HOW EFFECTIVE IS COMMITAL TO CIVIL JAIL IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGEMENTS OR IN THE PROCESS OF EXECUTION?

The process of execution is a very tedious experience coupled with unwilling defendants and conniving lawyers who always look for varying ways to circumvent the orders of the court.
All is meant to preserve the best interests of the child but the desire to wholly and exclusively protect the interests of the child might have had been triggered by some quite emotive aspects although devoid of any wrong or evil machinations.
This implies that the laws passed were totally geared towards protecting the child without taking into consideration other factors that might have culminated into the parents of the child failing to support him or her at that given time.
This has two facets. One is for the parents who were previously supporting the child impeccably but unforeseen situations have made it difficult to support such children albeit temporarily until the impeding matters are brought to a better resolve. The other aspect is where the parent has no resources at all yet they are committed to civil jail for child neglect.
It is the responsibility of the parents to equally provide for the child under the current laws. However, growing up, we never had enough and our parents actually provided for us predicated on what they got on that specific day. We never instituted any suits against our parents for their failure to provide for us on certain isolated occasions.
The lacuna is that nowadays, parents are abusing the current laws to gain undue advantage over the other parent or party who has somehow failed or been unable to provide for the child at a given time. This is resulting into suits where judgements are rendered as against the defaulting parties but at times, it is somewhat unfair and not even geared towards aiding the child but founded or premised on the parents own agenda or other hidden elements that have no nexus with the need or desire to protect the rights of the child.
An example is where the parent has been providing for the child really well and devoid of any omissions. However, some Acts of God or some afflictions such as diseases, fire, tempest or the actual loss of a job and one which was totally unprecedented results into such a parents failure to support the child albeit temporarily. The other parent, often premised on anger or some other sinister motive stemming from their ancient matrimonial difficulty, takes advantage of such a situation to avenge for self by instituting a case against the defaulting parent. It is a matter of vendetta under the disguise of the preservation of the best interest of the child.
Wise and prudent judges will totally dispense with such a case while some will discard such cases. It is a case of the law is as long as the chancellor’s foot.
In these cases, at times the defaulting parent will be committed to civil jail. How can he make good of the Plaintiff’s claim while he is incarcerated and without or with limited movement hence he cannot undertake any activities to try and secure some funds or work to be channeled towards the children’s support and maintenance?
The law seeks to fulfill or attain some well-defined ends, but the committal to civil jail is some lopsided mode of execution. It is narrow and with a single and mechanistic view where the solitary attempt to preserve the best interests of the child might result to the direct opposite.
Often, parents who have been perfect in the discharge of their parental duties are jailed for an indefinite period due to certain things beyond their control such as a random job loss or due to health implications. How is this committal to civil jail in the best interests of the child while the parent is behind bars hence not capable of undertaking any activity that would remedy or improve the present condition of the child?
The second aspect is that where the parent has always never had a job or any means of meeting their parental obligation hence their child neglect is down to poverty and not out of their will or ignorant and total abdication of their parental responsibilities.
If the law seeks to fulfill some end, then changes ought to be made. The child does not benefit from the parent’s committal to civil jail and the parent does not remit and funds or engages in any worthwhile activity while he is being reprimanded. Changes would include certain activities being undertaken behind bars by the parents where the revenue or proceeds are channeled towards the support and maintenance of the children.
Alternatively, the parents who have been previously contributing towards the support of their children should be accorded some allowance to try and recover or secure a job since at times such issues are not easy to anticipate hence such a punishment tends to be too severe and at the same time without necessarily aiding the child.
Committal to civil hail is therefore not the universal solution to all child neglect problems during the execution process. This also includes other judicial awards that do not take into context about the financial capacity of the defaulting parent. A parent or plaintiff can obtain a very good Judgement as against the Defendant who has no any financial muscle but it is all in vain as execution only results to committal to civil jail which does not yield any results whatsoever. Out of experience, it has happening frequently and parents are becoming exceedingly frustrated as the Defendant’s committal to civil jail is becoming futile. Some “defaulters” whether willing or unwilling, whether due to permanent lack or temporary inhibitions or whether founded on good or bad grounds are willing to spend their indefinite time in jail as they cannot take any steps to resolve the children matters or condition while still being in jail. However, any changes have to be in the best interests of the child.
There ought to be a better way of execution. Awards made as against such defaulters also ought to be reasonable. This is because some awards currently being made are very unenforceable hence giving the parents some false sense of hope. Proper steps should also be taken to ensure that parents who want to secure vengeance against the defaulting parents even though they know about their current predicament should be detected early. This is because some parents who initiate suits against others do so for bad reasons as indicated earlier. This is done against capable parents who previously have been very supportive of their children but their present temporary mire or problems have made it difficult to render any help at the given time.
It is all in the best interest of the child and a we pursue the same, why not make it more practical ,feasible and productive for our children other than be overwhelming emotive and come up with utopian laws which seek to fulfill no end and which is prone or susceptible to certain matters that are not justiciable but only geared towards personal pursuits by some parents.

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