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Sun 9th November 2014

IRD… Confuse Say…

Filed under: Child Support — BrokenHeartedDad @ 9:57 pm

So I’m just a little confused with the IRD and how they work out “nights per year” for child support.

I was awarded joint care in July in the Auckland family court. When I rang the IRD to inform them of the change they told me they would backdate the joint care arrangement to the date the parenting order was made but I had to send a copy of the parenting order to them and they also had to get written confirmation from my ex that joint care was in fact in place?? Ummm… A legally binding parenting order made in the family court is not good enough for the IRD apparently. A lot of people dont stick to the parenting order according to the IRD so they have to have this written confirmation from your ex that you are in-fact abiding by the parenting order. I tried to explain to the IRD that me and my ex were not exactly on friendly chit chat speaking terms so it would be difficult to ask to have this confirmed in writing from her.. I have only been fighting for this day for two years in this hellish moronic family court and now that I finally have the joint care order I wanted why would I not abide by the order I fought so dam hard for! Almost a month passed before I finally got a copy of the parenting order from the court and the IRD had written to my ex and received confirmation from her that in fact joint care was in place and I was abiding by the order.. (how nice of her).

So I was somewhat shocked (but not surprised after dealing with these moronic IRD robots for over a year and getting different answers to the same question on different days) when they wrote to me rejecting my application for joint care as they ruled it would be applied fro the date they received the application not back dating it to the time the order was made as they informed me it would be. Now comes the confusing part. They told me that the child support year runs April to April not from the date the order was made in court i.e. Calender year July – July so I would basically have to wait till April next year to get any changes made even though I clearly have a joint care parenting order that is a legally binding court order since July….However when I went onto the IRD website on the weekend to use their calculator for working out nights per year with each parent this is where the confusion comes in.. The calculator only lets you work out calender year not financial year!??!? It won’t let me skip to April next year despite telling you on the website to work it out from April 2015.. it will only let you work out November to November… December to December or January to January… That to me is clearly calender year is it not IRD?? What say you now morons…Postpone the changes another year because you can’t get your systems/calendars right.. Help?? Anyone??

I need to know how to deal with these morons so I can finally get this joint care acknowledged by them. They have already managed to delay me 5 months with all their different rulings and reviews and with any new review taking 6 – 8 weeks it will almost be April before I get another made up reason for being rejected.. Never mind that I have the legal court order for joint care to prove it.. The IRD are clearly a law unto themselves and are trained to not take responsibility for anything and to push you to the point of absolute frustration, stress and exhaustion that you either kill yourself or just give up and walk away… I will never kill myself or walk away i’ll just keep calling you everyday, every hour if I have to… You will not get rid of me that easy IRD…

18 Responses to “IRD… Confuse Say…”

  1. chill out , that’s how they want you to feel. and they want you to walk away , keep up the fight , will post this to another site and see what advice either on this or other one comes through 🙂

  2. forgot to say we have a lawyer / IRD person that gives free advice will message her and see what she says ….

  3. Allan Harvey says:

    I am happy to assist with IRD Child Support matters.
    Allan.harvey@xtra.co.nz

  4. Daniel says:

    I went through a similar argument in an admin review. I gave them the facts, they massaged them and did their own calculation and guess what it came to 1% under the requirement so tough luck mate. Both IRD and admin reviews will try to find ways to decline you, they see it as their duty and make no attempt to be fair.
    Take up Allan’s offer, IRD will try it on with individuals but probably not with lawyers who can call them out on any bs arguments they put up. Unfortunately they have a whole cupboard full of bs arguments so good luck.

  5. Manz says:

    I’m also confused how IRD work out ‘nights per year’ for child support.

    I’m the custodian of my children that attend boarding school. My children live with me when they return home at weekends, school holidays etc. Their minimal contact with their mother does not include any overnight stays.

    As I see it, I’m responsible for my children 365 days of the year – Is this how IRD see it when calculating child support?

  6. Allan Harvey says:

    Hi Manz,
    The night calculation can be confusing, hence IRD have a small section who do just that.
    Their first approach is send all care givers a questionnaire and they hope they get significant agreement between each person who replies. If there is agreement then that is it, they don’t rock the boat. Often parents see matters quite differently and that can cause difficulty.

    In the simple situation you describe you have more than 220 nights a year IF you are paying for the boarding school costs. That means mum or anyone else has less than 145 nights and therefore shared care does not exist under the current rules.
    The nights calculation only is relevant in a shared care situation and that all changes from 1 April 2015 when the calculation falls from 145 night or more for shared care down to 104 nights or more.

    In the situation you describe it might be that grandparents or another guardian, who is paying for the boarding school, may be the primary care giver and you and their mother both pay child support. If the kids are 5 nights a week boarding then there is arguably 190 nights or so spent at school each year.

    Section 13 of the act is the important one and it says
    Substantially equal sharing of care of child
    (1)For the purposes of this Act, if-
    (a)a person is the principal provider of ongoing daily care for a child; and
    (b)another person has care of the child for at least 40% of the nights of the child support year concerned,-
    the other person is to be taken to share ongoing daily care of the child substantially equally with the first-mentioned person.
    (2)Subsection (1) is not to be taken to limit by implication the circumstances in which a person shares ongoing daily care of a child substantially equally with another person.

    Section 13(2) can be very flexible if argued well. I have seen as few as 120 nights and significant other daytime care being enough for shared care to exist.

  7. Sarah Haras says:

    Do we know the changes in the formulae are still on for 1 April this year?

  8. too tired says:

    All the politicans think it is 100% going ahead. 1st of April we get a band-aid approach to child support.

  9. Sarah Haras says:

    I’m quite happy with the basis for the formulae. What they (our beloved government) fail on is (1) making shared care the default, and (2) making both parents work at least half time, so that they are both income earners.

    Seems to me that if both parents have 50/50 care, then no child support should be levied at all. those (usually mothers) that stay on DPB because they ‘can’t’ go to work – they’ve got a child to look after, when the other parent in identical circumstances can (both work and look after the children) , are mere dole bludgers.
    Society needs to find a way to enable more half-time jobs, with flexibility for parents around the inevitable parenting demands (sick children etc).

  10. Downunder says:

    @Sarah Haras – That’s a very interesting comment.

  11. MurrayBacon says:

    #9 Sarah Haras,

    I compliment the contructiveness of your comment. Many women will consider your comment harsh on women (and it is – only when compared to the present system).

    Your suggestion would take a lot of money away from the familycaught$ $y$tem – so I wonder why they want to keep the present system?

    Most important point, children would be much better protected from emotional neglect. This issue is worth so much to children, in my opinion it should be the dominant consideration. Too many couples are driven by maximising cash income, even though it is fairly often to the disadvantage of the children’s long term welfare and happiness. (Personal admission is being made here, alas.

    So why then is the familycaught$ all for sustaining fight$ between parents, when this is against the children’s welfare?

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  12. Manz says:

    I’m a solo Dad & have been recently approved Child Support.

    This timing allows me to compare the calculations pre-31 March & under the new regime from 1 April. By using the IRD online calculator it would appear that my estranged x-wife will be required to contribute slightly more for my children…I guess that’s a positive in my case.

    My main concern is covering ‘extraordinary’ expenses that are not considered in a one-size-fits-all Child Support criteria – One example (of many) are the hefty expenses for my children to attend a private school that I’ve been left to pay.

    My departed wife simply refuses to contribute and has adopted the default angry-aggrieved-attitude that “If I’m pay’n Child Support, I ain’t paying anything else!” The Child Support payments won’t even cover cover half the school fees!

    I’m being stonewalled with arrogance & indifference and sadly this is destined to end up in court…Does anyone have any insights/experience that will make this process easier?

  13. golfa says:

    #12. Do what women do in your situation. Tell the children you can’t afford private school anymore and that they will be going to public school. (This will get back to the Mother and she my cough some more money.) Or, apply for an Admin Review. If the IRD contracted Lawyers make a determination like they do with Fathers, they will assess her “potential” income and you’ll get more money.

  14. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Manz, I have heard of mother/custodial parents obtaining additional child [and spousal] support awards, to cover private school fees, even where the father said he preferred the children to go to state schools – for egalitarian reasons. In those cases, the father was a surgeon or dentist, far beyond an average income.

    By having a high income, it seems that the father had lost the right to be involved in parenting decisions. Can’t see that principle in any legislation, but who worries about legislation anyway?

    I have never read of it working the other way around?

    In your case, which of you wanted the private schooling? If it was the mother, then you might be able to make a claim for a departure order from the standard formula. (Of course, now that you are separated, the decision about sending children to a private school might be differently made.)

    At a guess, you are likely to be left with the obligation of school fees and your only escape might be utilising a state school next term or next year.

    Best wishes for all of you.

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  15. Manz says:

    Thanks Golfa & Murray for your comments.

    I realize that my situation is unique. It was a joint decision to send our children to private schools. We both wish to continue sending them to private schools & more importantly our children enjoy their school life in a stable, caring environment.

    The x feels aggrieved that she is required to pay Child Support and it is beyond her comprehension that she should be obliged to pay anything further (I appreciate that some fathers may have some sympathy with her?)

    The school fees in question are legitimate special/extraordinary expenses. I don’t wish to dodge paying, I just want my x-wife to contribute above and beyond the Child Support payments that are based upon averaged basic living/household expenses of bringing up children.

    Will my sex really play against me in attempting to balance financial responsibilities in this scenario?

    Is it reasonable to expect that a Child Support review would rule that an estranged mother should pay over and above the usual formula?

    Or is it possible/or more advisable to pursue additional prescribed payments from the x via the courts?

  16. golfa says:

    #15. Apply for an Admin Review through the IRD first. It’s free. From memory, there are 7 or 9 options/grounds for you apply under. You will find one of them that applies to your situation.

    Contact Alan Harvey at Union of Fathers. His email address is on a fair few posts on this site. He can assist you.

  17. Man X Norton says:

    Manz (#15): You might choose to base your decision on the actual amount in so-called ‘child support’ being paid. If the receiving parent is either on the DPB or a much lower income than the paying parent, then under the formula the actual amount of so-called ‘child support’ will be considerably more than what is required to meet half the cost of children’s basics. In that case a fair and reasonable receiving parent may be willing to dedicate most of the amount directly towards the ehildren’s expenses, allowing extras such as private school costs to be covered.

    If however both parents earn reasonably well then they are paying each other so-called ‘child support’ and the actual amount changing hands won’t be very much. In that case, it would be morally just to expect the paying parent to contribute additionally for extras such as private school fees.

    Interestingly, women more often than men default on paying so-called ‘child support’ and they tend more often to express indignation at having to pay male ex-partners at all. Yet the term ‘deadbeat dad’ is the only one in town.

  18. Manz says:

    Thank you all for your replies.

    Going through the process of an Admin Review would appear to be the best option – appreciate the prompt. I’ve managed to find this info buried in the IRD website and I will slowly work through it when time permits.

    In my case it would appear that one of the 10-grounds for review may be applicable: “It costs you extra to care for, educate or train the child (or children) in the way that was expected by either parent”

    The application form (IR470) would seem to be reasonably straight forward, however I would imagine that the free-format section where you are able to qualify your case will need some considered thought to get it right.

    Would pay to get a lawyer to glance-over any forms before they are submitted?

    To be honest I can see why solo parents would simply accept their circumstance and just do nothing. The process would appear to be reasonably daunting – especially the prospect of a paperwork mountain, exposure by being judged, disclosure of financial details & dealing with possible cross applications.

    Let’s face-it, this process is likely to be carried out at one of the most vulnerable times of your life.

    I understand that paying parents can resent paying Child Support. They can get drawn-in to the belief that they are paying over-the-odds and they are unable to control the end user of the funds. I accept however that it is inevitable that a one-size-fits-all “system” will have anomalies. From what I’m reading it would appear that males are overrepresented in the anomalies section…

    I find it interesting that my x-wife has been quick to adopt the Dead-beat Dad persona. It has suprised me that she not only wishes to back away from financial responsibility, but makes little effort to spend time with the kids. From my experience this scenario is becoming more common. Maybe one day soon we can forget about political correctness and start freely using the term Dead-beat Mum?

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