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Child Tax Debt

Filed under: General — Scrap_The_CSA @ 11:32 am Sun 4th July 2010

Stuff this morning .

  • Note Family First true colors are showing!
  • Note the spin of this article
  • Note no one representing liable parents (UOF – Fair and Reasonable etc) has been asked for comment in this article

Child-support dodgers owe their children — and the taxman — billions.

Inland Revenue is owed more than $1.8 billion by parents who have shirked their financial responsibilities.

Figures released to the Sunday Star-Times by Inland Revenue show that of the 176,500 people liable for child support, 121,500 are behind in their payments.

Together they owe more than $560 million in unpaid child support and $1.2b in late payment penalties and interest.

The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m.

“It’s a national disgrace,” said Bob McCoskrie, national director of lobby group Family First.

“What it communicates is that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility in terms of their well-being,” he said. “You have to pay up for the consequences of your choices. If we enforced the consequences, then maybe people would think more seriously about conceiving a child they have no intention of showing any responsibility for.

“At the end of the day, it’s not only the child being penalised, it is also placing extra pressure on the responsible parent and it’s already probably tough enough for them as it is.”

One Auckland mother who separated from her children’s father six months ago says he has already fallen behind in his child support payments. She is working fulltime to make ends meet, and estimates she is already owed $1834 in unpaid child support. Now she fears she will end up bearing sole financial responsibility for raising their three children — aged three to seven.

She has spoken repeatedly to IRD about her situation but has been told it is unlikely to take any punitive action against her former partner until the amount he owes in unpaid child support reaches the $30,000-$40,000 mark, because it will involve costly court action.

“I have been told by Inland Revenue not to budget on child support being paid, which is pretty appalling. There needs to be a push for these men to be held accountable and they need to be hit hard and fast, right at the beginning, so they get that they’re not going to get away with it,” she said.

She knew of one woman who had not received any child support payments in 10 years and others who were owed between $20,000 and $30,000.

Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is not ruling out changes to the system.

“The problem is not child support itself. We actually collect 90% of the principal of child support [the money that goes directly to the child] that is owing. Where the debt problem arises is with unpaid penalties on that principal,” Dunne said….. Read more at Stuff

I’ll respond in full later – I have a child I need to parent – hey I share care but still pay and I owe a “debt”- pretty typical separated dad!

Regards

Scrap

50 Responses to “Child Tax Debt”

  1. Darryl Ward says:

    See here for a highly unbalanced, emotive and irrational attack on fathers:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3882606/Absent-dads-owe-billions-in-unpaid-child-support

    The flaws are far too many to list, but include the fact that most of this sum comprises penalties so that ‘billions’ are NOT owed in child support. Also note that no fathers ‘or men’s organisations were consulted.

    Please send letters to: letters@startimes.co.nz

    Letters must not exceed 200 words and must be written in your REAL name. You must also supply your full address and telephone number. I understand that details of correspondents are checked against the electoral roll to ensure that only letters from real people are published.

    Finally, please keep your letters coherent and focussed and your tone reasonable and respectful.

    This is very important. Yes, they go it wrong, but tell them gently. Alienating the media will NOT help our cause. Showing them we are reasonable will.

  2. Scott B says:

    Oh this makes me angry on so many levels!

    First of all like you said, there is no-one talking on behalf of child tax payers!

    Secondly it is it the penalties which make up the bulk of it and I bet the other 10% is made up of mistakes, they can never get my amount right! Even from month to month! Also why should anyone have to pay penalties? If you have sole custody or are in a non-seperated/destroyed family and you can’t afford something for your children and or wife then the taxman doesn’t pnalise you for that, so why do they in this situation? Again we are being punished for being in a circumstance most of us didn’t choose!

    Where are the stories in the media about men who are struggling to make ends meet because of the crippling amount they supposedly owe in child tax? Or how they can’t see their children? Where are they? They are no-where because the media has been so feminised that men don’t matter.

    The top five defaulters alone have an outstanding bill of $5.7m? So they owe an average of over a million dollars each????? Wow kids are expensive aren’t they? Do the kids commute to school in Britain every day or something?

    How is it “already tough enough” on the so called responsible parent? (Note the cunning use of the word responsible)

    This mother says that SHE is owed that money… NO! Your children are. But what they are really owed is not financial. It is being able to see and spend as much time as possible with both parents.

    We are being hit hard and fast at the beginning and then it continues. We get hit from all sides, from our exes and their treatment of us, and not allowing us to spend any or a little bit of time with our kids, (I know it is the same for the kids, but I am only speaking about us at the moment) the IRD charging us ridiculous amounts of child tax that we can’t afford and then charging penalties for when we can’t afford it. The lawyers and wimmins court with all of their fees and bias. The list goes on and on. Believe me lady, we are hit, constantly, no matter which way we face.

    She knew of one woman who had not received any child support payments in 10 years and others who were owed between $20,000 and $30,000. This is hearsay… how did this get in?

    Dunne nothing is not ruling out changes to the system? haha we’ve heard that many times haven’t we? But I suppose seeing as they will probably be changes which further help to make fathers and children suffer then they will probably be made!

    The problem is not child support itself. We actually collect 90% of the principal of child support [the money that goes directly to the child] that is owing. Where the debt problem arises is with unpaid penalties on that principal,” Dunne said… ah no, the money doesn’t go directly to the child you liar! Yes you are a liar! Where the debt problem arises is not with the fathers and unpaid penalties it is with the child tax itself.

    I could go on and on and on.

  3. Scott B says:

    200 words isn’t enough.

    Journalists are not meant to show a bias, but that rule has not been used in NZ for a long long time!

  4. Scott B says:

    I could go on and on and on… and I think I will…

    “What it communicates is that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility in terms of their well-being,” ah… women have been doing this for years and the state encourages and supports them!

    The title says that dads owe billions, so obviously they have researched it and foung that not one woman owes anything. Women are so perfect aren’t they?

    The article also suggests that men who are behind on their child tax or owe penalties obviously don’t care about their children. This is slander on a mass scale and also it is not a proven fact either… again how did this get into the article?

    They have strengthened the law and looking at making it even stronger to destroy men’s lives all because they can’t afford the ridiculous amounts the IRD makes up that they owe.

    Fathers have no rights, from conception to the day their children leave home. The only right we have is to pay so called child support, even if we never see them to be able to actually support them and even if they never see a cent of it!

    If you fall behind then the IRD can enforce deductions from income sources, charge orders over property, sell property by a court order and bankruptct you. How would any of that work in the best intersts of the child?

    Here’s an idea… either get rid of child tax all together or make the calculations reflect reality and take into the account the paying parents situation. But you won’t call all you care about is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    The article doesn’t cover so many other aspects of this child tax debate, in fact it only shows one biased side of it. The article is a disgrace, not the amount supposedly owed. I hope Stuff.co.nz reads this. Even if stuffallintegrity.com don’t, they’ll soon know about it as I am going to make a formal complaint about it.

  5. Scott B says:

    Oh yeah and family first is clearly a typo as it clearly meant to be feminists first.

    Phew! I think that’s enough ranting for one day!

  6. skeptik says:

    Lets see now.
    Since when was the number 1.8 a plural figure. Duh! Feminist math!
    Clearly the headline alone was designed to demonize child taxed Dads.
    As Daryl has pointed out NO father’s group or Men’s organization was contacted for comment to balance the report.
    AND wel, well, surprise, surprise, the author of the report is a feminist woman – Lois Cairns who is rapidly racking up a history of similarly misandric articles (see here).
    She also advocates men accused of rape NOT having the right to question their accusers face to face in court.
    (Also see here)
    Definitely one to put on Misandry watch from now on!

  7. Scott B says:

    Thanks for pointing out about the so called reporter.

  8. Joe Smith says:

    Utter madness…… I am one of the so called “Child Support Dogders” My ex put in a claim while we were still living together she was collecting for 18mths and the debt grew onwards and upwards. I was presented with a bill for close to $25000 including penalties that was after They had already taken $13500 from my account. Did the IRD care that she claimed frauduently? no… or that I had paid over $20000 in child care fees? no… did they care one bit about the fact that I had the child three nights a wk after we finaly split? no…do you think that the child will receive any of that coin?? no chance she will spend it on booze…. but I am the one who has to spend thousands on laywers to shed the label “Child support dogder”

  9. skeptik says:

    J.P. – My attempts post elsewhere on this site are suddenly being blocked.
    What’s going on?

    So I’ll post here –

  10. Darryl Ward says:

    ERRATUM

    In my post I gave an incorrect address for the Sunday Star Times. The correct address is: letters@star-times.co.nz

    Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience.

    Darryl

  11. Darryl Ward says:

    Poll on http://www.stuff.co.nz

    Do you know a parent behind in child support payments?

    Yes, it’s shameful

    No, they’re all up to date

  12. Dave says:

    Can any one tell me, has there ever been anywhere in the modern developed world a situation such as the following?
    Imagine a country implementing an income tax.
    Now imagine if 69% of the tax payers were either unable or unwilling to pay the full amount on time all the time.
    Do you think a rational person would conclude
    (a) the rate of tax was too high?
    Or
    (b) that these tax payers were irresponsible citizens and should be punished further?

  13. Dave says:

    To letters@star-times.co.nz

    This article by LOIS CAIRNS brings your paper into disrepute.

    I have never read a more biased ‘article’. The flaws are so many and so deep I can not possibly list them all in 200 words.
    Please contact me if you would like a more balanced and objective explanation of why this system is a failure.

  14. Dave says:

    Hi all,

    Please send in emails to letters@star-times.co.nz.

    I didn’t give my address so mine will not be published. Many will not be published but please send emails. We need to flood them with responses. This will give them a wake up call. Just be respectful and objective.

    We of course also need some that will meet the publishable standard explained by Darryl.

  15. skeptik says:

    Dave,
    I think that the child tax has obviously proven to be too high.
    If my sense of history is correct India under British rule and American before their independence (celebrated worldwide yesterday) were taxed too high. In both cases it led to revolt and an overthrow of regimes.
    Tick…..tick…tick.

    Thanks for writing to NZ Stuff magazine to complain about Lois Cairn’s misandric writing.

    By the way I’ve tried several times to write a reply to Armfortas on the thread moderated by Julie. But for some reason my posting there is being blocked. Odd! Any ideas what’s going on there?

  16. skeptik says:

    Addendum – Just sent a letter to Stuff NZ website editor complaining about Lois Cairns misandric writing.
    Thanks for the reminder Dave.

  17. Dave says:

    To sinead.boucher@fairfaxdigital.co.nz

    Article by LOIS CAIRNS

    Could you please advise me how I can make a formal complaint about the extreme bias of the article on Child Support written by LOIS CAIRNS?

    Kind regards,

    Dave…

  18. Dave says:

    Guys PLEASE hit Stuff hard, fast and in great numbers.
    Hopefully we can even get the article taken down.

    Act now guys. We need to turn the public debate on this issue. That means a fight. We need numbers to engage on this.

  19. Scott B says:

    done

  20. Dave says:

    from Sinead Boucher (Fairfax Digital)
    cc “David Kemeys (SUN)”
    date Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 9:37 AM
    subject RE: Article by LOIS CAIRNS

    Hi Dave,

    This article comes from the Sunday Star-Times and it would be appropriate to bring this up with that paper. I have copied in editor David Kemeys.

    Kinds regards

    Sinead

  21. Dave says:

    To: admin@familyfirst.org.nz

    Re: Family First is alienating a very large potential support group.

    Dear Sir/madam,

    I note that Family First has been quoted in the Sunday Star Times on Child Support.

    The quote attributed in Bob McCoskrie would demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the current system we have. I have copied the quote below. Perhaps if Family First properly understood this system they would have a completely different approach to it.

    The current system works as a powerful incentive to break up nuclear families and sideline fathers in particular.
    If Family First is truly committed to preserving the nuclear family it is interpretive that you develop a balanced and objective understanding of how this system operates in practice.

    As it stands, this misunderstanding alienates fathers that have had a divorce forced on them away from Family First. That is 75% of divorced fathers. I.e. 75% of broken families. This group of people would be a very large group of approximately 200,000 people that are naturally inclined to support Family First.

    Unfortunately what is occurring is that the forces that undermine our nuclear family are dividing Family First and a major potential support group based on ignorance and propaganda. It is the classic case of divide and conquer.

    If you would like an objective explanation of the current Child Support system and why it is in Family First’s interest and the interest of the nuclear family to take a different approach to this system please contact me.

    The quote follows:

    “It’s a national disgrace,” said Bob McCoskrie, national director of lobby group Family First.

    “What it communicates is that people can go around and make children and then show next to no responsibility in terms of their well-being,” he said. “You have to pay up for the consequences of your choices. If we enforced the consequences, then maybe people would think more seriously about conceiving a child they have no intention of showing any responsibility for.

    “At the end of the day, it’s not only the child being penalised, it is also placing extra pressure on the responsible parent and it’s already probably tough enough for them as it is.”
    Kind regards,

    Dave

  22. Lindy-Lu says:

    From my personal experience Bob McCroskie is an ignorant fundamentalist Christian and an abusive individual.

  23. Dave says:

    On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM, Bob McCoskrie wrote:

    Hi Dave

    Yes — there are 2 components to this

    · loser dads who shirk their responsibility

    · dads who are losing because our Family court system and the anti-men establishment endorse no fault divorce and favour mothers in the process

    My comments are around the loser dads — some of whom rush to Australia just to avoid their responsibility. Some ‘fathers’ are happy for the sex but not the consequences!

    Unfortunately the media don’t quote everything that is discussed around this issue. And yes — we are also pushing for equal shared parenting as you know.

    Bob McCoskrie

    National Director – Family First NZ

    P.O.Box 276-133, Manukau City 2241

    09 261 2426 (w) 09 261 2520 (f) 027 55 555 42 (m) (e) bob@familyfirst.org.nz (w) http://www.familyfirst.org.nz

    Hi Bob,

    I understand very well that the media only quote parts that suit their agenda.

    However you are still promoting stereo types and the expense of alienating a very large group of potential supporters. Unfortunately if you focus on the rare exceptions then you will continue to alienate the vast majority of fathers out there that might otherwise support Family First.

    My humble suggestion to you is that perhaps you need to consider your desired outcome for Family First and then approach this issue from a position of knowledge. An objective view of our current system reveals why the current system is not working. It is very important that you put the myths aside and consider the facts.

    People naturally want to be part of their biological children’s lives. It is a natural human instinct for men and women. This is the basis of Family First ideology. So ask yourself – what could motivate people so strongly that they would ignore their children and move to another country? Stop and think about Family First values. These people are being pushed.

    Sure that is partly the family court but it is compounded by the excessive and unworkable child support system we have.

    Just ask yourself one thing:

    Imagine a country implementing an income tax.
    Now imagine if 69% of the tax payers were either unable or unwilling to pay the full amount on time all the time.
    Do you think a rational person would conclude
    (a) the rate of tax was too high?
    Or
    (b) that these tax payers were irresponsible citizens and should be punished further?

    Also ask yourself, if the current harsh penalties and eforcement are making the “debt” worse then why would further measures suddenly have a different result? It is illogical. What we are doing is giving people more and more incentives to avoid unrealistic costs. What we should be doing is creating the environment where their natural parenting instincts take over.

    The reality it that it is extremely rare for a father to simply abandon his children and refuse to take any responsibility for his children. However you certainly are given the impression it is common by the media. The ones that do have usually been excluded from their children’s lives against their will and feel powerless to have any influence on their children’s lives.

    If you treat people as nothing more than walking wallets then that is what you will eventually get. A wallet that walks.

    I strongly implore you to learn more about just how this system actually operates in practice.

    I’ll give you just a few points for starters. I can support all of the following with hard facts.

    1. Firstly we do NOT have a child support system in New Zealand. The current system has almost nothing to do with supporting children. The current system is an income tax on only one of the separated parents. Most of this tax is claimed by the government. It is never intended for the children. It is more correct to call it a Child Tax or a Child Levy.

    2. 75% of divorces are initiated by wives. In the vast majority of cases the father is suddenly prevented from having as much responsibility for the care of the child as he would like. In 40% of all broken homes the children see Dad 4 times per year or less. In Maori families it is over 50%. I have never come across a single biological father that did not want to see his children and take some responsibility for them. The system places barriers against them being involved and then calls them irresponsible.

    2. A separated parent (probably Dad) can and they do care for their children 5 days and nights out of every fortnight. This a normal sort of arrangement. That parent (Dad) still has to pay 18% of their gross income before tax to the other parent – regardless of how much the other parent (mother) earns. For 2 children it is 24% and so on. What this means is that although Dad has basically all the same costs and responsibilities as the mother the Dad still has to pay the mother at least 18% of his income before tax. This is more or less the situation for the majority of people in the scheme.

    3. These rates have no relationship to the cost to raising a child at all.

    4, There is absolutely no requirements for any of this money to go towards raising the child. The mother can use it to buy cigarettes or anything she wants. They often do.

    5. The vast majority of people pay child support. The rates are simply set so high that for 69% of them they can not pay it all on time all the time. This is fundamentally because it is not about the basic cost of raising a child. It is an excessive income tax as explained above.

    6. Therefore 69% of people incurr penalities. The penalities are so severe that once they begin that parent is extremely unlikely to be able to pay off all the penalities. These penalties make up 60% of the “debt”. It would be higher but it has become so out of control and unrealistic that the IRD is writing off penalties.

    7. Liable mothers are more likely to default on payments than liable fathers.

    I could go on but this is long enough.

    What we should have is a system where the minimum requirements to raise a child are shared between both parents. Then we can encourage (but not force) parents to exercise their natural instincts to give their children more than the basics. Parents almost always do this provided they can provide goods and services directly to their own children, themselves.

    The reality is that the current system is fundamentally flawed and based on false ideology. Your comments simply propagate that false ideology. The people you refer to are the extreme exception and the current system breeds more of them. More importantly by implying that most people are irresponsible when it is the system that is flawed, you simply turn off the majority of people. The majority simply find the system excessive and unworkable. They therefore see your comments as extreme and they see Family First as working against them. Whereas you could use these people to support you.

    What is happening is that fathers are being told they are not allowed to care for their children (or very little) and at the same time that they are irresponsible because they find it impossible to keep up with an unrealistic tax system.

    I strongly urge you to research and attack this flawed system rather than a few exceptional cases.

    Kind regards,

    Dave.

  24. julie says:

    To Lindy-Lu

    Oh, your words are sad. (to read)

    I wonder whether Bob would have grown a lot on his journey? I find him approachable, understanding, respectful etc but then again that’s because I concentrate of the things we have in common and agree with. It might be different if we were against each other.

  25. Lindy-Lu says:

    I’m angry. He hurt my family.

  26. Skeptik says:

    Lindy Lu –
    This phrase you’ve used is pure gold. Thank-you!

    “If you treat people as nothing more than walking wallets then that is what you will eventually get. A wallet that walks”.

    Brilliantly succinct.

  27. Rippey says:

    FYI, Here is Dunne’s latest entry on his child support blog on the United Future website (its a response to comments “Ryan” made):

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/forum/topic,88,blog_child_support_changes_.sm?i=20#forum-replies

    “Some facts, Ryan, to get in the way of your anger.
    1. I began a review of the child support scheme in 2008, looking at promoting shared parenting arrangments and the formula for setting the cost of raising a child.
    2. I presented proposals to Cabinet at the end of 2009, but these were deferred at that time for budgetary and other reasons.
    3. If I was as uninterested as you claim, I would not only never have begun the review, but I would dropped the issue the moment Cabinet deferred decisions on it.
    4. What I have done instead is carry out more work with officials on my proposals, which I am looking to resubmit to Cabinet in the next couple of months. The reason for that timing is that quite independently the Auditor-General began a review on child support debt levels, which is due to be completed shortly, and I obviously want to see what that says before making my final proposals.
    5. Am I concerned that this is taking a long time? Of course, and I am very frustrated about the delays, because I think the problem is a major one. But when I get messages like yours, Ryan, I do wonder about why I should even bother at all. Here am I, the only MP to have spoken out about chiuld support issues for years, let alone to have tried to do something about it, yet all I seem to get is criticism from the very people I am trying to help. Why?
    6. Here is the way government works. Ministers make proposals in their portfolio areas to the Cabinet for consideration. If Cabinet accepts them, then legislation is prepared for presentation to Parliament. That process can take six to twelve months. If Cabinet says no, then Ministers have the choice of either dropping the idea altogether, or trying to modify it to get Cabinet approval. In this case, I took the latter option, but I could just as easily have decided to drop the idea altogether.
    7. If my proposals are accepted by the Cabinet – hopefully some time in the next couple of months – I will then release a government discussion paper on them inviting public feedback, and depending on that, would then look to getting legislation through Palriament next year to take effect from 1 April 2012.”

  28. Dave says:

    Eh hem!

  29. Dave says:

    What a pretentious reply from Dunne! For goodness sake! Dune is minister for Revenue. Child Support “debt” is $1.8, billion, grows every year and the scheme has obviously failed. If he drops it then that is how he will be judged.

    Other governments have looked at child support. It comes up every term and never goes away. It’s just that they made it worse. Dunne hasn’t shared his proposals with us so we don’t actually know what we are waiting for. No doubt some it is minor tweaking. It ludicrous to claim he could have dropped the issue. Of course he could have. It would cost him at the ballot box but he could have dropped it.

    On that site Ryan does not come across as angry or unreasonable to me. Here is what Ryan wrote:

    So Mr Peter Dunne, when are your changes in regards to child support going to be seen by Parliment? The last we heard from you of this was back at the beginning of March. Deferred ha? you seem to be quite vocal on other issues as shown on the front page of your website – why not pushing this issue?. I truely think that you’re not really interested in the thousands of people that are standing, if not already pushed over the brink of ruin with the latest tax increases (ETS and GST)…

    In regards to myself I see my ex (whom even the admin review officer admitted was doing very well for herself) with our young child living with her well off partner, using hand me downs to cloth our child and neglecting to take him to the doctor when he is sick to the point where he ends up in A & E with strep throat and burst eardrum. I want to know the money I pay is being used to bring up our child in the proper manner instead of being used for her clothing and hair budget.

    When Mr Dunne? When?

  30. tren Christchurch says:

    This is my take on this and call me a radical if you want.

    The system is a fascist one. I applaud all the dodgers and it is the right way of resisting this diabolical system (Family Court and all the industry behind it, Cyfs, Wimins refuse, IRD)

    They destroyed my family. I am a coward because I am still paying child support.

  31. Scott B says:

    I am a coward too.

  32. Dave says:

    Well 90% of them simply can’t keep up with the demands placed on them. So they pay. They just can’t pay the full amount all of the time. Hence they are not dodgers either.
    Still, I see your point.
    The system is actually collapsing under it’s own weight. So yeah I also agree with what you say to a point. The only way to properly reform this system appears to be to force it to fail spectacularly. This is more likley the more people get behind – which is not hard to do at all.

  33. Scott B says:

    Anyone heard back from stuff or sunday star times?

  34. Skeptik says:

    Nothing from StuffNZ. Surprise surprise.
    Not even the politeness to say they’ve received my e-mail. So not really a professional outfit.
    Any journalist worth their salt knows it’s important to be polite to their public (You never know when you’ll need them!)
    Still it’s good to know who the enemy is – Lois Cairns feminazzi reporter there.
    It seems that StuffNZ is a feminist controlled web news site for the time being.

  35. karan jiharr says:

    Gotta ask.. in America child tax by IRS is worked out from Nett earning i.e after tax deductions. Why does NZ use gross income figure i.e before tax??

  36. Scott B says:

    Yeah same here, heard nothing.

  37. Whafe says:

    Like Skeptik, I have not heard a thing back, am I surprised? NO WAY…. This is a leftie socialist media outfit is StuffNZ / SST

  38. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Because IRD are idiots?

  39. Dave says:

    The law makers decided this not IRD. IRD just carry it out without appling any sense of fariness.

    I don’t know the reason. It’s ideologically driven not rational.

  40. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Who advises the law makers, the officials.

    Rsason for gross figure is that its easier to administer than using a net figure as there is greater possibility of variance. But really I think it has to do with collecting more money.It is a tax system run for the purpose of revenue collection.

  41. Melissa says:

    Ok, so yes guys, Melissa is the name, and yes I am a female. I’m not entirely sure if I should be posting on this website, everybody seems to be pretty heated on the child support discussion (from what I have read just now on this website). That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. Myself, I am a 31 year old mother of an 8 year old daughter whose father has paid probably close to $100 in total over 8 YEARS. I have worked full time since my daughter was 10 months old, so any child support he does pay will come to me. He told me when I got pregnant that we will have the baby together, then past the time I was able to have a termination (which sadly, I admit I would have if I knew that I was going to end up becoming a single parent at 24!!), he fkd off never to be seen again. He lives in the same town which makes it more hurtful for my daughter. IRD cannot tell me what enforcement action they are doing, or why they cannot seem to find him due to his privacy issues. The article said that they have powers, WHATEVER!! What they did tell me is that I would have better luck telling IRD that I don’t want them to pursue his child support, and instead pursue him myself, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT.

    That is just my situation. But you must also take note that i sympathise with all the men out there who are being charged ridiculous amounts of child support, because trust me, it is not fair. Especially if you have your children 50/50, or if you have them 2 or 3 nights per week. Things need to change for people in my situation, and in yours.

    The changes need to come from PARLIAMENT not from the local reporter who has made a very bias report. I also read that NZ Herald article. I dont’ care whether most of that money is penalties or child support, or how many men owe it (it could be women too but they didn’t mention that). You are wasting your time complaining on this website. How about you get your A into G and start changing the law. If you hadn’t heard, that does happen and can happen.

    This is my day one of me making starting to make a change, and in due course, I will invite your views and comments.

    Watch this space.

  42. Dave says:

    Hi Melissa,

    He would have to have all his income from illegal sources to avoid child support. Even if he was on a benefit they would be deducting money from that. If he has no income at all for 8 years then IRD would be investigating him for tax evasion but yes they could not tell you about it.

    They already have massive powers. If he had any assests they might be able to seize them but this approach would just make it less likely for him to be able to pay you anything in the future. For example if they took his car then that will impact his ability to work and earn a wage. Probably he has a huge debt owing which is beyond his ability to pay already.

    Really there isn’t much more they can do. Eventually he will have to pay including all the back payments. Did you want him locked up or something? I don’t see how you’d get paid if he was in jail and when he came out he would find it very hard to get any work.

    Ultimately the most successful strategy is to get him involved with the child. Once he forms a bond with the child he’ll pay something towards that child one way or another. It’s just human nature at work. That was probably what IRD were trying to tell you. It was just home spun advice – not IRD policy.

    Using force has failed. More force wont work any better. Appealing to his humanity is much more likely to work. You want him to see this child as a human being that needs his time – not just a endless bill from you.

    Of course it is impossible to force someone to be a parent against their will. If he simply flat out refuses to see the child at all then probably all you can do is let him know that he has a child that wants to get to know him and the door is always open.

    Melissa, if you think it is unfair then would you like to trade places with me? I dream of being in your situation.

  43. Dave says:

    P.S. Melissa, we have tried every possible non-violent means to change the law. It hasn’t worked so far. Your insults are not going to change that fact.

    We don’t think discussing these issues here and elsewhere is a waste of time at all. Awareness need to come from somewhere.

  44. glenn says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Like Dave, I dream of being in your position. If I could have my children living with me, I would not care whether their mother paid Child Support or not. That is not my motivation, nor is it the motivation of most of the fathers I have ever known. Sadly, because of our ‘legal’ system, (and I refuse to refer to it as a ‘justice’ system, because it has nothing to do with natural justice), the motivation of our Government IS to provide incentive to break relationships down, create adversarial relationships between parents regarding their children, thus turning the non-custodial parent into a tax supply cash-cow. But in your situation, where the dad has elected to abandon his parental responsibilities to your (joint) child, I believe he should expect to make a financial contribution in lieu of that. Kia Kaha.

  45. glenn says:

    To add to that, Dave’s advice is good. Never close the door on the idea of a future relationship between father and child. If nothing else, it helps you to sleep at night.

  46. Skeptik says:

    Mellisa,
    Way, way too many questions are left unanswered for me to feel inclined to support you. And given this is a site about MENS experience I would need answers from your ex too before rushing to your aid in any case.
    To understand the kinds of questions that go through my head as I digest your post read on –

    Why do you suppose your ex left you?
    Did you make life so unbearable for him that he scarpered?
    Did you dunp him in favor of another man or getting DPB or some other benefit as a provider instead?
    Did you even have his approval about getting pregnant in the first place or was it a ‘surprise’ pregnancy he balked at?
    Can you even prove to him that he is indeed the father of the child and not some other man? If you can’t prove it to him, do you still expect him to believe he is the father rather than some other guy?
    You say he remains in the same town as you, yet describe him as ‘fkd off never to be seen again’ – Do you see how those two statements seem to oddly contradict one another?
    Lastly, whilst it’s great news to hear you sounding supportive of fathers who pay too much child tax – have you ever considered your ex’s viewpoint which may be that paying even $1 of child tax is too much for a child he doesn’t know for sure is his, never even wanted in the first place, and comes from a relationship with a woman he ended up separated from?

  47. Hans Laven says:

    Melissa – I support you in expecting a reasonable contribution from the child’s father. An amount that fairly reflects a proportion of the actual costs of the child. Good luck.

  48. Scott B says:

    I take it no-one has heard anything from those alleged media companies? My emails were all unanswered!

  49. Skeptik says:

    Scott B,
    Ditto here brother.
    Like I said before not even the civility of a response saying my mail to StuffNZ had been received.
    Pure lace curtain.

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