When: this very moment!
Where: wherever you happen to be will do
Why: I got a child support payment!
How: keep up the good work, Maintenance Enforcement Program
My ex pays child support like medieval people took baths: once a year, whether I need it or not. Yup, it's pretty stinky, but you really do get used to it after a while. Truth be told, he doesn't actually even pay that willingly, it's just that his tax return comes directly to me. One year I got just under twenty-five dollars on my annual payment but 2011 must have been a whopper of a year for him: I got about three hundred bucks on his tax return. I can almost pay lunchroom supervision fees for half the school year with that! Win!
It's fun to do the math then announce the findings in an infomercial announcer voice:
'For less than the cost of one venti soy extra-hot caramel macchiato per week, you too can "support" (wink, wink) your child!'
'Many Canadians spend hundreds of thousands of dollars raising their children, but if you call now we'll give you the same amount of genetic fitness for a fraction of a fraction of the cost!'
'Why pay more when you can simply defer your responsibility to the fair taxpayers of this fine country?' (This is not the case for me but he happens to have two more children by another woman who has a far less lucrative job than I do, plus he has recently moved in with a childless twenty-something woman so I expect that additions to his brood are likely forthcoming.)
But MEP, being the terribly effective bunch they are, have imposed some Very Serious Penalties on the ol' ex in hopes of encouraging him to cough up some cash, to wit:
- If he a) ever does any work b) that's not paid under the table c) and for which taxes are deducted d) and he files a tax return the next year, then the Government of Canada delivers his tax return directly to me.
- If he ever is inclined to give up video games and take up hunting and fishing - legally, that is, and assuming he could ever find enough change in the couch to buy a fishing rod - boy will he be in for a surprise because he's not allowed to get a hunting or fishing license.
- I will be paid out all the back support owed to me, 100% in full, in one easy payment... if he ever wins the lottery.
Aaaaand... that's it. That's their plan. (More announcer voice: Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program - capturing all those hard-working, hunting-and-fishing, lotto-winning deadbeats out there in one fell swoop.)
I can't help but wonder, does anyone else think the program might be more effective if its mandate was to provide vasectomies to men who clearly are unable to fulfill their legal obligations to the children they already have?
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