November 1st, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Lawmaker Jose Roberto Rodriguez is pushing a set of amendments to the Child Support Act, in order to give better protection to men and to treat both men and women “equally” before the law.
Among the proposed amendments are the right to a public defender if the parent does not have the resources to pay for an attorney, and the application of several regulations to women that currently only apply to men.
Rodriguez said that current legislation does not treat men and women equally and that the law is routinely abused. Rodriguez said that current legislation is based on the premise that “the husband is the one primarily responsible for paying household expenses.”
“The truth is that both [parents] are required for the [financial needs] of the children,” Rodriguez added.
Included in the proposed amendments is an article that declares that the mother is obliged to contribute to the financial needs of her children jointly and proportionately as the father. For the first three year’s of a child’s life, this would be dependent upon the mother having the financial resources to do so; however once the child reaches three years of age the mother would be obliged to cover the costs of caring for the child in the same proportion as the father, even if unemployed.
Lawmaker and member of the Legal Affairs Committee, Carmen Muñoz, said she could not support the proposal. “What if a mother does not work? Are you going to pay a salary for the hard work the mother does at home?” Muñoz questioned.