them alone, then they should also pay them alone.
Sueddeutsche.de: But many fathers are just happy that they have to take no responsibility for their children.
Mathieu Carrière: Those need to be forced to care for their children, too. But the case is much rarer than you think. A large part of the separation takes place at the initiative of women. Why not introduce a simple formula: Who’s going, has to pay more. Why is “equality” always understood that the men pay?
Sueddeutsche.de: What has to be changed for the purpose of the children?
Mathieu Carrière: First of all, separated parents must cooperate. Everyone in our society is free to leave their partner. But because of this freedom there is a responsibility to act in the interests of the child and not to turn the child into a gold mine.
Sueddeutsche.de: Should the state meddle?
Mathieu Carrière: It must. Separated parents are often advice-resistant. Everything is always done to protect the interests of children. But today in Germany the parent with custody is encouraged, to foil the contact of the child with the ex-partners. Penaltie payments are not enforced because the youth welfare office shows women that they get more money if they stoke the conflict. Especially children are suffering because of this system. And the disposed parent pays for the fact that he does not see his children.
For more click: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,tt1m4/de…el/489/106383/