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Families commission on child support

Filed under: General — Darryl Ward @ 9:29 am Fri 9th October 2009

From: http://www.nzfamilies.org.nz/news-events/separation/families-commission-releases-issues-paper-ahead-of-child-support-review

The Families Commission supports a review of the child support scheme in the hopes it will result in more equity, flexibility and information for separated parents.

Inland Revenue will shortly release a discussion document on possible changes to the child support scheme. The Families Commission sees this as an opportunity to bring broader family perspectives into the debate – such as the importance of promoting and investing in cooperative parenting. As a first step, the Commission has released an issues paper to help inform the coming discussions. It will follow this up with further analysis and recommendations for the review to consider.

“There is clear evidence that parents who are able to co-operate and put their children’s needs first are more satisfied with their care and financial arrangements than those who have arrangements imposed on them by the court,” said Chief Families Commissioner Jan Pryor.

The Commission would like to see better promotion and provision of the information and support services that help separating parents with their relationship and communication.

“Our research shows that parents tend not to use formal support services for advice and information. Instead they often rely on family, friends and people such as their GP, lawyers and Citizens Advice Bureaux. We need a strategy for getting information that supports cooperative parenting through to separating couples in as many ways and places as possible,” she said.

The formula for assessing child support payments is part of the review and many parents believe it should be based on the needs and costs of the child rather than on the income of the liable parent.

“Any change in the formula should take into account the income of both parents, the costs of shared care or contact, any additional children of both households, and provide flexibility to take into account changing situations,” said Dr Pryor.

“We also believe it is time for New Zealand to consider passing on child support payments to the parent who is getting the DPB or other social security benefit. Sole parent beneficiaries are among the poorest of New Zealand families. Those with former partners paying child support to Inland Revenue would be better off if the payments came to them instead.”

Dr Pryor said with one in four children living in sole parent family at some point in their lives, the issues of separated parenting are of vital concern to New Zealand families. “We must make the most of this opportunity to do the best we can for these children and their parents,” she said.

7 Responses to “Families commission on child support”

  1. Maninoz-no-cs says:

    I am not holding my breath, it is just more doublespeak, they have forced thousands of dads to leave NZ for Oz and elsewhere, they have deliberately defathered hundreds of thousands of children, they are never to be trusted . The bitterness that they have started amongst good men is only beginning, wait until these men are old and alone with nothing to lose then retribution will start to be done, and these evil people that have wreaked such legal terrorism to good mens’ lives will receive some real justice

  2. tren Christchurch says:

    Here few rules if the govenment wants to stop manufacturing disgruntled fathers.

    0 – child support money to go in its entirety to the child not government coffers.
    1 – child support money based on needs.
    2 – child support money based on payee ability
    3 – Child support money not to exceed what the government would pay if the parent is absent (dead or unknown or..). Supplementary payments by parent by choice not force.
    4 – No payments if the parent can not see his children because contact obstructed by the other parent.

  3. mits says:

    I have to admit that Im not overly confidant in any changes mooted in this paper having much of an effect on the problems with child tax.
    Re arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic would seem a good analogy.

    In my case I rail against having to pay money to support my children that goes on anything but their support. I see nothing in this paper that will address this issue.
    While it sounds all sweet and rosey to state “many parents believe it should be based on the needs and costs of the child rather than on the income of the liable parent” the big question here would have to be who makes the desision on what are the needs and costs?
    “parents who are able to co-operate and put their children’s needs first are more satisfied with their care and financial arrangements” so its not going to change their already working financial relationship. In my case a high percentage of what I pay in child tax goes to supporting the needs and costs of the custodial parents lifestyle choices not my children, anything actually spent on them is a bonus.
    “Any change in the formula should take into account the income of both parents, the costs of shared care or contact, any additional children of both households, and provide flexibility to take into account changing situations,”
    I have been dealing with child tax now for over 12 years and from what I read into this flowery statement is that IRD will being looking at ways of increasing the take not reducing it. And because it can all be wrapped up in the “but its all for the children, think of the children” rhetoric I dont see this changing.
    As for passing on child tax to DPB beneficiaries directly, pay the penalty funds that IRD are gouging from non custodial parents directly to WINZ and not the consolidated fund with the mandate to spend it on raising the DPB. It might be obvious that for someone on the DPB recieving child tax as well will definitly make them better off but how does it help the poor sod who has to pay it?

  4. Dave says:

    When you first read it there seems to be a contradiction. It states that it should be based on what it actually costs to raise a child. However it then claims the the actual cost of raising a child depends on the parents (read father’s) income!!

    The basic flawed ideology still rules here. The concept that parents should be ones to decide how much they are willing to spend on their own children seems to be unacceptable.

    Child Support should be there only to make sure the bare essentials are provided. Beyond that it is up to parents to decide how much they will spend. If Dad earns $1million a year he can still only be forced to provide enough for the child’s basic needs. It is up to him to decide if he will be a generous parent or a tight arse. That is not the government’s role.

    You can not legislate to force people to be ideal parents. That is fundamentally why the current child tax system is such a complete failure.

  5. Hans Laven says:

    The Families Commission proposes to pay child tax directly to DPB recipients thereby increasing their income. The current DPB/child tax system has been highly successful in depriving NZ children of their fathers and of adequate families to grow up in, through facilitating both the break up of established families and the production of children in the absence of any parental union. This latest proposal from the so-called Families Commission would make it even more appealing for primary child-carers to break up their children’s family units.

    This probably causes no concern for the Families Commission which was set up under an ideology that sees sole parents and indeed any bunch of cohabitants as equal to if not better than biological parents in raising children. Does anyone know if the Families Commission has ever done or recommended anything aimed at actually protecting protecting or promoting NZ families, i.e. mum, dad and their children?

    The Commission encourages those paying child tax to “think of the children”, but it supports an essentially feminist ideology in which children’s best interests are much less important than women’s selfish aspirations to be independent from the fathers of their children (though still receiving their money) and free to pursue new sexual relationships. If children’s interests were the priority then help and encouragement would be recommended towards maintaining rather than trashing NZ families.

  6. Hans Laven says:

    Interesting ideas tren Christchurch. I’m not sure about rule #3 because the government pays many DPB beneficiaries over $500 per week and some up to $1000. Also, I think more rules would be important, such as “parents have a rebuttable right to choose equal shared care in which no money changes hands” and “the paying parent pays only for any time over 50% that the other parent is asked to care for the children” (i.e. when one parent, by agreement, has the children more than the other does).

  7. tren Christchurch says:

    Hans,

    May be #3 could be re-phrased:
    3 — Child support money not to exceed what the government would pay per child if…

    It goes without saying that the sole beneficiary of the child support is the child not the other party.

    I agree with you 100%.

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