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Child Support Debt

Filed under: Child Support,General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 10:57 pm Fri 10th March 2006

The politicians have a field day slaging off parents who owe money to Inland Revenue for Child Support. Who are these “deadbeat dads” these “irresponsible parents”? I’d like to introduce you too some of them. I’ll let you judge if it’s the dads that are deadbeat or the Child Support Act 1991 and its administration by Inland Revenue that creates the problem.

For about six years I have been recording data on the parents who have come to me with Child Support issues.There are two recurrent themes, Debt and administrative reviews.

This is the first of a series of articles that looks at how parents get into debt with IRD.

John was in his forties and had a child support debt; this debt was a result of changes made to the Child Support Act in 2000 when assessment was shifted from being based on your earnings from two years ago to being estimated on your current earnings.

To do this IRD had to take your income figures to December and extrapolate this through to 31 March of the following year. If you received more income than expected for the period the figures would be adjusted in June/July and a reassessment notice issued. If you have the spare money (and how many separated parents do?) you can pay within x number of days if not you would be advised that you have a child support debt.

While all this is going on, John changes jobs and his income for the current year is has dropped by 9%. John had no option about changing his job; it was a fixed term contract. Come June, John is in debt to the tune of $1500. IRD tell John, who is committed to keeping a 3 bedroom home for the Jim (7) and Jane (9) who stay with day every Friday and Saturday night, that the minimum they will accept is $20 dollars per week until the debt is paid. The budget prepared by the Budget Advisory Service, shows that at most John could afford $5 per week, IRD don’t accept that. They tell John he can change his living arrangements and move to smaller rented accommodation — this would mean that John could only have one of his children visit at a time!

John is in the worse place any man (or woman can) be, he’s in debt to the tax man. John is just keeping his head above water and is so stressed by IRD’s collection mafia that he can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Its not only IRD staff who are bridge jumpers!

Five months later John was paying IRD $10 per week and the debt was still showing as increasing on his statements. IRD had agreed to waive penalties, both incremental and initial, but try getting a reconciliation that adds up out of them it is near impossible!

John is still paying off the debt created by a flawed Child Support Act. The kids still come and stay every weekend and he, and his accountant mate, still cant reconcile his child support statement.

IRD figures show about 23,000 parents put into debt by reassessment each year, through no fault of their own.

Over the next few weeks I will post more examples of the systemic failure of the Child Support Act 1991.

Feel free to leave your comments on Child Support Debt-You would be surprised who reads these pages.




  1. Last week the district court bailiff towed my car away because of outstanding traffic fines, which in my monthly struggle to meet child —support payments, I had neglected to settle. To get my car back (so as to be able to carry on visiting my son at weekends, and carry on working), I had to borrow money from a friend and am now deeper in debt that ever. So far thankfully I do not owe the taxman, just half a dozen other people and financial institutions. Every day I worry about getting into debt to the IRD but having heard what happens to other fathers in that situation, I keep doing my best to stay out of it

    I find the level of payments expected by the state to be just unrealistically high. Especially when my son’s mother who is far more financially well off than I, has able to spend money on two overseas holidays in the last year and on having her house beautified, all while receiving the DPB.

    I used to think of myself as a responsible and contributing member of the community, doing useful work and ready and able to help others. Increasingly I now feel like a member of some underclass of non-custodial fathers, barely able to help myself, almost criminalized, and in constant fear of drowning in debt.

    I hate to sound like a complainer, but this is how it is. And no doubt there are many child support payers out there who are in more dire circumstances than I.

    Comment by Paul — Sat 11th March 2006 @ 1:05 pm

  2. Great topic.

    I can remember being in Taupo when they first implemented compulsory child support. Groups to support fathers couldn’t start up fast enough as some were commiting suicide.

    I had 2 friends who got married and had 2 children. My girlfriend had 1 child before hand so they had 3. He had been in quite a bad bush accident with the doctors saying he would be paralysed. He did not get accident compensation because the employer won the case saying he was at fault. I won’t go into all the details but basically he was out of work.

    He also had another child previously (long gone)and his ex had remarried.

    The ex and her partner had found themselves financially needing more money to pay for thier unneeded new car. So they went for child support and 15 years of it back pay.

    My girlfriend had a job in the supermarket and although she was the manager it was only reasonable pay.

    From her wages which was the only income the 15 years of child support was being paid.

    End result was that my 2 friends had to move in with her parents and the ex partner and her new husband have a new car and alot more.

    How can males or females move on to continue with a dream life when we hold them back so much.

    It is so difficult to live honest these days.

    What I am wondering is if when a male or female have a new partner, does the new partners income also come into the equation.

    Comment by julie — Sat 11th March 2006 @ 11:16 pm

  3. I can’ help wondering that if child support were linked to Contact, there would be fewer false allegations (‘lies’, some of us simpler folks may like to call them) made.
    Imagine if fathers denied Contact were not required to pay child support.
    Imagine if men who chose not to see his children had his child support doubled.
    Imagine if the child support was held in bond until the custodial parent (now the day-to-day carer) had successfully raised the children.

    Comment by Al D Rado — Sun 12th March 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  4. I speak on behalf of a male friend because to many people still having a computer and internet connection is a luxury. (no dig intended)

    Anyway he wants me to pass on his comment.

    He looks after his youngest son who is now a teenager on a measly $75 a week after rent and electricity are paid for.

    He received a bill from Inland Revenue of $3,000 for child support. His ex had been claiming a benefit for a child that has always been in his care. She hasn’t even cared for access.

    He rang Inland Revenue to explain the situation and was told he has to prove the child was in his care during the time. The time was when the child was 4-6 years of age.

    They suggested he write to a kindergarden and primary school asking for thier confirmation and this they would accept.

    The kindergarden and primary school do not have records to confirm this.

    So he like so many men who can’t be bothered is struggling to pay them at $20.00 a week.

    How sad it is we do not have a system in place to rectify injustices like these.

    Comment by julie — Sun 12th March 2006 @ 4:08 pm

  5. With every sympathy for the father, now you begin to understand, Julie, why I am so pro-active that men must cover themselves.
    Keep receipts. Keep correspondence. Be always on the guard.
    What if it had been false allegations that were thrown at him?
    How could he ever defend those?

    I don’t mean to throw anything at him – clearly claiming DPB is ILLEGAL if you have no children in your care.

    Why did he not seek child support from her when he had his son in his care?
    Why did he not formalise Custody?

    And why does NZ dish out DPB without requiring proof that the child is in someone’s care?

    It’s my standard mantra guys.
    Cover yourself.

    Actually, I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but there are still guys out there who naively believe crap won’t happen to them.

    Comment by Al D Rado — Sun 12th March 2006 @ 4:52 pm

  6. Refer to Beven Berg’s thread “The Next Allegation.”

    Then be not surprised when a flood of new ‘he physically disciplines the kids’ allegations start arising.

    Comment by Al D Rado — Sun 12th March 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  7. Depressing isn’t it.

    But I know we have to do something. People over centuries have gone to wars for less. We are the adults now so it is our turn to be responsible for what we allow to happen.

    Is there a plan to overcome all this at present?

    Comment by julie — Sun 12th March 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  8. Julie. to answer your question about partners income. No it doesn’t enter the equation. Neither does the custodial parents? So the custodian and the new parter can earn as much as they can without fear of losing their tax free child support income. Meanwhile when we had our second child our child support was reduced. Nice one you could say. By a whole $30 per month. Not week but month. The system is creating second class citizens in the form of repartnered families and children.

    Comment by MarkL — Mon 13th March 2006 @ 9:08 am

  9. Thanx Mark. That information will get passed onto others also.

    Comment by julie — Mon 13th March 2006 @ 9:08 pm

  10. Magnificent post Scrap. You’re right on the button regarding the deliberate maladministration of the Child Support Act by the CSA and that the two major issues are debt and administrative reviews.

    It’s hard not to conclude its administration is actually designed to make it difficult to comply with, and many times outright impossible. The reason for this is that Treasury has an interest in non-compliance as liable parents who get into debt are then burdened with extortionist interest charges that go straight into the Government’s coffers (not to be onpaid to the custodial parent). Not content with being the recipient of all payments made in respect of those custodial parents who are in receipt of a benefit (often through no fault of the liable parent) the Government knew that could extort more and get away with it because, with the connivance of the liberal media, as far as the public were concerned they were collecting money to support children whose fathers had abandoned them. Thus did collide the worlds of the fiscal conservative and the radical feminist.

    The CSA is a great lumbering bureaucracy that is meant to be difficult to penetrate lest the great unwashed cotton on to its real purpose. One need only scratch the surface to see it for what it really is (this itself is a further indictment of the journalistic credibility, or was it just laziness?, of Pat Booth and his appalling article on the topic). The descritpion “taxation without representation” is entirely apt.

    I must say that I find this julie person’s comments a wee bit strange. A wee bit faux naif. A wee bit disingenuous. Ostensibly supportive comments laced with barbs: From a succint and learned summary of the task of a judge (in one post) to talk of youth running “a muck” (would that be amok?) and fathers happy to discipline them; to men who can’t be bothered so instead choose to struggle to pay Child Support debt; to extraordinary anecdotes of her two friends and their two children and her one child beforehand “so they had three”; of the coincidence of “compulsory child support” (not in itself a bad thing) and the suicide of fathers… the list goes on.

    Yes, there’s something strange about julie.

    Comment by John Self — Mon 13th March 2006 @ 10:33 pm

  11. Post two is due midweek. I have been reviewing the comments on this thread, please limit comments to Child Support. I don’t oppose freedom of speech, but focus is important to bringing about change. Keep the comments on Child Support coming.

    Child support should be fair and reasonable; the current system is a failure for ten of thousands of parents and by default tens of thousands of children.

    It’s not difficult to create a fair and reasonable child support method. But that’s covered in a future post!



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Mon 13th March 2006 @ 11:04 pm

  12. I don’t mind being considered giving strange comments. But I don’t know in what way they are strange? If they should be different, in what way?

    Please take it easy in reply so that others who are also different don’t get shy to comment.

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 8:22 am

  13. Yes Scrap, we should stick to the subject. If you would like to talk to me John Self just email.

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 2:10 pm

  14. This is a very good subject.
    My personal experience of the administrative review process is that it is draconian and corrupt in process and that it goes against the laws of natural justice. And thus by nature it is destined to fail one way or another.
    I look forward to the next main posting and will add more then, as I am short on time just now.
    One last thing though: Due to the fraudulent nature of the Administrative Review process I now owe something like $14,000.00 a large percent being penalties and this figure is escalating by the minute. Something like 35% for each dollar owed for the first year that it is owed.
    What will become of me?

    Comment by Phoenix — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  15. But the administrative side is not neccessary. I don’t know what the % is anymore but it used to be 11% for the first child, 18% for 2 children and 24% for 3 or more.

    From what I can remeber, Inland Revenue takes what they feel OK. It or was about the third letter to Inland Revenue (though today you get appointments with someone from Inland Revenue personally if you don’t agree with the amount)
    that you got the right price.

    Probably the personal effect has taken over the letters.

    Anyhow Inland Revenue can and will write off the penalties. Try it.

    Not only that, they will not write off Child Support cause it goes to a third person, but they will write off taxes if you put a good reason forward. I do not lie.

    Use the excuse that you ended up an alcoholic because of the pressure of your seperation and/or custodial problems. See CADS or a similar alcohol/drug facilitation. Even a gambling problem will get you off owed taxes.

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 8:03 pm

  16. Hey Scrap,

    I think you should include this post under the Child Support category of this site too.

    John Self

    Comment by John Self — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 9:11 pm

  17. Julie,

    Please be careful when you make suggestions.

    IRD have shown that they are ruthless collectors, quick to error and slow to fix a mistake (Years for some)

    Penalty write off will only be applied to the 10% penalties if the IRD can be shown to have made a “mistake” . A “mistake” means that essentially you must show a process failure by IRD in administartion – that is why it is ultra important to keep a dedicated exercise book recording all contact and advice, dates, times etc.
    The incremental penalties 2% are more “negotiable” but only if you agree to make and stick to a repayment plan.

    Mind you even if you have a penalty write off, given the way they do it, the figures on the statement are continually increasing. (They process the write off, usally after a given period, despite agreeing to write off at a previous date.)

    Percentages are found on

    one child 18%
    two children 24%
    three children 27%
    four or more children 30%
    If a shared care arrangement exists for child support purposes, we use the following percentage rates.

    0.5 child 12%
    1.0 children 18%
    1.5 children 21%
    2.0 children 24%
    2.5 children 25.5%
    3.0 children 27%
    3.5 children 28.5%
    4.0 children 30%

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Tue 14th March 2006 @ 10:27 pm

  18. Thanx for the proper figures. Yes, I will be careful when giving suggestions. I actually find Inland Revenue helpful personally. (not just cause I am female)

    Comment by julie — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 7:33 am

  19. Julie with all due respect. When IRD decide that you are going to be admin reviewed there is nothing you can do about it. And God help you!
    Perhaps Julie you might like to share with us how helpful IRD have been for you when (or if) you have been on the receiving end of an Admin Review? If you are a paying parent that is?
    The 35% is the interest rate for overdue moneys.
    Meaning $1,000.00 unpaid at the end of one year (the first year) you will owe $1,350.00

    Comment by Phoenix — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  20. That’s lovely Julie. that you experience the IRD as so helpful. Really happy for you.
    I get rude threatening letters and if I ring to ask a question, then on the odd occasion when I actually get a human being to speak to they are invariably vague, evasive and unhelpful and will sometimes go out of their way to be insulting.
    How do you get the special treatment? Not because you are female? Hmmm. I wonder what else could account for these two very different ways of dealing with ‘the customer’.

    Comment by Paul — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  21. I hear what you are saying. I am dumb-founded as that not only do I find them easy to work with. I considered that they would try and find ways for you to cope.
    I have been audited, paid child support and overdue child support and unable to pay taxes as I didn’t put the money away.
    I also have recently done night classes with a couple of people from Inland Revenue.
    And even besides that I get information on what can be claimed through friends of friends.

    All I can possibly think of is that the person (ex)that is claiming the child support is moaning about you or the workers of Inland Revenue are getting heavy pressure to perform regarding Child Support. You know 20/20 tomorrow night is showing up rich males pretending to be poor just so that they don’t pay child support.

    Maybe Scrap has some good news to come regarding this problem through his continuation of this article.

    All I can do is once again apologise for my insensitivity.

    By the way i know males that also get help so this is not about what sex you are.

    (You can always find female accountants if you don’t believe me)

    Comment by julie — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 9:44 pm

  22. The above comments are an excellent example of a someone who has no understanding of the Child Support Act but thinks that they do. They also illustrate the type of mentality to which the Child Support Act and those who adminster it successfully appeal.

    Jeepers. The sheer dishonesty or ignorance(or both).

    Comment by John Self — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 11:10 pm

  23. OK, I will probably encourage some emotions by asking this but through courage I am prepared to take it.

    What is an admin review?

    Is it the review you do each year to pay taxes in advance for the following year?(You know they work out your taxes and then add 10% for expected growth) Or is it just something they do like an audit?

    Comment by julie — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 11:16 pm

  24. I wonder about you Mr. Self. It is just me personally you don’t like or are you like this to other people too? I am not going to play ball with you. I am over playing games.

    Comment by julie — Wed 15th March 2006 @ 11:21 pm

  25. Instead of waiting for your replies I had a good talk to Inland Revenue.

    The male or female being the payer or receiver can ask for an admin reveiw. The receiver can ask for a review if they think the paying person recieves a higher income than they stated or the payer can ask if they feel they are paying too much.

    The payer can include the driving expenses they pay to pick the children up or if the children catch a bus for access. They can also claim if they pay for school fees or clothing or doctors bills etc.

    Inland revenue can only take up tp 40% from someone’s earnings.

    The lowest amount you can pay for arrears is $12.00 per week. (This depends on circumstances)

    Shared custody is less than 18% for the first child, 24% for the second and so on.

    These theatening letters you receive can be looked as such. Child Support is treated differently from other taxes. They are not computerised letters but written personally from IRD officers.

    The officers consider how much you owe and you are group accordingly. Group 2 is the lowest with group 5 being the highest.

    Inland revenue cannot take your assets by law but can take money from your bank account. Prior ot my discussion one officer had taken $8,000 from someone’s account.

    Also Inland Revenue will take first. YOU need to contact and negotiate with them to make things right for you.

    Yes, these officers can and probably are ruthless. But there decision is not final.

    If you are out of work or if something happens to change your income you need to contact them. Do not contact them and threaten bankruptcy. (evefn though you may feel like it)

    1. Inland revenue do not pay out child support until they receive it. So the recieveing party may be relying on it to pay bills etc.

    2. (my personal) don’t forget these officers are just trying to climb the ladder. Many Inland Revenue people wil beome the Chartered Accountants you use to fight the system.

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 12:40 pm

  26. My short story. 3 weeks after separation she meets another man. 6 months later they move 300ks away and I drive there and bring the 2 children home every fortnight/3 weeks. 75% of time she collects them. In 2 and 1/2 years I drive 30,000ks. We argue and I defend access at cost of 15k – I don’t defend protection order and become a labelled man. She marries but is having an affair and separates 1 month after marrying and moves to another city in the other Island. Her new beau is a multi millionaire and agrees to fly children 20 times a year. Cool! But they only last 10 weeks and I guess his money runs out 6 months later when the call comes ‘if I don’t pay for flights I don’t see children’. I have an ok income around 65k and I pay 12k over 2 years for flights every 3 or 4 weeks — I want to be with my children — I separated from her not them. My problem is that I am a financial nincompoop, a total idiot. My income disappears with the Americas Cup but at same time ex become preggy to a new beau and moves back to same Island only a 600k drive away. I can only afford to fly kids once a school term (10 weeks) and after 2 years ( I drove 9 hours each way to watch a end of year dance performance, was the deciding moment) I can’t stand the separation so pick up my life and move to same city. Being the financial dork I am – I never told IRD that my income had changed from 65k to 25k and amassed a debt by paying only 60 p/m instead of the $850ish they were asking for — I mean I was on the dole for 3 months! Being a $$$ nurd I always meant to get around to making my retrospective claim for my cost of access – but never got around to it. Actually I did try once but admin review process shot me down as we didn’t have a formal arrangement (hard with all the moving by her). Now I am told that I can’t make a retrospective claim for my cost of access due to a law change. Gee wish they (IRD) might have mentioned this to me. The debt sure does burden me an is a cause of friction between me and her. Can anyone recommend a lawyer or accountant to help me with this? They (3rd husband) blackmailed me recently with ‘you don’t pay us enough, therefore we are seriously thinking of moving to ??? (place of big tax free $$$)’. Pretty certain I have shot that one down with a firm ‘No, take me to Court and see if you win”. Thanks — anybody what to write a film about this — there is more — drama plus some good comedy — but I would like to write my own fictional ending. Got to laugh sometimes eh! Once again — anyone recommend a good lawyer/accountant in the Wellington region. And I was trying so hard not to say where I was coming from and going too.

    Comment by Rahui — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 2:43 pm

  27. Rahui, I have a friend who would love to make a film about all this stuff but that is not why I am on this site. I think there is something I need to learn or remember myself.

    however. when you are ready so is he. He went to America with ‘Hello Sailor’ and married into the famous Rockerfellas (or however you spell it) He is an artist plus, plus. I rang him straight away.

    Anyhow, I will help you and for free. I am not as educated as many of the people that comment on this site, but I am more than capable of helping the underdog.

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 3:58 pm

  28. To others in the same boat,. You need to know that you do get credited through Inland Revenue.

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  29. To Rahui

    Actually, I probably jumped the gun (so to speak)
    There are probably more educated and experienced males out there that can help you better. So I would like to withdraw my offer until you have all offers in.

    But I am still here if no-one offers.

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 4:31 pm

  30. I think Julie has now almost achieved what she has set out to do. If you guys know what I mean.
    Julie where do you belong?
    Is there nothing good on TV Julie?

    Comment by Phoenix — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 5:22 pm

  31. I believe I do know what you mean Phoenix. The discussion has been robbed of the seriousness it deserves.

    Scrap named two main themes in his original post;
    debt and administtrative reviews. I would like to name a thrd theme which is of the most concern to me personally; Marginalisation of fathers.

    In my (so far) comparatively limited experience of the CSA, I have found that in its ‘blunt instrument’ approach it fails to take account of individual circumstadoes such as parental debt and the distribution of parental assets, and in so doing almost calculatedly obstructs me from being an effective father to my son.
    The CSA cannot be said to be looking after the best interests of children if it solely aims to ensure they are financially supported, but at the same time takes their father away.

    In sharing these few details of the personal tragedy that has overtaken myself and my son, I would just as soon not be responded to with cheap and ill-considered advice, with barbed attacks dressed up as helpfulness, or with a derailment of the topic.

    Comment by Paul — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 5:55 pm

  32. Hey guys, (John Self, Phonenix (I hope I spelt that right) and Paul)

    I have probably done as many anger courses etc as you guys have. So I am aware that when 3 people tell you that you are a horse, you may as well go and eat hay.

    So I am prepared to go. I have learn’t alot about males point of view. I learn’t alot from the friends of the people that started this sort of thing in Auckland also.
    MY learning has been the discussion of many groups in the shops I go to, groups I go to and the like.

    I don’t really like TV but hey who cares.

    I wish you the best through life and hope that you help the many males out there that need it. Also thank-you to the guys that were nice to me and my boys.

    love julie

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 6:21 pm

  33. Hi All,

    Just a quick update and an apology for the delay in the second posting.

    I have delayed posting in order to respond to the 20/20 “deadbeat dads” at 9:30pm tonight. This requires quite a bit of work .

    Julie is asking questions and making comments, that’s the purpose of blog’s. I may think it’s a bit like a KKK member telling a Negro slave that slavery is a fine legal institution and get angry at what I read. But that does not help the debate that needs to be engendered over the support of children when parents don’t live under the same roof.

    Julie is a challenge and a reminder. A challenge in the battle for hearts and minds so that we win more and more support for reform, a reminder that the majority of people in NZ think the system of family law and child support are fair and reasonable. They believe the deadbeat dad image!

    Julie is seeking to be informed so inform her, tell her how IRD treats people. Show her that the Child Support Act gives them no option but to act this way to extract money for your child tax payments. IRD ARE Tax Collectors, its like getting a skinhead to run a multicultural pacifist office.

    Then perhaps Julie will not only understand the hopeless position that brings parents who see no way out of the trap they are caught in and can see no reason for carrying on to my home. But have become another voice for real reform.

    The answer is to turn that hopelessness into a burning desire for real change, knowing that one day the dream of equal shared parental rights and responsibilities will be enshrined in law, ensuring my sons and daughter are never subject to such a draconian and punitive regime that is not working for tens of thousands of parents, both receiving and paying or their children.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  34. Well, shit. Scrap I am trying to put this together. i can’t even find the actual child support act on the web. I don’t mind anyone challenging me but I don’t want to make a hoorible situation for me or for others. I am watching 20/20 also.

    Comment by julie — Thu 16th March 2006 @ 10:00 pm

  35. Rahui,
    My experiance with lawyers in general terms is only bad and very expensive and they don’t always know that much. I have learnt more than a lawyer could help me with by speaking to other men with more experiance and constantly trying to learn how the rottem system works. And testing it in every way I can think of. It sure takes a lot of time and study though Read the Act if you can understand it and write letters to get explainations on every thing and complain lots to every body you write to.
    I do have a very good accountant though not in Wellington I can pass the name on if you want it. Use this median to ask spcific questions. Just be careful whoes advice you listen to.

    Comment by Phoenix — Fri 17th March 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  36. My partner has a 2yr old son and has a $2000 child support debt that keeps increasing. At the moment he doesn’t have any money left after his bills and child support are taken out for groceries. I am paying OUR bills and now we have to look for somewhere cheaper to live – instructions given by IRD. They have no sympathy, and are all for the selfish money hungry mothers out there. The childs mother has a new car, brand clothing, and is about to buy her own house!!! She also has a partner, whom stays more than three nights a week at her house. BENEFIT FRAUD!! Women like this give all single mothers a bad name. Here we are almost bankrupt, relationship on the rocks, looking for a cheaper house to rent and here she is swanning around town spending money like theres no tomorrow. HELLO IRD AND WINZ WAKE UP!! Stop punishing fathers who actually WANT something to do with their children!!

    Comment by Kirsten — Thu 23rd March 2006 @ 4:38 pm

  37. I actually heard on Goodmorning New Zealand that there is concern that the children themselves are not benefiting from child support. Changes are needed so that the money goes where it is mean’t to go.

    Also learning more about this I am thinking we should be educating women as to the consequenses of being on the DPB. Working out the figures, many women would actually be better off working and receiving child support than being on the DPB.

    Comment by julie — Thu 23rd March 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  38. Kirsten, has your partner claimed the small amount back for himself that he is entitled to as he is in a relationship with you?

    Comment by Phoenix — Fri 24th March 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  39. Kirsten, I agree with Phoenix but I have to also ask on behalf of friends, “Why are you supporting this male?” If you read the Child Support under this website you will see that your partner pays maximum of 11%. Why does he not have money to spend on both your bills?
    I suppose you are asking that question yourself otherwise your relationship would not be under scrutiny. Sorry girl, but maybe this guy is not worth it.

    Comment by julie — Fri 24th March 2006 @ 7:20 pm

  40. Kirsten,

    It is likely that your partner is caught in what is best described as the CS debt trap.

    There are options for dealing with IRd to resolve this issue. I have been trying to get up a second post but sharing care, 40hrs work a week …. dont leave me with as much time as I used to have.

    Julie and Phoneix. Kirstens partner could have been the victim of a departure order that reduced the living allowance to a single rate, and increased his liability, his assessment could be based on an last years income which is 14.99% more than he can earn this year but no avenue for adjustment is available as its not 15% less.

    Could be that he iscrippled financially by debt incurred while with the childrens mother.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Fri 24th March 2006 @ 8:07 pm

  41. I was wrong by saying 11% for one child. The rate for one child is now 18%. Sorry about that.

    Oh my God, is there more to the story than just child support?

    Scrap, I like your posts. Please keep writing them on this site so that i and others can learn more.

    Comment by julie — Fri 24th March 2006 @ 8:56 pm

  42. As a note for you all. A Liable parent is not entitled to claim the additional living allowance for their partner or (her/his) children if that partner earns more than $12,000 per year. As this will be the first thing a review will remove, as a veteran of 42 admin reviews.

    Comment by SNMP — Sat 25th March 2006 @ 8:23 pm

  43. Hello SNMP,

    42 administrative reviews. That’s beyond the pale. Utterly ludicrous. It leads to one of only two possible conclusions a) an intellectual disability on the part of those administering the Child Support Act or b) the deliberate and corrupt administration of the Child Support Act by David Udy (he’s where the buck stops) through the abuse of the various statutory discretions that are conferred (effectively on him) under the Child Support Act.

    There would be a mini-revolution if people knew the truth of the breadth and extent of the abuse of power that is perpetuated by the CSA. 42 administrative reviews in respect of one person – QED.

    SNMP your comments regarding the living allowance are interesting. What is your source?

    John Self.

    Comment by John Self — Sun 26th March 2006 @ 9:01 am

  44. John, Firstly from my experience, I have never been able to claim anything but the Single living cost and if I have it is the first thing to be removed due my partner having enough income to support her self. I contacted my lawyer with the issue as my partners earnings (all but a very small amount) went to paying for child care for her child so in reality I was supporting her but IRD do not see it that way and also to find out the truth of the living allowance, lastly contact with the MP to insure it was correct.
    Yes I have a very vindictive Ex and has claimed a new admin review every three month for 14 years. Until my kids have moved in with me, and surprise surprise she does not want to pay child support… LOL.
    I have to admit IRD were not happy about all the claims but there was nothing they could do other than being sympatric to my plight

    Comment by SNMP — Sun 26th March 2006 @ 5:38 pm

  45. Thank you for your response SNMP.

    Your entitlement to the living allowance is determined by the Act itself, that entitlement being determined solely by your actual living circumstances. The problem, as you’ve highlighted, is that the CSA has taken a position as to what they think you should be entitled to and enforce their thinking under the guise of “special circumstances”. It’s a state sanctioned rort – an affront to democracy. Afterall, (unless you’re married to Theresa Gattung) what’s so special about double income families? If that’s special then everything is special and we might as well throw the Act in the bin dissolve Parliament and leave the CSA to tell us what the law is.

    Your MP (I’d be interested to know the name) is either thick or telling you porkies. A lie does not through repitition become a truth.

    Good luck.

    Comment by John Self — Mon 27th March 2006 @ 8:05 pm

  46. Hi John,

    I agree the CSA is a law in to them selves, but I also have the Case Law from the Family and High Court as well. As my kids are with me now I just use CSA own decission it to have the allowance removed from my Ex..
    Will post the deilas if you are interested but it will be a day or so before I am home.

    Comment by SNMP — Tue 28th March 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  47. SNMP, I’m interested in what I can learn from your experiance. I like the way you say you turned there decision back on themselves. Good One. I’m waiting for my chance.
    For one year I had my living allowance halved just because I ran my own bussiness and lived in my own home. What was special about that?

    Comment by Phoenix — Tue 28th March 2006 @ 6:37 pm

  48. Ex and bf whom she was having an affair with while we were married, have bought new house, and new car. Me I just got lumbered with another 5K a year child support. Guess whos paying for the car and the house. Im at the end of it and time to give up. Thanks IRD

    Comment by Stewie — Sat 15th April 2006 @ 11:42 pm

  49. I am at my wits end. I pay for 2 of my three children, one is living up in the islands with his mother (my ex)while her partner works on an international TV show. My daughter boards with her grandparents and attends high school in NZ. My son lives with me because he did not want to go to the islands. I am paying $1375 in Child support per month. Okay I pretty good money, but what upsets me is that I have a wife, my son, 2 step children and two little girls from my second marriage. My ex gave up a carrer as a midwife to go to the islands and pays me the minimun child support amount via offset. My current wife recives $276 per month for my 2 step children.
    I can’t understand how my 2 children that don’t live with me cost $687 per month, my son who lives with me is worth $70 per month and my 2 step children are worth $138 per month. I also fail to understand how IRD can asses my family living allownance at the benefit level for a family of adults and 4 children, when I work really hard to earn good money to give those I am responsible for a better life. Nearly 25% of my gross income goes to support 2 children. 30% of my gross goes in tax, leaving the rest for me and my family to survive.
    I am told by the unhelpful IRD staff that I do not meet Admin Review criteria.
    What do i do. Please help me!!!!!!!

    Comment by Aaron — Tue 22nd August 2006 @ 6:11 pm

  50. I think there should be a “no bleeders” policy on this web site. Like my dad always said “Never trust anything that bleeds for a week and lives boy”.

    Comment by bert — Mon 3rd December 2007 @ 7:58 pm

  51. Sounds like your father was quite a hard case Bert.
    Where did you say his cave was?

    Comment by rosie — Tue 4th December 2007 @ 5:50 pm

  52. Debt, my ex owes thousands in debt and it will only keep rising due to the fact he has 3 kids here in New Zealand that he will never pay for.
    There needs to be away that if they dont pay the cost, then maybe jail time will be considered.
    My ex is living in Australia, doesnt pay anything, and will never return to pay it.
    How much more debt will the country have to be put in for morons like this when they could deport them and remove there freedom of leaving the country until the debt has been paid for.
    There needs to be a informate line where all is anonymous so us single parents can get what we deserve. I know where he lives in Aus but the NZ govenment just sits back and watches all the money owed accumilate. Dont you think it is about they started to take action.

    Comment by kirstin — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 10:10 am

  53. Unfortunately the “debt” mountain is actually a penalties and interest mountain. It is all artifical and gets in the way of parents having contact with children and meeting their obligations.
    Many many studies show that greater compliance in paying Child Support occurs when their is a lighter hand of enforcment and more contact with children.
    If you know where he is Kirstin maybe you can write to him and suggest the kids go visit him in Aussie. Maybe he can meet that expense. It would be good for the children and give you a break.

    Comment by allan harvey — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 10:41 am

  54. Calling him a moron shows you have no respect for him.
    For all we’re to know that may be the very reason he took flight to Oz (wouldn’t blame him in that case)…….and now you want to use the government to punish him because you feel hard done by………yet you’re obviously affluent enough and have enough time on your hands to write a blog on a computer…….
    PLUS YOU’VE GOT THE KIDS……..(and probably the house and car too)….

    Comment by Skeptik — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 11:45 am

  55. Come on Skeptik you know that’s not enough… it’s never enough!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Scott B — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  56. Most custodial parents…. usually women, and the government believe that Child Support is soley financial. The paying parent themselves are not important, only their wallets. They’d rather have higher crime/suicide/depression/drug/teen pregnancy rates than actually allowing children to have a balanced and happy upbringing. For me child support should mean both emotional and financial support, and don’t even get me started on the actual CS payments and how it is worked out!

    Kirstin… if you are actually one of the very very few who actually have a man who really doesn’t want to know his kids then I feel sorry for you… a little. Why a little? Cause you seem only concerned about money. It surprises me that you would post on here… being a men’s issues site! Most parents do not give up easy on seeing their kids. When they do they usually do so for their own health and or the system has screwed them so badly. If all three kids are his, I find it strange that he doesn’t want to see them or help them, surely he would have stopped after one, or not had any! Unless you tricked him into it, but he would have learnt after one surely.

    The thing is, if you are here looking for sympathy, I doubt you will get it. You see we have heard it all before, in court, in mediation, from mutual friends of our exes, from out exes both to us and the police, etc etc. It’s always about how the father doesn’t care etc etc etc, there are too many for me to be bothered to list.

    How is putting him in jail going to be in the best interests of your children? It isn’t. Simple as that. This is why I don’t believe you’re being genuine. Why shouldn’t the paying parent be allowed to leave the country, just because a bitter ex (and the government) is holding their children to ransom?

    Comment by Scott B — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  57. I hate this country and how controlled we are by the state
    None of us are truly free to live out lifes without interference
    by the state. Its just not right control is abuse the state is
    the abuser it dictates how we live and tries to manipulate how we think
    by things like forced programs eg…

    Comment by ted — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 1:24 pm

  58. I say good on him.. why dont you try getting off your arse and supporting your kids

    Comment by teddy — Wed 27th May 2009 @ 1:29 pm

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