MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

History of Child Support

Filed under: Child Support,Gender Politics,General,Law & Courts — MurrayBacon @ 1:48 pm Wed 5th September 2012

History of Child [and Spousal] Support

The best concise record of the history that I have seen, is by Barry Pearson in UK.

While his website is available, it is quicker and easier to read Barry Pearson’s website. The headings of the two articles below, take you to the source website.

As his website might one day be closed, I have taken the liberty of copying the essence into the MENZ website.

There have been quite a few postings recently on MENZ about “Child [and Spousal] Support”, which have taken the viewpoint of the accused father.
If we wish to address the problems that result, for fathers, mothers and children, we need to see these issues also from the viewpoints of taxpayers, beneficiaries and children in particular.

Curiously, although Barry Pearson has written an amazingly detailed analysis of the economics of child and spousal support, he doesn’t have any children of his own.

Roger Gay gives a practical analysis of the lack of realism in child support / poverty alleviation theory. Quite impractical policies have been brought into law. When they haven’t been successful, rather than looking at whether they could ever work, the Governments have just wound up the pressure. Similar to Russia – gas pipeline bursts, so instead of fixing the leak, they wound up the pressure. The fireball eventually killed several hundred people, but there are still plenty left…..

Although economic analyses are important, in my opinion the most important issue is the incentive effects of “Child [and Spousal] Support” and benefit systems on the quality of upbringing delivered to children. These legislations have created large perverse incentives, that increase the hazards to children, that are created by separation and divorce. These incentives also increase the numbers of divorces and separations, by incentivising separation. Mothers who have the least marketplace earning capability, have the largest incentive to claim child custody and child [and spousal] support. Unfortunately there is a fairly high correlation between poor marketplace earnings capability and poor parenting skills, as many of the underlying skills are the same or similar.

No tax without representation!

Are child support payers adequately represented in Parliament?
If not, why not?

Although there is legislation covering individual conflict of interest of MPs, we lack adequate legislation covering group conflict of interest of MPs. Probably the largest unmanaged conflict of interest among MPs, relates to MPs with legal training serving their professional group, ahead of their constituents in general.

In my opinion, the interests of legal workers are quite improperly over represented in Parliament and the interests of many groups of underfunded groups are poorly represented. This then shows up in Parliament protecting legal workers as beneficiaries of Government largesse and legal-worker’s-aid and conversely trampling on basic civil rights of many groups of poor persons.

When accountability is separated from the decision-making, then it is difficult for people to manage their responsibilities.
These issues are difficult, as pregnancy and childbirth move on with their own momentum and it isn’t easy to put the genie back in the bottle…

Our existing judges behaviour/legislation creates destructive separation of accountability from decision-making. If the wrong people are held to account, then someone else is completely escaping their proper responsibility.

If the Government can setup an environment where people can sensibly negotiate, then people have the best opportunity to make the best of their lives. Alas, the converse is presently true. – MurrayBacon.
History of child support in the UK

The territories concerned

Given the dates, it is tricky to present a linear history. Scotland has continued with a different style of family law even since it became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Northern Ireland also retains some distinct features. Here is a brief reminder of the evolution of the United Kingdom (although “united” may be a stretch):

Pre-1542 England conquered Ireland in the 12th Century. England annexed Wales in 1284 (Statute of Rhuddlan). Scotland was independent.
1542 England and Wales formally united in the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542.
1707 Scotland, England & Wales formally united in the Act of Union of 1707, under central government covering all of Great Britain.
1801 Great Britain and Ireland formally united under central government in the 1800 Act of Union.
1921 Most of Ireland became independent, leaving the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Post-1997 Some powers have been devolved to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Child support primary legislation is not devolved.

In summary, for at least 4 centuries it has been the responsibility of fathers, in various circumstances, to provide maintenance for their children. At first, it was mainly concerned with illegitimate children – but that was simply because divorce was effectively non-existent for much of the time, so married fathers has a responsibility within the marriage. Typically, the aim has been to reduce the burden on those who would otherwise have to provide for the children. Initially, this was the parishes, later (especially after the National Assistance Act 1948) it was “the state”. At first, the father would be required to reimburse the community. Then, later, he could be required to pay the mother (or sometimes third parties) directly.

Act For Setting of the Poor on Work, and for the Avoiding of Idleness
18 Elizabeth 1, C. 3

This formed the basis of English bastardy law. Its purpose was to punish the mother and reputed father of a bastard child, and also provide for the better relief of every parish. “By an act of 1576 (18 Elizabeth C. 3), it was ordered that bastards should be supported by their putative fathers, though bastardy orders in the quarter sessions date from before this date. If the genitor could be found, then he was put under very great pressure to accept responsibility and to maintain the child”. Macfarlane.

(Start of “modern” divorces)

Introduced a Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, to replace parliamentary divorces. (Not Ireland). This took over the jurisdiction for matrimonial affairs from the church courts and was empowered to deal with child custody, maintenance and alimony. Appeal was to the House of Lords. Divorce was only available in London, so largely unavailable except to well-off people. The earliest Divorce Acts contained express provisions to ensure that the divorced wife should not be left in a state of destitution. However, all other obligations regarding the maintenance of children arose under the poor law legislation. Finer. Stone.
Poor Law Amendment Act 1868
(31 and 32 Vict., c. 122).

Restored to the parish the power to recover from the the putative father the cost of maintenance of a bastard child by providing that, where a woman who had obtained an order against the father of her child herself became a charge of the parish, the justices might order payments to be made to the relieving officer. Finer.

United Kingdom (of Great Britain & Northern Ireland) from 1921
As divorce got easier, it was opened up to more people – the “middle classes” and (horror!) the “working classes”. Why did mothers start to get custody? The law was still biased somewhat towards custody for fathers (until the final change in the Guardianship Act 1973). But mothers were getting custody long before that. I think the answer is simple – in most of the sort of families by then able to get divorced, the tradition was for the father to work and the mother to care for the children. So after separation, the obvious answer was to continue that. He was probably working long hours (and there was little useful childcare), and she was less likely to get an adequate job. The courts reflected the realities of family & working life.
1923 Matrimonial Causes Act 1923 Equalisation of divorce criteria between men and women. Jenkinson 2. Stone.
1927 Poor Law Act 1927 The husband was added as a liable relative by section 41 of the Poor Law Act 1927. Snow 1 .
1934 National Assistance Board The provision of relief for the unemployed (later called ‘public assistance’) by the National Assistance Board.
1942 Report: “Social Insurance and Allied Services” The Beveridge report (Sir William Beveridge). Formed the basis (although with modifications) for the UK’s social security system from the National Assistance Act 1948 onwards. This was unable to decide how support for separated and divorced mothers & children should be handled. Finer.
World War 2 (1939 – 1945)
Just as after World War 1, there was a surge of divorces after Word war 2, and probably for similar reasons, including war-time adultery by wives. Stone.
After World War 2, one thing that happened was more focus on “the welfare state”, and eventually better state support for lone mothers. Another was that women had got used to working during WW2, and didn’t just go back to not working afterwards. So families often had a working mother, although normally far less well paid (although this didn’t start with this war, of course). The trend for mother-custody still appeared to make sense, although not as clear as before. And the cost to the state was increasing.
History of child support in the USA


This history appears at first to have been similar to early English history of child support. In the latter case, communities (parishes) rescued destitute people, including lone mothers and children, often by putting them to work, and then attempted to recoup their costs from relatives such as fathers. The money was limited to amounts needed to avoid destitution, and was claimed by the community, not by individuals such as the lone mother or personal helpers of the lone mother.

Later, the systems diverged. The English (then the UK) child support approaches became an addition to “the welfare state”. The National Assistance Act 1948 saw the state implicitly taking on some of the responsibilities that would once have been between local communities and relatives.The state (taxpayers!) eventually provided universal family allowances (called “Child Benefit” for the last decades). Most other “Western” countries had something similar. Nations with somewhat socialist tendencies such as Denmark were able to have much milder child support systems. Such universal benefits lessened or delayed the need for aggressive child support, such as enacting criminal offences.

In contrast, the USA developed more aggressive child support obligations during the 19th Century, with criminal law being enacted for the “affront” of fathers causing mothers and their children to become a burden on the community. That perhaps reduced the motivation for such universal family allowances. While there were federal initiatives such as AFDC for poorer children, there was little for better off lone parents and their children. In the late 20th Century, AFDC was replaced with TANF (T = temporary), and this will make timely child support even more imperative in the USA. Child support is typically an anti-socialist measure, aimed at reducing welfare spending, and the USA has looked to it to assist with its anti-socialist / anti-welfare policies such as TANF. However, it is probably not (yet?) effective enough for the purpose. GAO.

Pre-19th Century The poor laws
from 1601 The earliest history of child support in the USA came from the inheritance of the English poor laws. These laws were intended to allow parishes (local communities) to recover their costs of keeping people out of destitution from the relatives of those people. The laws didn’t allow those people themselves (or other people) to claim from their relatives.
See: History of child support in the UK
Pre-1776 Child support in the 13 colonies “Child support law existed in the thirteen colonies and has existed in the states since the beginning of the nation’s history”. Gay.
about 1800
to 1880 Development of civil law for child support See Hansen.
At first, courts developed civil law for child support. This especially enabled communities that kept lone mothers and children out of destitution to claim from the fathers. (This was similar in principle to the poor laws, but intended to be clearer and more effective).
1808 Stanton v. Willson
“American courts in the nineteenth century addressed the problem of dependency among single mothers and their children by creating a legally enforceable child support duty…. One reason for the divergent fortunes of men and women after a divorce was that the transformations in the American conception of children from wage earners to dependents who needed constant nurturing and the trend toward maternal preference in custody decisions combined to require divorced women to bear the burden of raising children who did not work…. American courts in the nineteenth century invented a parental child support obligation in the context of increasing concerns about dependency among single mothers…. When single motherhood began to emerge in nineteenth-century America, the judiciary was the only institution of the American state that could deal with dependency among single mothers and their children: The poor laws were being overwhelmed by population growth and urbanization, and private charities and state poor-relief agencies had not yet appeared. The first child support statutes built on this judicial innovation, codifying a child support system that relied primarily on payments from absent parents, instead of on public supports for families.” Hansen.

(Child Support and Establishment of Paternity Program)

A response by Congress to reduce public expenditures on welfare by obtaining support from noncustodial parents on an ongoing basis, to help non-AFDC families get support so they could stay off public assistance, and to establish paternity for children born outside marriage so child support could be obtained for them. Mandated that the State plan for child support require States to cooperate with other States in establishing paternity, locating absent parents, and securing compliance with court orders.

1988 1988 Family Support Act (Public Law 100-485) Title I of the 1988 FSA implemented a national Child Support Enforcement System based upon the uniform application of a State-developed formula to ensure absent parents were held responsible for maintaining their children. Section 101 requires every State to implement various procedures for immediate and mandatory wage-withholding for all support orders being enforced by the State’s CSEA.
This law required the appointment of an Assistant Secretary for Family Support within DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) to administer the Child Support Enforcement Program.
Mandated that by 1994, states implement presumptive, rather than advisory, guidelines.
Enacted “immediate” wage withholding.
1994 Work and Responsibility Act of 1994 Included assisting states with child support enforcement.
1994 Small Business Administration Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-403) Renders delinquent child support payers ineligible for small business loans.
1994 Social Security Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-432) Requires states to periodically report debtor parents to consumer reporting agencies.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-193)

(Welfare reform law)

1998 Child Support Performance and Incentive Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-200) Provides penalties for failure to meet data processing requirements, reforms incentive payments, and provides penalties for violating inter-jurisdictional adoption requirements. Incentive payments are based on paternityestablishment, order establishment, current support collected, cases paying past due support, and cost effectiveness and on a percentage of collections. Incentive payments must be reinvested in the state’s child support program.
1998 Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-187) The law establishes two new categories of felony offenses, subject to a 2-year maximum prison term. The offenses are:
(1) traveling in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to evade a support obligation if the obligation has remained unpaid for more than 1 year or is greater than $5,000; and
(2) willfully failing to pay a child support obligation regarding a child residing in another State if the obligation has remained unpaid for more than 2 years or is greater than $10,000.
2000 Uniform Parentage Act 2000 This has been drafted in the hope that states will enact it and become more uniform in their approach to parentage, and especially paternity. Among other things, it emphasises genetic testing, but also recognises the strength of acknowledgement of paternity. Morgan.

Page last updated: 18 December, 2003

By Roger Gay, Independent Research Consultant


In the 1980s, there was a public perception that, to a great extent, poverty in the United States had been created by the high divorce rate. This incredible but persistent view, which sprang from what has become known as the political “feminization of poverty” has been discredited (Abraham, 1989), but has not been liberated from the frame of government policy. Major welfare reforms of the 80s moved into the realm of private marital contracts with child support policy that assumes father no longer has contact with his children. Increases in private support levels resulting from federally mandated, presumptive state child support formulas have benefited upper and middle income mothers.

In the 1980s, poverty reached a cross-section of American families regardless of marital status. The chief causes were a decline in wages, especially for young workers, declining effectiveness of government poverty programs, and changes in the job market (Johnson, et al., 1991). The U.S. Bureau of the Census (Current Population Reports), reported that the nations poverty rate was 14 percent in 1985. In that same year, 905,000 women with valid support orders, about 0.4 percent of the population, were living below the poverty line (Solomon, 1989). Including children, the poverty rate associated with valid support orders was approximately 1 percent.

In 1985, 7.8 million women were eligible for private child support. Of those, 23 percent were living below the poverty threshold. The 905,000 women with valid support orders living below the poverty threshold represent 11.6 percent of the number of women eligible; only about half those that were living below the poverty threshold. This pre-reform figure is remarkable given the higher rate of divorce among the 20% of American families with the lowest income and the financial havoc that results from divorce.

The most prevalent reported cause of non-payment of court ordered child support is unemployment (Young, 1975; Chambers, 1979; Wallerstein & Huntington, 1983; Pearson & Thoennes, 1986; Sonenstein & Calhoun, 1988; Braver, et al., 1988). Braver, Fitzpatrick, and Bay showed that between 80 and 100 percent of due child support was paid voluntarily by divorced fathers who are fully employed.

Envisioned to reduce spending, the Child Support Enforcement Program suffered a net loss to the taxpayer of at least $186 million in FY 1990. The program has lost money for at least two consecutive years. The federal program deficit was at least $526 million (OCSE, 1990). Support enforcement administration (extending all the way to the local district attorney’s office and officials of family or domestic relations courts) has benefited from federal tax transfers under the IV-D program (OCSE, 1990). In 1990, Dick Darman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, reported to Congress that there had been similar accounting problems in both the AFDC and Foster Care (FC) programs (referring to GAO reports).

Single female headed households have a poverty rate more than twice that of the general population. Between 1960 and 1988, the number of births to unwed mothers doubled. In the mid-80s, Garfinkel and McLanahan reported that; “National data on child support awards indicate that only about 60 percent of the children who live with their mothers and are potentially eligible for child support receive an award at all.” In addition, they pointed out that; “most noncustodial parents of AFDC [Aid to Families with Dependent Children] children do not earn enough to pay as much child support as their children are already receiving in AFDC benefits. … even the best imaginable program would still leave a large proportion of the AFDC caseload poor and dependent on government.” If enforcement measures do not improve collections, Additional government costs for experimental programs will run into billions of dollars. (Garfinkel and McLanahan, 1986)


“Congress does not have general authority to pass or enact laws dealing with family law issues, unless there is a connection or ‘nexus’ between such legislation and one of the areas in which it is authorized to act.” (Solomon, 1989) In 1974, Senator Russell Long perceived a connection between “fathers who abandon their children” and a growth in AFDC spending. This led to the original federal child support and paternity legislation enacted in January 1975, as Title IV, Part D of the Social Security Act. Child support enforcement services are required for families receiving assistance under AFDC, FC, and Medicaid programs.

Emphasis shifted in the 80s. Assistance in the establishment of paternity, a prime motivation in 1974, was absent from The Child Support Enforcement Amendments of 1984. A token commitment appeared in the Family Support Act of 1988. A new requirement, with no apparent relationship to enforcement, appeared in the 1984 legislation; that each state establish state-wide child support guidelines to be used as advisory tools. The legislation received support from NOW Legal Defense Fund, National Women’s Law Center, American Public Welfare Association, National Council of State Child Support Enforcement Administrators, and the National Governor’s Association. Representative Kennely, sponsor of the 1984 Amendments, remarked during the House debate that the reason traditionalists and feminists could support the bill was because both groups agreed that parents should take responsibility for their children seriously.

As Garfinkel himself admitted; if everyone in the nation received maximum welfare payments regardless of income, there would be no-one left to pay for them. He imagined solving this problem by dramatically modifying his own basic proposal. He proposed a special “tax” on all non-custodial parents, with all custodial parents as the exclusive non- means tested beneficiaries. Applied to all families, this is not a government welfare program reform, but a proposal for divorce reform similar to Weitzman’s widely publicized proposal on alimony stated in her popular book, The Divorce Revolution.

According to Weitzman, the vast majority of divorced women are entitled to a large share of their ex-husband’s future income for life in order to maintain their independent standard of living at the level they would have enjoyed if they had remained married. She also hypothesized that men become wealthy as a result of divorce. Weitzman’s thesis and data have been widely criticized by economists and experts on the subject of divorce (e.g. Abraham, 1989; Braver, 1988; Lazear and Michael; 1988; and Haskins,1985).

Courts have long since recognized that such extreme ideas did not fit the equity principles which considered the needs of children and the relative ability of parents to pay (Smith v. Smith). Garfinkel and Melli (1990) later raised the question of established child support doctrine in a paper comparing Percentage-of-Income schedules with Income-Shares, but left it to others to formulate a specific proposal.

Many economists contend that the Consumer Expenditure Survey is the best single source data base available for study of family spending patterns. As pointed out however, child support doctrine cannot be prophesied from its data. In order to develop better guidelines, focus must first shift from cost of children studies to child support policy. Economic studies are by themselves, unrelated to the precepts of “just and appropriate” child support awards that, according to the language of the Family Support Act, were expected from greater dependence on technology. In the context of rational policy, technologists must then develop appropriate ways of applying the information we have on the cost of raising children.

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  1. Do you want to do a post on this one too Murray?

    Comment by Down Under — Wed 5th September 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    If it costs $250,000 to raise a child (over 18 full years), or $13,888 per year, or $1,157.40 per month,
    Why have IRD just assessed me as owing $1,274 per month? And that doesn’t take my ex’s income into account (she is on between $90K and $100K)???
    Thatr is MY history of payiong child support.

    Comment by Money For Nothing — Thu 6th September 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  3. actually, if both parents are working, why don’t they conribute equally (in proportiin)? They would if theyb were both together….

    Comment by Money For Nothing — Thu 6th September 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  4. Peter Dunne? Are you reading this???

    Comment by Money For Nothing — Thu 6th September 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  5. Dear Down Under, judge boshiers release sounds like classic beneficiary thinking, just gimme with no thought to where the money has come from, or other better uses it could be put to. After 30 years of unthinking uncritical Government largesse and trust, anyone with their finger on the nation’s pulse would keep their mouth shut and say thank you for what they have already received.

    In my opinion, a truth and reconciliation commission investigation is necessary, along with mass prosecutions for manslaughter and perverting the course of justice. Then many thousands of torts cases would follow on.
    Thanks, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 7th September 2012 @ 10:01 am

  6. I heard the Leighton Smith show (Thanks Murray) and the feedback the Femily Caught$ got when FINALLY surveyed by users.
    They represent a HUGE MISANDRIC FAIL.
    Boshier’s reaction? Not – “The system is fundamentally flawed and need rebuilding” but a shameless “Give me more money, so I can do more of the same”!
    What a greedy heartless parasitic bugger!

    Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Femily Caught$- great idea Murray.
    Only don’t let any feminists anywhere near it. They’d only pervert justice again.

    Comment by Skeptic — Fri 7th September 2012 @ 10:55 am

  7. My child support story is thrilling – in brief – my ex went to IRD admin review and “told them” that I earn astronomical amount of money that never existed. The reviewer decided to take her words without any proves and ignore mine. I wrote a bit about it in my web site, but plan to add more. They also supplied me HER documents AFTER they assessed me, but said that because I didn’t supply documents, they asses me to the maximum.

    Now, I’m a business analyst, I studied 20 years of maths in my life. I found out some “exciting” information about how child support is calculated in New Zealand:

    – The child support payments are calculated that a divorced man can NEVER buy a house. I.e. – either you are rich (have a freehold house) or go renting (I calculated the obvious mortgage house – even if you earn $100,000 you will never be able to pay the mortgage!).

    – The child support is calculated that you can never have normal life with kids – it is not taking into account your need to have a house with bedrooms for them.

    – Child support is not recognizing your expenses if you have basic shared custody. Their “40%” the nights means: that anything BELOW 5-9 nights + 50% of the school holidays is basically saying you don’t have the kids AT ALL!

    – They calculate the child support from your gross earnings, i.e. BEFORE the income tax. It means that you pay child support for money that you never get, or if you want to look at it in a different angle – they tax you you twice for the same money.

    – They don’t care how much money she is earning, or is she stole the house in your divorce agreement. Basically she can be rich and earning $100,000, you will be earning $70,000 but you still need to pay her $400/week for the first child (=$20,000/year)!

    I have trilling experience, I’m still in court and catching the court, the the lawyer of the kids, for having obvious agenda against the father.

    Comment by Divorced Man — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 8:02 am

  8. One child, $70,000 income will be

    Your annual taxable income $70000.00
    Minus Your living allowance $14679.00
    Multiplied by Your child support percentage rate 18%
    Equals Your annual liability $9958.00
    Your weekly liability $191.50

    Comment by ChildSupportFormulae — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 9:00 am

  9. For 7 – mate you think thats bad – while I share all the exact same experiences you describe – mine is worse on this point – my maximum assessments are NOT based ON INCOME – but on assets held in a trust set up years before the relationship for all family members.

    I no longer have the high income – when I did I always paid child support and more, and yet somehow, as with you – they only take the ex’s fantasy information, some of which is garnered through the eyes of a child sent to spy on my new life and family, and without any factual information to support it, they demand I pay maximums.

    When one financial period ended and I received a new assessment based on INCOME – For a brief moment I was elated thinking great the system has finally being fair to me – I paid this amount each month, until several months later the ex complains, has a sham review, and I get a backdated request for maximums, with penalties – which I refused to pay.

    So we have a system which is NO LONGER INCOME BASED – in fact what this system does to a father is to demand payments based on fanciful information – NOT ON FILED TAX returns – and if you dont like it , the father has to find money he does not have and take the system to court to prove otherwise.

    So in effect – your guilty until you prove otherwise – this is not justice or fairness. It is totally biased, discriminatory and totally wrong and needs to change.

    I recently had assets stolen from my family home while my wife and I were away – including the illegal seizure of my new wifes vehicle, by fking bailiffs, demanding payment of money I no longer earn – thats right, this is the next thing you have to suffer – they will take any property you have left and demand ( extort ) payment if you want it back – remember fathers and dads, this is all based on the word of one person – who lied at every opportunity in family court – without consequence = supported in child support reviews, by a ONE EYED, totally biased and discriminatory review female lawyer. This is wrong at all levels.

    This same female lawyer – who refused me a personal attendance at the review, who refused to read my submissions before the phone call, who took no notice of my actual income, refused to take into account my ex partner just purchased an 800K home incredibly on little income – refused to acknowledge that I am currently a full time father to my other daughter while my wife works – not a situation I wanted in the current financial environment but I am enjoying time with my child – I have been totally discrimiinated against by this female lawyer, refusing to accept my current position as a full time FATHER by her telling me I COULD GET A HIGH PAYING JOB to pay more, and then by demanding maximums from me in her review decision.

    If I had not been through this sham I never would have believed the horror stories to be true for most fathers.

    And based on that so called EVIDENCE – you are also going to be subjected to arrest if you try and leave the country and or return for not paying.

    Something has to change here – the current methods used to determine child support are wrong – how can the word of a lying ex hold more weight than filed tax returns submitted by a chartered accountant.

    How can a system which is so biased and discriminatory be allowed to prosper – and everything which stems from these biased, discriminatory decisions – has such a huge impact on your future – financially, your liberty and freedoms, your property, your new family and children, and as you say, your right to have a life and support your children when in your care.

    Currently this system does not allow a father to move on with his life.

    Come on dads and fathers, we have to fight this – it is discrimination, it is biased and oppressive – and it cannot be allowed to continue.

    The government controlled Human Rights commission WILL NOT take complaints about this – they have told me they get LOTS of complaints but will not act on them – based on there opinion.

    The facts are that breaches of human rights are actually supposed to be held as the views of the person who believes they are being discriminated against -( so the NZ HUman rights commission has no place making a unilateral decision on behalf of all those fathers who believe they are being discriminated against ) which is a fact for many fathers currently – so an independent case needs to be taken on this subject.


    Comment by hornet — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 9:15 am

  10. I know all this crap goes on. I was just assessed as nearly 10K more income than my last year’s actual income. I guess they will justify some of it as expected increase in income – they ramp it up about 2% every year,; and unfortunately nearly 10K is well less than the 15% expected variance neccessary to invoke me submitting a revised assessment to IRD.

    But I kinda of figure mass protest is needed.
    Like 10,000 men all submitting $0 assessments through IRD website – repeatedly every week.
    Like 10,000 men all filing applications for admin review in Family Court, to challenge IRD assessments.
    Like 10,000 men all defaulting all CS payments – although IRD will quite merrily rub their hands with glee, coz one way or the other they’ll pocket those criminally exorbitant penalties and arrears.
    Like 10,000 men all writing (free-post) to dear old John K, cc Paula B, cc Peter D, and every other MP, complaining with simple facts and figures.

    Any other ideas?

    And – how do we mobilise those 10,000 men, most of them who will all sit down and bleat about the unfairness of it all, but not do anything about it?

    Comment by Open To Ideas — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 10:01 am

  11. After reading all the postings on here

    Thank goodness I don’t abode in N.Z any more…My sin of becoming a Father is truly over as my daughter and son are now mature adults now and have left the nest…I really and truly feel for you guys…

    Kind regards John Dutchie …Free at long last from the cesspit hell hole ‘feminist N.Z’

    Comment by johndutchie — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 11:18 am

  12. When the time comes to replay your story John, make sure you add it to the list for the record. Number 10. yes it has to be a numbers game – individually we are being slaughtered.

    Protesting will not work with men / fathers – time constraints being the biggest issue amassing numbers – as seen recently in the protest for a Ministry of Mens affairs – a good idea.

    Talking to MP’s or sending letters will only garner lip service and no action.

    Until there is change to the legislation and the manner in which fathers are treated – nothing will change.

    I only see this coming about by launching a collective complaint – collating all the stories under the same subject headings – detailing the discrimination, the bias, the unfairness and inequality – to demonstrate the same pattern here.

    The same issues time and time again – for most fathers who just want to see their kids – peaceful quality time and to be treated fairly and without discrimination or bias. A simple request – but so very difficult to get in NZ.

    Multiple affidavits sworn and collated – family court and child support matters and then filed using the best Human rights lawyer the group can afford.

    I dont see the system understanding the issues currently facing fathers – until there is a significant collective complaint of discrimination, breaches of your human rights and when this is WON – seek damages. When there is a cost to govt, they usually listen.

    At the moment all they want to do is look to penalise you more, arrest you, and reduce your ability to be an effective father and dad to your kids. That is a disgrace in the current climate of equal opportunity and human rights grievances which seem to litter the papers these days for other minority groups – who get there way.

    Comment by hornet — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 4:55 pm

  13. to #8 – indeed – but gross income is not what you earn – you need to pay tax on that.

    $100,000 gross is $72,500 net. From the $72,500 you need to pay $300/week child support for one child.

    $70,000 gross is **$54,000** net and from the $54,000 you need to pay $191/week for one child.

    This is because they calculate your child support liability from your gross income.

    Comment by Divorced Man — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  14. Agreed CS on 100,000 is 300 per week. I guess I misread your statement “you will be earning $70,000 but you still need to pay her $400/week for the first child (=$20,000/year)!”

    Comment by ChildSupportFormulae — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  15. p.s. DivorcedMan, you’ve got my real email via your website. feel free to drop us a line sometime. I’m not of much use, but I know it’s useful for men to swap stories sometimes …

    Comment by ChildSupportFormulae — Sat 8th September 2012 @ 9:13 pm

  16. The duplicity and hypocrisy of government sickens me. I note that Paula bennett is somewhat demonising beneficiaries in that she proposes witholding benefit payments in the event that beneficiaries are notconducting themselves according to a predetermined governmental best practise parenting plan.Makes sense.
    I am a child support paying parent (the term gouged springs to mind). I note monies provided by me spent on overseas holidays, dinners, excessively expensive clothing etc etc. Unlike government i have no say in how my contribution to the children is spent whatsoever and indeed, no say in how the ex conducts herself in day to day activities. In the event my ex disregards the parenting order,i have no ability to withhold payment from her until compliance occurs.
    Can anyone else see the inequity and hypocrisy?????????

    Comment by Shafted — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 10:32 am

  17. Yes Shafted.
    As a matter of fact the inequity and hypocrisy is glaringly obvious to me.

    Comment by Skeptic — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 10:54 am

  18. @shafted, @skeptic – This is another idea – IRD specialize in micro-managing every dollar that we earn, why shouldn’t they do something to make sure that money paid for child support is indeed going for the benefit of the child?

    Comment by Divorced Man — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 11:03 am

  19. Like – we report every dollar we earn in IR5 they should report every dollar they get and report how they spent it on the child.

    Comment by Divorced Man — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 11:15 am

  20. Divorced man-i raised this very issue with Peter Dunne 2 weeks ago and his response to me was that the government will not consider a voucher system and the spending decision is for the family unit.
    Its funny how i am excluded from the family unit. Seems my only contribution/obligation is financial. Barf

    Comment by Shafted — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  21. Well, as someone voted for Dunne, I must say he needs to work harder on this issue. If we have 10,000 signatures of a simple petition, he won’t be able to send you/us away. And the internet is a great tool for that.

    Interesting that the “family unit” is the business of IRD when it comes to payments – i.e. if I have a partner of not, if the kids are less than 40% under my care or not, etc.

    I think I will add this to my suggestion for you guys, as part of a petition to Parliament. The way I see it, such a petition needs to be short and focused, and also POSITIVE i.e. to attract minimum political resistance. Positive in regard to the child care and to the basic reasonable sense.

    I suggest (still working on it) to ask –

    1. Calculate child support payments from NET earnings and not from GROSS earnings.

    2. Add the mortgage payments of the FIRST HOUSE to the living allowances. This can be calculated from independent providers like this and this.

    and now, thanks to your post –

    3. IR (child care) – a child support beneficiary to report to IRD the expenses made during the tax year for the benefit of the child.

    What do you think?

    Comment by Divorced Man — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  22. Think we need to have a system that calculates a BASIC cost of supporting a child.
    Such costs should be shared on a pro rata basis by the parents.
    The current system amounts to ongoing spousal maintenance. i.e. if i am a moderate income earner now, and then achieve greater success after separation, my liability increases. Surely there should be a calculation of costs of supporting a child. Included in that are accommodation (basic) and clothing, food etc etc. These costs should be split on a pro rata basis betwen the parents. Each parent should have a living allowance. If the ex did not have the kids, she would have to accommodate herself and as such, all child support costs should be based on marginal costs, not absolutes. Also, there should be a start point of shared custody. Shared care should be calculated on the basis of meals provided rather than nights away from home. I have the children for 2 nights per fortnight yet provide 11/42 meals, yet the “system” presumes this is of no cost to me?????

    Comment by Shafted — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  23. Sadly, some of the suggestions here about how child support should be calculated are offbeam! They would make the system more complex and much more unworkable. (I am a non custodial father who pays CS so am able to speak with some experience on the matter). The existing system is undoubtedly unfair and the new system, while having some redeemable features, overall will only increase the inequities between mothers and fathers.
    IRD and Peter Dunne used flawed ‘logic’ when basing the new system on the cost of raising a child in NZ. For those who haven’t read it you might be interested in looking at Stuart Birks’ academic Assessment of Dunne’s hypothesis of child rearing costs. I blows him out of the water: Birks, for example, comments that ….”estimated costs (of raising) children are imprecise, and are highly sensitive to the assumptions and parameter values. Small changes in these can produce large changes in results”, (that is to say big changes in expenditure are required to produce small changes in Living Standards). But there is much more than that in the paper and provides excellent information that can be used to dispel the myth that Dunne and IRD are propagating.
    What is almost certain is that the new system might benefit a few non custodial Dads but most will be worse off. Get prepared and do your own calculations now!

    Comment by Non Custodial Dad — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  24. @Shafted: Yes I agree that the 40% threshold is obviously designed to loot the male father: I calculated in my web site – if you want to follow the exact steps – that shared care arrangements of:

    – During school holidays, the father has 50% custody in a week about arrangement (quiet common!)
    – During school days, the father has the kids for the weekend and for 3 school days every fortnight, i.e. 5 nights a fortnight: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

    is – EXACTLY 39%. It means that the system is DESIGNED not to recognize shared custody. I’m saying “father” because obviously young children want to spend a bit of more time with their mother, and as you say – the fact that the formula is not recognizing your expenses, is a shamble.

    Comment by Divorced Man — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  25. Hi first timer here. Am really worried about the new legislation. By my rough calculations my partner will probably have to pay a few hundred more per month due to the fact he never sees his kids. Up from $960 to $1201 for two kids. Even more stress.
    Living allowance the equivalent of a benefit – What the hell?? he has worked 30+ years. Yet the new calculations say it costs $18000 pa for the kids.”Lifestyle costs?” $300pw to support half the costs of two kids??

    Comment by hateseeingmymanscrewed — Wed 12th September 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  26. #24
    The news is that this one anomoly has raised the political temperature enough that Peter Dunne is doing something about the shared care percentage and lowering it to 27% which is 2 nights a week on average. The “standard” option of every second weekend (14%) still won’t be recognised at all despite the cost of having a home to suitably accomodate children, needing to feed them and entertain them and often return them home to mum with new clothing and shoes and school fees and a food basket.
    We do it because we love them.

    Comment by allan harvey — Thu 13th September 2012 @ 9:30 am

  27. Can any one refer me to a place where i can calculate my liability under the amended legislation.

    Comment by Shafted — Thu 13th September 2012 @ 10:07 am

  28. The legislation has not been amended yet. It is a bill before the house having had it’s first reading only and has been refered to select committee for further consideration.

    Comment by allan harvey — Thu 13th September 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  29. That in itself creates an inordinate amount of uncertainty. Imagine how many people have their lives on hold wondering what a few politicians might decide.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 13th September 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  30. Shafted
    You need to obtain a copy of the Child Support Amendment Bill (October 2011) from IRD or its website. Page 6 gives the proposed formula.
    Allan Harvey
    Admittedly this Bill has only had its First Reading. Reference to a Select Cttee is part of the administrative process. As one who worked for the UK Government for 28 years dealing with such matters
    it is a foregone conclusion that the proposals will receive Royal Assent and become Law in time for 1 April 2013. Admittedly there MAY be some ‘fine tuning’ but they will not be advantageous to fathers I have no doubt. There only 6 months before the new proposals take effect so IRD MUST be well advanced with the necessary admin changes to get this off the ground (consider the changes to the definition of “Income” for cs purposes. For some fathers that will involve a lot of extra paperwork to provide the information to enable IRD to calculate their new liability. Also, there will have to be some communication with ALL fathers about existing care arrangements/Parenting Orders etc). That can’t be left until Royal Assent).
    With regard to the new shared care threshold of 28%, IRD’s Regulatory Impact Statement (page 14 paragraph 51 says “care could be recognised ……….where it is in excess of 14%” (as in UK and Aus) but “It would involve a greater fiscal cost as more child support liabilities would be reduced, thereby further reducing the amount received the Government to offset benefit payments to receiving parents”. ‘Nuff said!!!!!

    Comment by Non custodial Father — Fri 14th September 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  31. Hi Guys,
    I’d like to help start a movement of Fathers being ripped off by IRD (the government) for child support. For 4 years I have contacted MP’s and fought IRD on paying child support.
    How do we start a rally on this? How do we get a huge turn out of fathers.
    If you think about this, child support in NZ is about money and nothing else.
    I have 50/50 shared care and my ex earns about $350 a week part time (it has been 4 years now). I pay child support and have been going backwards. I am up to my 3rd admin review and everytime I find it is all about paying. I see they also calculate into the equation if you get Working For Families Tax Credits.
    Us guys that are doing our bit and also expected to pay is a joke. I beleive that if two people seperate and then divorce then those two parents are equally responsbile financially and emotionally for the children. Not one more than the other.
    It’s about time we got together gentlemen. Anyone here good with websites? Perhaps we get a website together, register the memebers, put the word out and organise a rally before xmas this year.
    The important thing here everyone, is be accurate with your statements and amount paid etc, as I’d like to see the media grab a hold of this. We will need about 500 parents (remember it all works both ways, there will be woman out there working and paying child support).
    Anyone keen?

    Comment by Craig - Hamilton — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 9:50 am

  32. Craig,

    Years of fighting has taught me that Dads just wont turn up. THey will happily suck you dry to assist their personal circumstances but thats all most of them will do.

    Of those dads that turn up you’ll get a number who have their own agenda and blame women for all their woes, this drives supportive women away.

    Good luck with your initative, but be aware of the perils and challenges you will face.



    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 1:05 pm

  33. That’s not entirely fair scrap. How many people turned up to the Child Support Meeting in Auckland a few years back? People travelled – you for one came from Wellington. Yes it took a lot of work but there would have been 80 plus men there (not including the twits from the IRD that came along). I am not sure if John caught that occasion on film. The fact that change hasn’t been obtained can’t be levelled at the feet of a few lone wolves, there simply hasn’t been the political will to support men and the IRD has taken that as an open invitation to do whatever they want inside and outside the law. The only reason we are having this little debate now is because the IRD had their flanks exposed by the suicide of a New Zealand father in Australia – how many fathers are dead men walking. What’s the line – madness is a bit like gravity, it only takes one push.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  34. Thanks guys, I think the govenmemt has already made up their mind on how it is going to work as it takes time to roll everything out and it is not that far to 1st April 2013. I am struggling to find out the exact formulae if there is equal 50/50 shared care. I will be disappointed it child support is calculated on your income and not the basic costs to raise a child (which should be shared on a pro-rata basis). Everywhere I look I can see child support creates animosity between parents and that will affect the children no matter how hard you try not to let it. If the govenment could make it fair then more Fathers would be involved.

    Comment by Craig - Hamilton — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  35. The Government – some of these politicians in political parties haven’t got a f…..g clue what is going on. I remember going along to Justice and Electoral committee one time, which was being chaired by Tim Barnett. A telephone directory is only so thick. They had to sit Judith Collins next to him to explain what was going on, it was an absolute sham, he was meant to be the chairman and he didn’t even understand the difference between criminal and civil law. It is not hard to figure out why the state is out of control.

    Comment by Down Under — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  36. There are some photos of the 2003 meeting with IRD here (now that I’ve fixed the broken code).

    I think we learned quite a lot, but we didn’t come up with a viable plan of action.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Thu 20th September 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  37. Craig

    The formula is set out in the IRDs Commentary on the Child Support Bill (first published in October 2011). See page 6. Shared care will now start at 28% of nights,

    Comment by Non custodial Dad — Sun 23rd September 2012 @ 11:16 am

  38. From the looks of that clip, Barry is obviously an actor, but his enthusiastic reaction to her God contract was cute.

    Comment by Kendall Dudden — Mon 3rd December 2012 @ 9:31 am

  39. Child Support, in its many forms.
    Actually it’s how society views fathers.
    The compliant provider, silent to its demands.

    Here is a perfect example of fathers.
    Must males in general.

    “However, not when it comes to being a working mother. Despite the advances in technology and leadership, the problems faced by this generation of working mothers are pretty much word for word those of the past. Lack of respect, lack of allowances, lack of flexibility.”

    Geez, respect, allowance, flexibility.

    Apart from the author not respecting,or acknowledging the existence of fathers. Or as quoted in the article, passed the all female editor, not biased against females, sniff test. She in effect, stated societal culture, how do you respect something that doesn’t exist in an argument. Fathers.

    No allowance, given. But a paltry bit of time off at the birth, if they even are even involved, or aware. By right, maternity leave, by consent of the mother for the mall. No allowance, for fathers. Work slave, while women bitch and moan about there allowances, time off, emotional health, ‘respect’, and some imaginary thing called patriarchy. Forcing men into work instead of any allowance of equality.

    Flexibility of options, for men are limited. Work and comply to culture. Fight in court for equality, allowed, and respect rights, automatically afforded mothers.

    The man must kneel before the matriarchal culture.
    Beg the mother for paternity leave.
    Beg the mother for at least an equal share, of working for families.
    Beg the mother to stop, whatever culture demands.
    And let them be fathers.

    Not just a Child Support slave, even in marriage.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sun 2nd May 2021 @ 2:02 pm

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