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The cost of raising children

Filed under: Child Support — Scrap_The_CSA @ 2:20 pm Wed 19th May 2010

Peter Dunne has acknowledged that a formula assessment based on gross income to calculate Child Support (Tax) is unfair and can  produce crippling payment levels.

He intends to replace it with a formula based on the findings his departmental researchers have concocted on the cost of raising children.

There has been little rigorous analysis of the findings of of the study and it has already been used to inform policy

What is clear to me is that the figures concocted don’t add up. What worries me is the lack of rigorous criticism of the methodology and the results.  The press lapped this up and have never dug deeper than the press release and sound byte summaries.

There is a battle coming over the calculations of the cost of raising a child  and it reaches beyond Child Tax.

This thread is seeking to bring together ordinary Kiwis to look at what fairly constitutes the basic needs of children ,both the financial and non financial components of those needs.

Feedback on the research findings is appreciated, as are your own thoughts on the costs of raising children . If you quote research or articles please provide a link to reference.

Regards

Scrap

58 Responses to “The cost of raising children”

  1. Dave says:

    According to this study:

    Reasons why it is difficult to gauge cost include:
    Whether cost should be based on actual expenditures (as per household survey data) or, alternatively, a basket of goods that a child is considered to need for an acceptable living standard.

    They then go on to say the cost of rasing a child is related to parents income. I.e. actual expenditures as per household survey data. They never explain why they jumped on this measure rather than on what they call “a basket of goods that a child is considered to need”.

    You are dead right Scrap there is no critique of this entire process and the assumptions. The result is that they are going to end up with another unworkable law – if they ever get around to changing it at all.

  2. DownUnder says:

    But a basket of goods would be a flat tax; can’t have that.

  3. tren Christchurch says:

    The only payment that the goverment should require from a working parent
    should be equal to the one the government is prepared to bestow on a parent-less child

    Anything that a parent pays above that is dependent on the generosity of the parent. Generally parents are generous with their children.

  4. julie says:

    Scrap,

    Thanks for the information you’ve provided.

  5. Dan says:

    As usual the numbers quoted are the number of parents paying child support, even when the payments are taken by the state and not passed on to the children. It also doesn’t account for the injustices in payments for shared care where the liable parent pays for the privelege of having their children with them.

  6. Scott B says:

    The biggest cost of my children has been the Family court and lawyers!

  7. Hans Laven says:

    In my opinion the only payment the government should require from a “non-custodial parent” (NCP) should be no more than what the government itself pays for a child, i.e. the difference between an adult benefit and a benefit for an adult plus a child. For example, the weekly unemployment benefit for a sole parent is $278.04 net (presumably regardless of the numbe of children) while the unemployment benefit for a single adult 25+ years is $194.12 net, so under the government’s own reasoning the maximum that any non-custodial parent should have to pay is $83.92 per week for any number of children. Otherwise, the government is duplicitous, on the one hand taking a position that $83.92 is enough for an unemployed parent to cover the costs of raising children and on the other hand claiming that an NCP should pay up to 6 times that amount for the same purpose. The difference between $83.92 and what NCPs are actually made to pay basically represents spousal support.

  8. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Very similar to my thoughts Hans,

    People forget we already pay taxes to cover benifit expenditure.

    Regards

    Scrap

  9. Phoenix says:

    I agree in principle with what you are saying Hans. But personally I don’t think a non-custodial parent should have to pay anything at all.

    Here is why: When you are a parent you receive a number of payments from the government that are there to help with the costs of raising a child, these payments are substantial and are paid irrespective of whether the parents are together or not. Family tax credit, increased accommodation supplement and in work payment being the main ones. On top of this there are subsidies to help with additional costs eg childcare, medical care.

    When a couple separates ALL these payments go to the custodial parent, who has a 90% chance of being female. These effectively ARE child maintenance, paid through the tax system, and pay a large portion of the cost of raising a child. So why should a non-custodial parent have to pay for something that is ALREADY being paid for in their taxes?

    Lets have a look at some numbers:

    Two parents earn identical income of $30,000 per year.

    Custodial parent (90%+ chance of being female) receives on top of their income:

    $86 in Family Tax credit.
    $60 in In Work Payment.
    $70 in Accommodation Supplement.
    .
    $216……..Total a week, tax free income.
    $11,232…..Total a year, tax free income.

    The equivalent of an additional $14,000 in income before taxes, based on a 20% tax rate.

    (These are approximate figures of course and do not including any payment from the non-custodial parent).
    .
    Now if then don’t have custody then they don’t get any of these payments. This figure alone is pretty high, effectively it is a second part time income, or the equivalent of a 50% pay rise!

    So a custodial parent is ALREADY receiving child maintenance, paid for in the taxes of every New Zealander, why then should a non-custodial parent pay anything?
    .
    There is only one obvious reason: The non-custodial parent has a 90% chance of being male.

  10. Skeptik says:

    Pheonix,
    Bingo!
    Flawless logic.
    Thankyou.
    It needled me endlessly that I paid tax on everything from a paperclip to a car which went into govt coffers. Then got doled out in a variety of handouts as you’ve described to my ex.
    Motherhood NZ – scam bigtime for those who play the system.
    I know i’ve said this before but think it’s worth repeating. I knew women on DPB buying houses!
    Think about that.

  11. tren Christchurch says:

    Hans, that is exactly my point and that is the line that should be explained to all those paying child support out there.

    30% of one’s income is extortion money. How a person is supposed to save and rebuild his/her life is beyond me. This is slavery.

  12. amfortas says:

    Hans’ point is quite valid and reasoned.

    The problem with having a bureaucrat decide how much is need to raise a child is that almost any measure is subjective. Once ‘estabished’ – following Han’s logic – anyone NOT spending that amount on their child is de facto, prima facie, guilty of child neglect.

    Phoenix decries any payment by a non-custodial parent. This conflates several issues.

    BOTH parent ought to be TOTALLY responsible, individually, jointly and severally, for the complete wellebing of their children – financial, physical, emotional, spiritual, educational, mental and health. BOTH should be accountable.

    The issue of custody is another matter entirely.

  13. julie says:

    Hans, I think you might need to investigate the DPB closer to work out how much the government pays for children. Look to the extra entitlements because it’s not the difference between someone on the DPB and someone on an unemployed benefit or a pensioner or an invalid.

  14. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Julie,

    We already pay tax for a welfare state aka benifits like DPB.

    Cost is borne from the consolidated fund.

    Regards

    Scrap

  15. julie says:

    I hear where you’re coming from but I also hear the other side where tax payers don’t want to be paying for men and women to have children especially when they don’t have children themselves.

    What’s the excuse for the parents not on the DPB? You show information saying IRD has 200,000 clients. There’s 97,000 parents on the DPB. Of those some will not have father’s names on the birth certificates, some whose husbands have died and fathers as the parent receiving the benefit.

    That leaves well over half working.

    Maybe for them, it’s about including the new partners income?

  16. Phoenix says:

    Amfortas.

    I am not against non-custodial parents paying for the upbringing of their children at all. However I am definitely against the idea of a non-custodial parent being expected to pay twice, which they are under the current system. They pay in their taxes, and then are expected to pay a second time with child maintanence.

    At present the basic costs of raising a child is largely paid for with the financial “assistance” supplied through the Working for Families package, which is paid for with the taxes we all pay. This actually means that NEITHER parent is paying for the cost of raising their children under the current system, it is being paid by the taxpayer.

    When a relationship breaks up, suddenly the non-custodial parent is expected to pay toward raising their children. The custodial parent still receives the financial assistance and effectively does not have to pay much out of their own earnings, (if anything at all) toward the raising of their children.

    Since during relationship breakup the woman has a 90% chance of getting any children because of a biased family court system this assistance is largely only available to females. Non-custodial parents, (90% chance of being men) are left completely in the cold, with no assistance whatsoever for the ongoing costs that they have connected with raising their children (and their ARE costs when you are a non-custodial parent).

    Non-custodial parents are being bled dry, paying for their children twice, and are forced to live in conditions which would never be accepted for anyone else. I know of fathers who have been forced to sell their cars and live in garages because that is the only accommodation they can afford and the only way they can meet all their obligations. I don’t know any personally, but I can guarantee that some non-custodial parents are forced into bankruptcy.

    Why should non-custodial parents have to pay twice and be forced into living in these kinds of conditions, while custodial parents get the cost of raising a child paid for by the taxpayer?

  17. julie says:

    Now that I see Phoenix is talking about IRD’s family assistance, I can see where everyone’s coming from. We all pay taxes towards that and all single parents eligible can receive it regardless if they work or not.

  18. Skeptik says:

    NZ MEN HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.
    NZ Women can BY LAW unilaterally abort or concieve and put up for adoption offspring WITHOUT even putting the father’s name on the birth certificate.
    Plus the courts won’t even accept DNA paternity tests as proof of fatherhood!
    Therefore WOMEN BY LAW IN NZ UNILATERALLY OWN CHILDREN.
    Therefore without any rights whatsoever fathers have NO OBLIGATION TOWARDS CHILDREN.
    Indeed given that women have at least 11 different types of contraception available to them why should even taxpayers bear the brunt of supporting WOMEN’S CHOICE TO BECOME MOTHERS?

    I see the kind of logic I present is increasingly being advanced by men in the Men’s rights movement who are saying they’re oppressed by taxation without representation and all responsibilities but no rights.
    Try and beat this logic. I’ve tried but couldn’t. It seems reasonable.

  19. Scott B says:

    The only right you have, is the right to pay… but that’s not so much of a right, more of a threat!

  20. Mits says:

    I totally agree Skeptic.
    Child tax and the DPB have always been shrouded in this “its all for the children” cover to soothe the sensibilities of the parent in reciept of it. Or the IRD for pursueing it.
    Parents that come to an arrangement outside of IRD regarding costs for their children, DPB not included always seem somewhat bemused when others lament being forced into IRD mandated payments.
    I think that the occassional proponent of IRD enforcing child tax you see on sites like this are evidence as to how its being used as a control mechanism by disaffected parents to punish the other parent.
    IRD sets the base line and then they are free to extort, coerce, blackmail lie and cheat to get more after that.
    As I said its noticable that parents that can come to an arrangement outside of IRD dont seem to have many problems but its the ones in this formula driven method that do. Does that mean they are paying to much or to little.

    Im not opposed to child support. Im actually all for it. NZ should have child support. It would be a good idea.
    But please can we all stop calling this travesty we have now child support?
    We dont do the children or ourselves any good in this deception.

  21. noconfidence says:

    Don’t forget that the WINZ pays NOTHING for the upkeep of children if you’re in a shared custody arrangement where you have the children 50% or less. You are NOT considered the principal caregiver (even at 50%) so it labels you a ‘single adult’ on unemployment benefit. DPB is also only available to the principal caregiver. That’s another way the government screws us over.

  22. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Hey, Julie

    I hear where you’re coming from but I also hear the other side where tax payers don’t want to be paying for men and women to have children especially when they don’t have children themselves.

    I the taxpayer dont want to pay for women who get cancer treatment, old peoples pensions and care, your education, a police force so following your argument User pays should apply.

    We have a social contract – taxes pay for the benifits – health, education, DPB, Police, your education etc.

    REgards

    Scrap

  23. amfortas says:

    You have a valid set of points too, Phoenix, and whilst conflating several issues, those issues each need a far better treatment than I can give them.

    My point is that both parents should be TOTALLY responsible.

    A parent needs a job or an arrangement that enables him/her to provide for their children.

    Now, if the taxpayer is to be involved, what is the taxpayer prpepared to provide and in what circumstances? A loan, temporarily? A grant? Again for a defined period. To or on the account of the child, or to the parent? To one parent or to both, half each?

    We have sevaral distinct issues here.

    You are probably in a better position to understand the intricacies of the NZ payment system, but all countries have different ones. The issues in each place, however, are identical. Parent…. taxpayer….. loan….. grant….. temporality…… recipient and accountability.

  24. Mits says:

    Of those some will not have father’s names on the birth certificates
    Who is it that gets to deny a child one half of their genetic make up?
    If the father isnt known, so therefore cant be included on the birth cert, then surely child tax wouldnt apply.
    Shouldnt the onus of knowing who sired the child have a bit more emphasis placed upon the mother
    Or would this be a case to prove why compulsory paternity testing should be law here in NZ.
    And dont you think 97 000 parents on the DPB is too much?

  25. julie says:

    Hey back Scrap, I wish you were paying for my education, lol. But I see what you’re saying. We as a nation started paying taxes for children in 1926. I’ve just written about the past on my site if anyone is interested.

    And it stands that we chose as a nation to pay taxes the way we do.

  26. julie says:

    Hi Mits,

    Who is it that gets to deny a child one half of their genetic make up?

    Answer: A father that doesn’t want to pay.
    When I had Scraps partner speaking to single parents, none wanted to know how to get CS, instead they all wanted to stop him paying cause he didn’t want to pay and they figured he shouldn’t have to pay the government for the DPB.

    If the father isnt known, so therefore cant be included on the birth cert, then surely child tax wouldnt apply.

    You’ve figured it out.

    Shouldnt the onus of knowing who sired the child have a bit more emphasis placed upon the mother
    Or would this be a case to prove why compulsory paternity testing should be law here in NZ.

    Now you get it. MP Peter Dunne doesn’t want anti Christian government to control nor for the government to raise children. Thus he has been anti this compulsory paternity testing.

    And dont you think 97 000 parents on the DPB is too much?

    No, not at all. Many of DPB beneficiaries think well of the fathers.

  27. Skeptik says:

    Oh my goodness! Julie,
    Are you serious? Am I reading you correctly on what you’re saying here?
    If so I’m afraid you’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for feminist logic.

    Let’s see now – you reckon a father who doesn’t want to pay (I presume you mean child tax) gets to deny a child half their genetic makeup. Is that what you’re really saying? How bizarre!
    Don’t you realise every child is automatically born with half of their genetic makeup coming from a father?
    That that’s got NOTHING TO DO WITH PAYING CHILD TAX. PERIOD.
    However as we know all too well NZs many feminists will use men’s inability to pay child tax (even a father in a coma recently!!!) as an excuse to defather his child/ren.
    We fathers are only seen as cheque books not human beings. You seem to have forgotten that.

    You reckon Peter Dunne doesn’t want govt to raise kids! What a hoot of a thing to say! After all he’s done nothing over many years to stem the flood of children becoming defathered through the femily caught/ DV matrix and firmly placed on the DPB nanny state nipple!

    You reckon 97000 on DPB isn’t too much because many think well of fathers.
    Well, how sweet! That’s 97000 (unsourced statistical number who I doubt you’ve all interviewed to get their views by the way) who would think well of their personal slaves – honest taxpaying NZers.
    How nice of them it would be to even think of others!

    Personally, I prefer places where mothers are adults rather than immature and selfish kids themselves;
    Places where mothers take care of themselves rather than burdening everyone with the cost of raising their kids because whilst they have at least 11 types of contraceptive they CHOSE TO GET THEMSELVES PREGNANT THEN DITCH THE FATHER.
    A place where legions of solo moms (and a few solo dads) don’t routinely cruise for years bludging as a lifestyle choice.

    And don’t even go to ‘parenting, it’s the hardest job in the world’ That’s a joke. I’ve done it several times.
    It’s a doddle compared to being under the watchful eye of a supervisor in a capitalist workplace.

  28. tren Christchurch says:

    Julie,
    We pay taxes to lead a civilized life.
    I am not against paying taxes, I am against a government extorting 30 % percent of my salary for child and spousal support.

    When I had a family the government did not legislate the amount of money I spent on my family and my children. Now that the government via the Family Court forced me out of my house and family, it is also legislating how much I spend on my children. There is clearly discrimination between how the state treats the former me and now.

    My children are my world. I can spend all my money on them. I just do not like to be a slave to the government.

  29. Mits says:

    Hiya Julie
    I dont get the answer you have given regarding omitting the father from the Birth cert.

    Answer: A father that doesn’t want to pay.
    What would him paying child tax have to do with the child having a right to know who his or her father is according to their birth certificate.
    I guess I should have made it clearer as my question is who’s is the birth cert, The mothers or the childs?, and if it’s the child then why should the mother get to decide if the father will or wont be on it?
    As for parents trying to not have the other charged for child tax wouldnt that happen if they didnt name them to welfare when they applied for the benefit? forgive me if I have this wrong as Im pretty naieve on the reciever of child tax side having only ever paid it myself .

    You’ve figured it out.

    As for what Ive figured out thats just the problem Julie I havent.
    Being or not being on a birth cert currently in NZ seems to have very little to do with being assessed for child tax.
    I had a look at your site and good on you must take a lot of work
    as the guys here say Kudos to you
    Mits

  30. julie says:

    Oh my goodness! Julie,
    Are you serious? Am I reading you correctly on what you’re saying here?

    I’m going to give the same reply judges are giving to some fathers, “you can’t have you what you want and abuse it” although they say these days, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” which I don’t understand.

    If so I’m afraid you’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for feminist logic.

    Unfortunately looking at reality pisses both sides off and since I’m not on a side, I don’t give a damn how it effects either side.

    Let’s see now — you reckon a father who doesn’t want to pay (I presume you mean child tax) gets to deny a child half their genetic makeup. Is that what you’re really saying? How bizarre!

    Why are you surprised? Money talks.

    Don’t you realise every child is automatically born with half of their genetic makeup coming from a father?
    That that’s got NOTHING TO DO WITH PAYING CHILD TAX. PERIOD.

    Of course. It doesn’t have to mean a child doesn’t know who the father is but there are many, many, many accidents these days. Once upon a time it meant a man had a shotgun at his head to take responsibility while these days it’s an option.

    However as we know all too well NZs many feminists will use men’s inability to pay child tax (even a father in a coma recently!!!) as an excuse to defather his child/ren.

    And that one story can be matched easily by another sad story. Welcome to your own world of anti. I can’t stand it but appreciate it gives someone a meaning to live.

    We fathers are only seen as cheque books not human beings. You seem to have forgotten that

    .

    ‘We’ as in a few among the many. Edit: Don’t you get that lots of mothers would love the fathers to take care of the children 50% of the time? Stuff careers, care for children. Do a presentation to cops for starters. Then they will see fathers as equals.

    You reckon 97000 on DPB isn’t too much because many think well of fathers.
    Well, how sweet! That’s 97000 (unsourced statistical number who I doubt you’ve all interviewed to get their views by the way) who would think well of their personal slaves — honest taxpaying NZers.

    Dream on! NZ isn’t the wealthy country you want it to be. The moajority of father paying child support are low income earners and beneficiaries. Why do you think Scrap wants CS scrapped? It’s not that most fathers are paying the right amount. Why do you think Australia had more fathers paying more than less? Don’t you realise the new CS rules will harm more fathers than help fathers?

    Personally, I prefer places where mothers are adults rather than immature and selfish kids themselves;
    Places where mothers take care of themselves rather than burdening everyone with the cost of raising their kids because whilst they have at least 11 types of contraceptive they CHOSE TO GET THEMSELVES PREGNANT THEN DITCH THE FATHER.
    A place where legions of solo moms (and a few solo dads) don’t routinely cruise for years bludging as a lifestyle choice.

    And don’t even go to ‘parenting, it’s the hardest job in the world’ That’s a joke. I’ve done it several times.
    It’s a doddle compared to being under the watchful eye of a supervisor in a capitalist workplace.

    And I suppose you also mean men shouldn’t have to grow up and men shouldn’t take responsibility of their sperm and women are shit and you should treat them as such. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Hey, just name one men’s organisation that takes you seriously for then I will too.

  31. Skeptik says:

    Julie,
    I don’t think fathers should have to pay anything to be with thier own kids, because they have NO REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS WHATSOEVER. It’s actually women wanting thier cake and eat it, not men.
    For it is women, not men, who have ALL the reproductive rights and yet burden fathers and society at large with the responsibility to pay for thier choice to become parents.
    I never said anything about wanting NZ to be a wealthy country. That’s strange fabrication.
    I accept that many fathers paying child tax are low income or even unemployed.
    But the point is ALL NZers PAY through the consolidated fund for legions of bludging solo moms to get DPB as a lifestyle choice.
    Your final comment is merely personal abuse, insulting conjecture which sullies the thread rather than advances the debate.
    I suggest you calm down and think about that.

  32. julie says:

    To Skeptic, I do get what you’re about. I do research it and take it on-board. I don’t think I can do more.

  33. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Julie,

    A simple question. Why should child tax be paid to recover the DPB? (Or any other benifit as described in the Child Tax Act.

    Regards

    Scrap

  34. Skeptik says:

    Yes Scrap,
    I’d like an answer to that question too.

    There are other questions I invite readers to ponder upon also –

    With at least 11 different types of contraception available to them why do so many NZ women get themselves pregnant then ditch the father?

    Why do so many women these days think they can unilaterally decide to abort, adopt out or give birth yet make a man (even a man in a coma for god’s sake!) pay for their sole decision?

    Furthermore why do they insist on inconveniencing everyone by being bailed out financially by society for thier unilateral decision?

    Doesn’t that seem incredibly self centred?

    Not even about the child in fact, but all about her?

    What does it say about most modern NZ women’s level of maturity and humanity (ability to be an independent adult and be connected to humans including those of the other sex and children)?

    Does this mean there are many NZ women who are selfishly immature and disconnected from wider society?

    If NZ women continue to give birth whilst men there have absolutely no reproductive rights whatsoever what do you think men will do when the male birth control pill arrives? (Trust me I heard news today – it’s much closer to market than most people realize)
    Do you think many or even most men will take it?
    If so, why?
    If most men take it, how will women be affected?
    Will they turn to sperm banks instead to get pregnant?
    Would any sensible men even donate to sperm banks if they as donors get forced to pay child tax?
    With a raft of feminist laws and conventions in place which men say oppress them on a daily basis and the inevitable distancing of men from women and men supporting men rather than women for their own safety not abating any time soon but incrementally increasing how will women cope?
    Will they get increasingly violent towards themselves and others?
    Will they enjoy life as much without male support and companionship as long as they have their material things?
    And how will men enjoy their newfound freedom from providing for and protecting women?
    Will there be a new renaissance age as masses of male creativity is freed up from the bondage of chivalry to explore the sciences, arts, philosophy and sprituality?

  35. julie says:

    Hey Scrap,

    Or any other benefit as described in the Child Tax Act.

    Ummm, I should read it thoroughly before answering.Edit: I did buy this booklet from Unitec cause it was the cheapest. I read some of it and especially disagree with a man having to pay just because he’s in a relationship with the mother. It states just cause a man is present at the birth he must pay.

  36. Bevan says:

    According to this study:

    Reasons why it is difficult to gauge cost include:
    Whether cost should be based on actual expenditures (as per household survey data) or, alternatively, a basket of goods that a child is considered to need for an acceptable living standard.

    They then go on to say the cost of rasing a child is related to parents income. I.e. actual expenditures as per household survey data. They never explain why they jumped on this measure rather than on what they call “a basket of goods that a child is considered to need”.

    Basically, Peter Dunne Nothing did not complete the task of reviewing Child Tax as he said he would do. If I recall correctly his original press release said that two methods of calculating the cost of children would be looked at.

    If you read the summary and conclusion paragraph of the first report this is what it reads, “This paper investigated the costs of children using the expenditure approach, which is based on households’ actual expenditure. The next step is to estimate the costs of children using the basket of goods approach, which prices a basket of goods and services considered necessary for raising children at given living standards”.

    Obviously the second report must still be in progress and we can expect to see the results at some stage in the near future.

  37. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    This paper, although it is a long read and I dont agree with all of it does provide a good critique of the costs of rasing children methodology.

  38. Dave says:

    So a question to the minister would be (a) who is doing this 2nd report? and (b) when can we expect it?

  39. Robert says:

    My main concern about any form of child support payments, aside from the current outrageous percentages being charged and the fact that a good portion goes towards paying “state employees” who have absolutely no added value, is accountability. There is no clause what so ever that enforces the concept of accountability regarding those payments to ensure that the money actually goes towards the children. There are plenty of cases where the custodial parent spends the money on themselves instead of the children.

  40. mits says:

    To true Robert!
    a mate told me have a look at trademe in the communitee message boards and look at Parenting to see how many Harpies are going on that they havent recieved THEIR money.
    My ex always calls it her money. When she was on the DPB she came up with this scheme where what ever I paid the govt for the DPB I should also pay her the same amount as she wasnt getting the cash. I didnt of course as I pay my child tax and child support when I have my children and thats enough I feel. Now shes off the DPB and loves that I send her and the new hubby a cheque every month.
    The kids dont get a look in and have even commented on how mum does a shopping splurge for herself when the money from Dad arrives.

  41. What to do says:

    How IRD asesses child support needs to change! My partner and I are supporting 4 children and paying child support for one child from a previous relationship who we also have and support in way of shelter,food, clothing, medical expenses if she is with us and needs to go to the Dr ect on a regular basis we have this child an equal amount of hours in our physical care as her Mother does the child is 6 and attends school for 6 hours a day which is classed as the Mothers time even though we share the dropping off and picking up from school. Because of these hours it is not classed as shared custody. The Mother works full time and has no other children to support, She is able to afford her own home etc and is in a far better position then we could ever hope to be finacially we have the child all of the school holiday periods otherwise the child has no option but to go to work with her. The thing here is we are on what they call a good income… our before tax income is $1500pw this is what we get asessed on for child support payments which with partner and 4 children equates to $138 per week our take home pay is $1050 our rent is $400 (housing 7 people) our grocery bill $350 which covers two adults two teen and two Pre- teens and a child we have half time(although not recognised as that by ird) our power is $100 per week Pellets for our burner to keep these children warm are $70 per week add to that public school expenses of around $50 per week fuel to get children to and from school and us to work of $80 per week and min of $10 each a week for clothing/school uniform total $70 for the 7 of us as you can see with out going on and on about all of the smaller stuff eg reg warrant insurance Drs visits Dental incurring debt repayment etc we come out each week with a debt we are struggling to provide the necessities as required by law for our family all this and we are on a so called decent income I would hate to think how others are surviving this situation on a lesser income than us and I know there are many! We are going into debt more each week to provide for this. The Questions I pose here is what is the estimated weekly cost of rasing 1 child how do you figure this out. Is it ok that one child in our family gets well and truly more than the other 4 beacause we cant offer them the same things ie to play sports or follow their music lessons up. How is this building stronger family units and healthier children. Why the heck is child support based on Gross income and not take home pay after all thats the “real money” we have to work with, Why are there not other assesments for shared care ie 1/3 and 1/4 care as surely if you can work out 50% or 40% of care you can work out those as well… Why if you take a 14% pay cut from your previous working year will ird not reasess your child support payments, but if you get a 1% pay rise they will most certainly hunt you down for that childsupport on that 1%. Why is it that if child support is overpaid because IRD decide thats what you have to pay you do not get it back.
    We do not mind that we have to pay child support thats our duty as parents what we do mind is not having fair grounds to work with and fair policy that entitles all 5 children a fair and equal shot, what we do mind is not getting a fair go when it comes to trying to explain that even though we are not the custodial parent/s we have this child as much in our physical care as her mother yet we are entitled to no reasonable acknowledgement for such a thing (by the way we love having her this much not complaining about that part at all) As you all know how ever this does cost $$
    Who do you complain to and reason with, without finacially exausting yourself by having to hire a Lawyer so you get heard and not just dismissed with the thousands of others that have a huge problem with the system? Why is there no reasonable process in place and when will Kiwi dads get a fair go whet it comes to both custody and dealing with IRD?
    Sorry to go on guys my sympathy goes out to all you Dads and Mums alike paying your child support on time in this situation there does not seem to be any repreive on the horizon…
    And Julie before you think this is another Male view… I am a Woman working hard paying my taxes as does my partner… Struggling to give the four Children we do have in our full time care a fair go with the so called necessities of life.

  42. What to do says:

    They also found costs for second and subsequent children could be reduced by the use of hand-me-downs – raising four children would cost parents on a middle income $686 a week

    Just a quick note on the article as quoted here above re the hand me downs for children how do you get on in a situation where you have Multiple births as in our case have they factored in that not all families have one child at a time not all families have deflated costs when raising subsequent children.

  43. julie says:

    Hi What to do,

    And Julie before you think this is another Male view…

    I’m not exactly an enemy to the men’s movement. I just don’t seem to get a long with a few of the men here, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care for what’s going on out there.

    I think you’ve shown how unreasonable CS is when it comes to your family and I hope some good discussion comes from you making a comment.

  44. No way i am putting my name here says:

    If the assessemnt is causing unreasonable hardship to your other children you can have it reviewed, intially by an ird officer in one of their review processes (no lawyers), probably wont have much luck there but when that fails you can make an application to the family court. get some legal aid and get something fair put in place… The system is crap but you can fight back…

  45. Deek says:

    True indeed. If I were president for life I would at least change the system so that the money was held in trust for the children rather than just being swallowed by the state where the custodial parent was on a benefit for whatever reason.
    But then I would make other changes as well so this law was unnecessary.

  46. Deek says:

    If you work out the answer let us all know. The IRD’s response will be pay up or else, the administrative reviewer’s response will be arbitrary and aimed at declining your application, a judge’s decision will be expensive and unreliable. Fairness does not seem to be a term that is applied to paying parents, as far as I can see.
    If I ever win lotto I will spend a good chunk challenging the more ridiculous laws and interpretations but until then it’s not worth it.

  47. Ange says:

    I agree with Robert, my main concern is definitely how they have come up with the formula to calculate Child Support???? My husband has been ordered to pay $1800 / month for two children??? Yes he earns a good wage, but when, in the history of mankind, has anyone been punished for trying to get ahead in life. He married and had another two children who we together support, and we do not have any access to the other two children we are commanded to pay child support for. We were paying for 3, but one does not live with the mother now, but the formula went down by 3%, 27% to 24% (not a third). Where is the justice in that??? AND THIS IS BASED ON GROSS, NOT NETT?????? then he gets taxed again. How does the agency get away with this. The children are 10 and 13, yet the mother does not work???? We work 10hr days just so we can support the two children we have in custody, do we get any support from any agency for them? You are right Robert, when we were paying through a private arrangement, the money went on the mothers habits of smoking and boozing, not the kids. Now we are forced to pay through the Government, and this now leaves us short of rent / food / bills money. No matter how hard we have tried to fight this, it does not change. We have never been against child support, just the amount. No-one can actually justify or quantify how 2 children can cost a parent $1800 / month. It is unfair, unjust and is severely hurting our family now. No wonder fathers have so much trouble “wanting” to pay for child support, when the calculations are extremely unfair. Who wants to pay to a system that supports a mother still sitting at home with 10 & 13yr old kids, instead of going out and getting a job to help support those children.

  48. Ange says:

    unfortunately after fighting for three years, we have got no-where. like “what to do” says, we are not against paying child support, just how much. we live in Australia and now the CSA are taking money directly out of my husband’s wages. we have invested time and money into trying to get a fair and just formula calculation, unfortunately they only look at what is coming in, not what is going out. we are now struggling to make ends meet and we have no other avenues to turn down. It is disappointing and only re-affirms why we left NZ. unfortunately this situation has followed us.

  49. Ange says:

    ditto, tried all this.

  50. Ford says:

    As far as i know here in nz..care situtaions are counted in nights where the child sleeps..daytime dosent matter…if the child is in ur care and you drop of at school..the child is deemed to be under ur care till the other party takes care at 3pm?…so for me to have shared care i need 3 mights with my kids…when i split with my x she knew all this shit and i was new to the game… as far as the CS system..Fam court..what a load of 1-sided horseshit all in the name of children..i hear some amounts people pay for CS and im shocked..ive always been around my kids and had various custody arrangements(all through lawyers and courts) yet ive never really paid much more than the minimum..$18 a week for 2…funny…women moaning about child support…lol?…thats women for ya

  51. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    Yeah right – taking Child Tax to the FC is a hiding to nothing – very expensive and 99% of the time deccision will not grant a departure.

    Regards

    Scrap

  52. Arthur crown says:

    Letting the ird research what is appropriate is like letting the mafia research into solutions to gang crime. Need I say any more. Dunne isn’t interested in solving men’s problems vis-a-vis the tax on most men who are subjected to the family court shambles surrounding fairness.

  53. Phoenix says:

    Does this mean there are many NZ women who are selfishly immature and disconnected from wider society?

    Simple answer: Yes.

  54. Unjust says:

    Hi All,

    I’ve just been to see my local MP to ask him to represent me in querying the IRD on how the Child Spport rates were devised (they wouldn’t tell me, it has to go via an MP). I’ve been promised a reply, but only after having to sign a form requesting access to my personal IRD info. WTF ? I’m asking a question about legislation, why does he need access to my info ?

    Secondly, I have asked him to pose the question to the IRD about the increase this year on the maximum CS figure, that no one seems to have noticed up to now. The legisaltion states (Part 2 Section 29) that the maximum figure should go up by the Consumer Price Index, which last year was 2% (stats.govt.nz). Last years max CS figure was $114,191. this year its $120,463 …. that’s an increase of 5.5%. Who do you know who got a 5.5% pay rise in the last year ? Who is keeping these people honest ? Who regulates their behaviour ?

    Please can I encourage everyone to ask the same questions of their local MPs to raise awareness and bring these blatant attempts at fraud under control. The definition of fraud is to obtain money or services by deceitful means, well this is just that.

  55. Kathleen says:

    Hi Phoenix
    I am reading this post some months down the track. We are the non-custodial family and are very close to going into bankruptcy as you mention above. Child support is crippling our (my husbands second) family. We tried to sell our house to pay the (unsuspected) child support and the chc earthquake stopped any sale continuing. With debts mounting we had to rent our house and move in with family. The cost to do this move meant we could not pay a months child support of $1363.90. When my husband called the IRD, he was told they “were not a budget advising service”. He had shared care for many years until his teenage children were alienated from their father. He and our family do not deserve to struggle. My two little children deserve the same upbringing that their older siblings had, yet the government does not care about them, only the first lot of children. My husband is on a good wage, but because he works out of the country for half the month, I stay home with our two small children. The custodial family are on two large wages, plus collect our $360.00 per week. It infuriates me that we have eaten into all of our hard earned savings to pay the lawyer fees and continue with child support. Our house did not sell nor rent easily. We are struggling and the Government have no interest in helping us and speak to my husband like he is a no hoper, when in fact he gave up everything to father his children – they should be speaking to the greedy ex who orgastrated the situation to obtain the money. Child support is crippling second families, they are not given the same consideration as the first and they wonder why many second families fail! We WANT to pay a reasonable amount of child support which allows both families to survive.

  56. Morris says:

    I guess this link will become very active soon given Peter Dunne’s announcement today. I guess Kathleens last statement ‘we want to pay a reasonable amount of child support which allows both families to survive’ is most prurient to my situation. My health is declining and I need some serious operations soon. I also need to save for my retirement as the Govt keeps telling me. Meantime my ex is well off, lives with a well off partner and I still pay her $234 a week while my son is in her care. I see myself losing my home and sleeping on a bench in the park and crippled to boot. Yeah, some people show no mercy to others do they? And then to add insult to injury belatedly ask why so many men commit suicide? Will fairness ever prevail over greed and dishonesty? I don’t think so. Many women out there are little more than callous murderers. They don’t need the money, they take it anyway knowing the suffering it can cause. They don’t care.I ask, how the hell can they live with themselves?

  57. Get a grip says:

    Kathleen
    You and your partner should have factored in your partners previous liabilities before embarking on a new family.Plain and simple.

  58. Ford says:

    i went for a food grant yesterday and was told if i cant supply my kids the basics i risk having them taken off me..what a crock considering i dont drink or smoke..all smokers and drinkers watch out you dont lose your kids

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