The law’s focus on families

There’s so much buzz in the legal community these days about family related issues. There’s the recently tabled Family Justice Bill along with the vibrant debate about maintenance for men (for the record I’m generally opposed save in extreme circumstances where the man is incapacitated or where the man is going to be the primary caregiver and his ability to seek a livelihood is severely compromised as a result. Else my personal experience is that in most cases even women who earn more than the husband also contribute more to the family and children than the husband so why should she be penalised for being able to make more money. Lest I be accused of being overly protective of my own kind, I should say that I am also opposed to the laws on maintenance for the wife as they stand now. In today’s Singapore, most people (save for those incapacitated or suffering other extenuating circumstances), man or woman, should be able to make a living for themselves. Just as I don’t think a man who makes less just because he is less able or more lazy should get maintenance, so too I don’t think a woman who decides to bum and live off her ex-husband should be allowed to do so. That said, maintenance for children is necessary and reasonable and some kind of equitable adjustment for contribution towards the family and children is also desirable (i.e. if one party has care and custody and as a result needs to work shorter hours, then maintenance for that parent to compensate partially for that loss is reasonable).

Also saw today debate about surrogates, which I always found wrong but can understand is an attractive choice for people who may not be able to carry a child to full term on their own. Hard one to legislate on!

Lastly, not directly related to families but another update that caught my eye was an article expressing concern about generating sufficient revenue to cover rising healthcare costs. More people should be thinking along the lines of these authors. Too much of of what I’ve seen on the internet is just commenting that the government is not doing enough. Perhaps these people making demand after demand really need to stop and think where would the resources to meet those demands come from.

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