Changes to child support signed off.
Announced in NZ Herald tonight:-
Changes to child support system in April 2014 signed off.
Changes to child support system signed off
The biggest changes to the child support system in more than 20 years have been signed off in Parliament today and will come into place in April next year.
The changes include the formula for calculating child support payments to include both parents’ income and changes to payment, penalties and debt write-off.
Debt from unpaid child support sits at $2.6 billion and 60 per cent of that is from overdue penalty payments.
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said the current system focused too heavily on penalties and people were not coming forward to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to make payments.
The Child Support Amendment Bill passed a third reading today.
The Social Services Select Committee held back the changes giving IRD time to adjust its systems in order to implement the new formula.
Mr Dunne said the bill had been a long journey.
He said the changes would bring child support up to date and fairer for the 210,000 children and families involved in the scheme.
“We still have a long way to go, but as this bills stands we are a step close to having a more equitable outcome for children.”
He said child support was a backstop when separated parents couldn’t work out payments between them.
He said the current formula was too complex.
Labour’s revenue spokesman David Cunliffe said the bill was a huge missed opportunity.
It should have been written into the bill that the interests of the child should always come first, he said.
Mr Cunliffe said the new formula was still not flexible enough to deal with the full range of family circumstances.
To quote Dunne “We still have a long way to go….”. I believe Peter knows this bill is not the answer, but I am sure its the best he could get past the National Caucus. The bill marginally improves a terrible piece of legislation, but it is still far from a fair system.
He said child support was a backstop when separated parents couldn’t work out payments between them.
This is the biggest load of crap! It’s like he wants us to get angry at him! Basically that statement is hate speech to us paying parents.
CS is nothing more or less then govt interference into peoples lives in order to gather more income from people who are already taxed to pay for the DPB. NZ loves tax upon tax upon tax.
INCOME TAX, GST, CS, WITHHOLDING TAX, SECONDARY INCOME TAX, and the list goes on and on.
The new calculation in terms of maths is way more difficult then the old one. But I can’t wait to see what happends next year.
We still have the same body of petty minded burocrats seeking to further inflate their ego’s administrating the scheme. I feel it simply shifts the Titanics deck chairs to all face aft!
‘The changes include the formula for calculating child support payments’
There is a formula? News to me.
Note how they always quote the “debt”. I bet it will continue to rise and they know it will, which is why they keep quoting it, so they can use it as an excuse to keep screwing us over.
Hi Too Tired (#2); I agree that New Zealanders are well and truely overtaxed; however I do support the principle of looking after ones own children. If it was not for the dysfunctional child support tax; I would have been paying my wife (not daughter) around 3 times what I do via the child support tax. So to be fair; for those of us with malicious and greedy ex – wives, the IRD child support formula was far fairer than the draft rort that was presented to me by my ex-wifes lawyer. Seems lawyers don’t understand that we are not required to pay “wife alimony” in addition to supporting our children. So; for those that cannot come to a fair and amicable arrangement for child support; I agree with the back stop arrangement provided by IRD. Okay maybe I’m narcissistic but it worked for me, in my case.
It was no backstop for me. I chose the IRD route as it was the lesser of the two evils. I can trust them more than my ex. Now that is saying something isn’t it?
Child Support does include alimony. The Child Support Act says that:
4(j)To ensure that the costs to the State of providing an adequate level of financial support for children and their custodians is offset by the collection of a fair contribution from noncustodial parents.
Before the Child Support Act ‘spousal maintenance’ and ‘child maintenance’ were separated. Spousal maintenance was rarely over more than 3 years, to give the mother time to retrain and reestablish herself. The triumph of the Child Support Act was to bundle ‘spousal maintenance’ and ‘child maintenance’ and hence make the spousal maintenance last for up to 19 years with the child maintenance.
The reason the radicals have been relatively silent on alimony for the past 23 years since the the Child Support Act came into force is they already have alimony in the form of the Child Support Act.
Admit it, non custodial parents have been skinned, fried, eaten and flushed.
Hi Truth Seeker,
Spousal Maintenance still exists but isn’t common. Child Support is supposed to have nothing to do with spousal maintenance but the lie to this is that Child Support recovered to the consolidated fund for DPBs etc includes both support of the “custodial” parent and the children. Hence it is support for both mum and kids
“child support was a backstop when separated parents couldn’t work out payments between them”
I agree with there Too Tired. What a load of crap!
When my ex gapped it with the kids it was straight on to the DPB arranged before she left to make sure there was no stop in her income flow.
Found myself seperated and almost immediatley hit with a child tax bill, didnt even get a chance to work anything out before I was sorting out the debts she left,having to rplace everything as she cleaned the place out,Now had extra costs lawyers , travel to see the kids and child tax as well.
This was no backstop for people who couldnt sort out their own arrangements it was a money grab from IRD to help with benefit recovery
My ex even brought up on many occasions that I should give her an amount equivalent to what I was paying to IRD as “she never got to see it”
Said it befor dont mind paying for my kids but have a huge issue with funding the ex’s lifestyle choices
@9.. thats the exact scenario almost everyone has.never do you see a couple being told to work it out first by the IRD.
speaking outta frustatration .. Can someone please draw and quarter these IRD’ers.. bring on the middle ages.. at least some honor was present when dealing with people at that time..
Let it not be forgotten that the only reason this legislation landed in parliament is because a man in Australia died. How many children in New Zealand have unnecessarily lost their father because of the way this law has been managed? That’s
That is a legacy Peter Dunne MP (and Minister of Revenue for how many years?) must accept responsibility for.
And of those suicides how many have been recorded as such. Men have a much lower count of “Attempted Suicides” If a man gets that far he suceeds, They get counted as “Falling asleep at the wheel”, Misadventure”, and other “Accidents” In other words “Swept under the Carpet”
It would also be interesting to know what percentage of male work accidents happen during periods of family court proceedings and child support harassment. The old adage applies – If a man is not happy at work he is probably not happy at home. I rather suspect the results would be quite staggering – you have to wonder why ACC hasn’t funded that research already.
Almostinevitably industral “Accidents” produce Male victims. Over many years I can only reccolect ONE female fatality in an industrial incident. While in many Industries employees (Both men & Women) can take “Stress” leave, it is seen as being week to do so, especially in the masculine fields.
Went to the court on Tuesday to try to sort out Child Support payments owed to me since back in 2005. I am being held in New Zealand (nearly a month now) illegally because of alleged CS “debt”. Anyway the court staff “lost” my submissions that I had filed the previous week and in 2 weeks could not get the original court file before the judge. The Judge adjourned the proceedings for another week
had a call about my letter’s to MP’s etc:
Nice IRD lady called and tried to teach me to suck eggs again about how CS works, so I taught her a thing a three!!!
She finally saw my side but still can’t do anything, my debt was created at that magic time too when I find that the ex is cheating on me, she takes the kids and has CS papers in next day!
I went to IRD straight away but never had time to make arrangements to pay before the debt arose. who cares if you dont earn an income? We charge you for last years anyway!.
Mr Cunliffe said the new formula was still not flexible enough to deal with the full range of family circumstances.
And no formula ever will be! So stop trying and banish CS from our country!!!!
NZ Herald should read like this,
Mr Dunne and his CS band of thieves have finally passed new legislation that will further ruin mens lives in NZ.
Now as soon as anyone (women) applies for the DPB we won’t even check if the PAYING Parent (man) is actually legally liable, or has custody or any due diligence on our part because now we can just start stealing his wages. Once this happens we will send him a letter stating you now earn 30% less, thanks for the money :)keep working though.
This will ultimatley solve the ugly truth of NZ’s CS DEBT, because we will steal from day one instead. We will take the Custodoian’s word as truth that he earns more than he pays us in tax, and that he wont have more then 28% access to his children.
All men will be expected to pay now sort it out later ( no changes there then!) And no this new law doesn’t allow men any formal access to thier kids if they pay! ( no change thier) Yes we will be leaving kids in the care of the person most likely to harm them, men earn the money and will pay CS. If roles were reversed women earn less so we couldn’t steal as much from women.
Plus someone would comlain it was unfair and sexist. Discrimination to make a women pay for her kids if she chooses to not be a mum!.
Thanks cictzens, your horrible MR Peter Dunne.
( I apoligise to those paying parents that are female that are in the same position that do pay, it was generalised and hopefully you do agree with the above in some fashion.)
Didn’t Cunliffe hold the revenue position back before Dunne and do nothing about it himself? I seem to recall him telling men to shutup and payup.
Peter Dunne has been hanging around the Revenue portfolio since 1995. Shortly after he left Labour and the United Party established a deal was done with National Party and he was appointed Minister of Inland Revenue and Internal Affairs.
Cunliffe may have been associate Minister in charge or IRD 2002-2005. I can remember a group of us (Scrap, Bruce etc) lobbying him in the lead up to the 2005 election on Child Support matters. It was about this time that the move for current changes developed a bit of impetus within the department itself.
Dunne and United Future were a significant group in 2002-2005 as that was the election when the worm turned for him on the TV debate and he got himself and seven others into the house.
It would have been during that 2002 – 2005 period that I am thinking of. Wasn’t Cullen Revenue Minister then and they made Cunliffe Associate Minister of Revenue out of cabinet so Cullen did not have to deal with it. Cunliffe was as anti-male as the rest of the hysterical bitches in Helengrad; he made that clear enough at the time but anyway not doing anything about child support has generally served the purposes of Government and women, certainly not men and their children.
i lost a husband to child support, worked himself so hard constantly worrying how we were going to pay the mortgage and feed the 3 kids we had, after paying the hefty bill of child support for one child from a one night stand basically. worked himself so hard he ended up going to sleep at the wheel on his way to work one day, and leaving me a widow. am so so lucky to have found another wonderful man and remarried, and what do you know he is now a shell of himself suffering severe depression after being tormented for years by the ex who took him for everything, done a review lied and we then firstly got charged nearly 3 x his actual income and secondly took my wages into account, i mean hey why not garnish the wages of a widow that earns next to nothing anyway to line the pockets of the ex wife, also not allowing my husband any living allowance for me and my three children even though i have no help. it is crazy, we are currently fighting a no win system, and to say im worried about my currents husbands state of mind and overall heath is an understatement. to loose one hubby to child support was enough, guess not for IRD though.
Really that all seems too far left from the norm. I mean I know IRD get things wrong and let them stand but it’s usuallt because of bad policy, what your describing in terms of not allwing him a living allowance based on you and the three kids and also taking your income into account is just plain bullshit.
The part about review and wrong figures is as old as time but the rest is just illegal.
Does he live with you and your kids? Beacuse that should be easy to sort out, and proof of his income is easy also. Just take that into the IRD offices. I know they are incompetant but usually you only get screwed legally if you get my drift.
Hope it all goes well. P.S. the IRD website offers an email service and I have found that a great way to communicate thier errors and have had some charges removed. Also emial the MP’s in your area that took time but they did get back to me.
Another thing you could do until the 1st of April next year is to opt to pay manually (if your not already doing this). Allow the debt to rise while fighting the circumstances of the chrages, there is a form you can sign to do this. State your too poor to pay the full amount and will pay a portion to IRD. this will stop all the late chagres and interest added. (but make sure it does, watch them like a hawk.) Then when they get to april 1st and review everything for the new system some or all of what you thought you owed will be gone. And a fairer calculation will stand from 2014 onwards (crossed fingers). My advice would be to save anything you can until that date to pay off anything left oweing as you will save hundreds if not thousands this year with my plan.
Next year the ex-s income is calculated, your income is assesed on actual figures etc: Your situation should be apparent to them by then eg he lives with three new kids…..
Good luck to your husband 🙂
Been through almost every avenue possible had 2 reviews done and over the course of 9 months we are now in the hole over 40k (9 months ago we were up to date no debt till the first admin review) this isn’t gonna be a pay it off get rid of it situation this is gonna be with us for YEARS the income they left me with to look after my kids ( what I was left with after they gave a portion to my hubby’s child support income allowance) is 6 k less than his portion of child support to the ex so she gets 21k a year in cs I’m left with wages of 15k to support myself and 3 kids with no help from hubby as he isn’t allowed to support me as apparently 15 k is enough to look after myself and my kids alone
Here we go again,
This story sounds even more unbelievable that most I hear.
I’m happy to look over your paperwork and make an assessment of options that may be available to your husband if he wishes.
E-mail me at [email protected]
I pay for three kids and at the real life assessment of 27% it only comes to $10,000-ish per year. If I had a partner with three kids that figure would be dramatically reduced.
Unless your partner earnt a huge sum of money before CS started as in last year! Then none of what you are saying can possibly be happening. We all get stuck with a debt at the begining, but even with reviews etc: eventually IRD has to accept reality of what you (paying parent) actually earns. And use thier formula to make an assessment.
He has to live with you and the kids for you to be included in the assessment, again do you live together? Go into the IRD building with proof of everything. They may be crooks but they do listen and steal from you using the LAW at hand. (What I mean in case your confused is that IRD will only take what they can by LAW) they believe you owe it to them.
ok have been together for 6 years now married for just over 1 always lived together, live overseas so can only call them, nothing has helped believe me ive gone through all avenues except court. at present new assesment from ird has just added me back into the equation but review just done excluded me backdated 2 years and an overnight debt of now close to 50 k nzd yes it is all true, as soon as ex hits us with another review i will be excluded again for sure, we gave them over 140 pages of proof of everything all it did was get us into trouble for trying to be honest.
oh and my hubbys taxable income for 2012 (not quite end of tax year here yet for 2013) was $27,000 and comparable the year before as well ( which is what assesment was made on)
Here we go again,
I can understand how you and your children can be excluded from his living allowance and that is because you were self sufficient before the relationship began and your kids are deemed by IRD not to be his responsibility but that of yours and their father. All that is consistent with precedent but that still does not explain a figure of $21,000 a year that he is paying when he taxable income is just 27k. Even paying for 4 children the assessment is less than 4,000 a year.
Well im sorry to say either we don’t have the whole story or you are being lied to somewhere. He only earnt $27k? What do you live on? Is he a trolley pusher at a supermarket? Why did you get married to a man that makes so little and pays CS?
Bottem line is if a paying parent has liable children at home the assement is reduced. It gives you a bigger living allowance based on number of kids and spouse. The IRD website has the calculater.
How many kids does he pay for? Do you have other kids not living with you that you pay for? Are there special costs for his other kids eg: medical or special needs?
Too Tired, Your so called bottom line of the IRD’s calculator is all up for grabs at Admin Review and that is what “here we go again” is saying. The Living allowance for partner and children is always overturned on Admin Review back to an L1 Living Allowance (currently about $14,000). That is unless these are children or partner that IRD (based on heaps of Family Court precedents) deem are the payee’s responsibility. That is whose children are they and if they are not the Payee’s then someone else should be responsible for them (ie their mum and Dad).
You also seem to have an inflated view of what a lot of NZers live on if you think 27K is unusual and an appalling concept of relationships in that money is such a driver for you.
just to clarify also i am a widow so do not myself get child support from my late husband, even had to give. copy of the death cert to go to ex wife through ird to add insult to injury
@ Alan.. how much would they allow in that case i.e if the current male is living with someone and has a kid with the partner while paying child support to the Ex? $50/month for the new child living with the payee?
A guy here in OZ i know has been paying child support of $1500/month/ He had a kid and his child support was adjusted to minus 50 i.e $1450 / month.
All this is available on line. One extra child living with a bloke can vary child support payable from $30-$350 a month.
Depends on how many other children and the child support percentage payable.
L1 (alone) living allowance is nearly 15K
L2 with partner is about 29K
L3 which is payee and one child leaps to 29K so that is the $350 a month difference for a chap paying for 4 kids.
Maximum Living allowance is L6 (4 kids or more at home or in shared care) which allows about 38K before Child Support kicks in over the mimimum.
I’m just not sure how even in a review that they can come up with figures like the ones descirbed by ‘here we go again’.
$21k CS and $27K earnings yeah right!.
#36. It’s simple. The assessor can assess you on your “potential” income. You don’t actually have to earn that or have EVER earned it, but it’s what they assess that you could “potentially” earn. And they justify it by suggesting that you are deliberately not earning up you your “potential” in an effort to minimise your Child Support liability.
That’s just insane!, how do you eat or pay rent on those sums?
There must be a huge hidden earnings then, like a family trust that gives huge payouts or a paid family home that is anothers name that he actually owns, something fishy?
If they tried that on me I’d take them to court! I earn what I eanr and there’s nothing hidden, if they simply charged me more beacuse I can earn more at my job but hadn’t actually earned it I would give up work!.
Yup it is all about potential earnings, nothing is based in reality.
re the new changes,someone from ird also told me that there have been provisions made for one parent families (ie when one parent is a widow and has now remarried, so does not get any support for children, these children being stepchildren to the paying parent) being taken into consideration in regards to living allowances, does anyone have any facts on this as such? i know that the living allowance for partners etc is no longer going to be factored in as it is now, apart form this exception apparently, anyone have more solid information on this?
We are yet to get a lot of information about the new formula. I have not bothered to understand what is new until we have more details and I’m told late May is the time we should expect that.
Current comments from IRD indicate “allowance for new partner or children living with you that are not yours” is out.
Their pre-publicity says Child Support will be based on;
Income of both parents (not households parents alone which is very unfriendly to paying male parents)
Cost of raising children (unless they are beneficiary children when WINZ assumes they can live on a whole lot less,
Ages of the children (teenagers being more expensive)
Percentage of care in steps from 28% plus (note every second weekend, and even every weekend, kids need to live on nothing. That diet is called breatharianism.)
Don’t expect any huge changes folks and like all changes there will be some winners and some loosers. My own kids will all be over 19 by 1 April 2014 so my interest will then be completly from the sideline.
There are some examples of the new formula applying now on the IRD website.
yes but none of those examples are with a custodial parent having no income at all, it seems that some of the worst offenders at chasing reviews etc are those that dont actually need the money and just like inflicting any kind of pain they can, so what happens in the ird calculations when the custodial parent doesnt earn as she is kindly looked after by the new husband?
it seems to read that only the incomes of the two biological parents are considered,
the part that screws men is pretty much all of the new changes, I’d love to know what they mean by a change in the definition of income? I know that housing NZ has started including CS payments as income and so people’s rents are going up. (would like it if someone can confirm this)
The part where your new family doesn’t count will screw all men trying to get new partners and those that already get a discount based on those new partners having kids. (my advice is to leave those women around march 30th 2014).
I can see these kinds of sites getting very busy next year. Updating IRD with changes of circumstances before 04/14 seems like a good idea.
I think its been said befoore; but the one thing that is guaranteed under all of the proposed child support changes is that the total tax take will go up.
Sure, there might be some redistriubution around the edges, with some lucky men getting a reduction in their CS tax bill; but on the whole, there will be an increased tax take especially to IRD / WINZ as they seek to recover benefit expense.
Also, the tinkering will inevitably favour the sitting government, so they garner more votes.
This is not too dissimmiliar as, as already stated on this site, as the fact that the maximum CS threshold has increased by some whopping 248%, I think it was, over the last 20 years or so, compared to less than half that increase in inflation. A massive money grab.
I should clarify. The maximum threshhold is now 248% of what it was in 1994; a 148% increase.
Since 1994 (the earliest figures on IRD website), the threshold increased a whopping 128.94%; the living allowance a mere 46.49%.Inflation over the corresponding 20years? 54%.
The revenue bitches finally strike at the pension. My money is on Men getting 60% of what women do if child support is taken into account.
Child support changes will be implemented from 01 April 2014 and based on cost of raising a child (determined by Stats NZ)”¦does anyone know the explicit website link on statistcs.govt.nz to see the cost of raising a child in NZ?
I am here on behalf of a friend. He has just received a bill from CS for $7000 from 1988…wondering if anyone has any advice on what he should do from here. Are they allowed to bill someone from over 20yrs ago? he has paid CS for his kids he has paid his arrears off that was 10k. His children are in there 30s now.
But the Child Support Act wasn’t enacted until 1991. Was it retrospective?
I understand the new formula. Is going to lead to multitudes of men asking for Departure orders which will lead to more squabbling and probably detriment to kids in nearly every case
Statute of limitations is for seven years. Will have to be something unusual about the case to be able to go back 20 years unless he was aware of this and was actively avoiding his liability.
Prior to 1991 Child Support was arranged and administered by Department of Social Welfare.
the new formula will only look to increase the payments. there is no reduction involved even if it seems that way. I suggest look at your situation and work out the maths based on the formula, you will know what i mean.
…that comes from watching too much American TV.
You can challenge a will up to 12 years after death.
You can lay a claim within 6 years of discovery, in certain circumstances.
We have our own law in New Zealand.
Why then do we only need to keep invoices and accounts for tax purposes for seven years? That seems totally consistent with your 6 year period for discovery. I assume that defines the maximum period that there was a legal right to seek a debt unless there was a clear pathway that that debt had been informed to the other party and sought on a regular basis.
I do know that builders and others have liability for 10 years for their work for matters such as leaky houses but that seems a more specialist case.
In the case of this alleged debt going back for 20 years the only way that such a debt can be pursued is if the debtor was aware of the debt and has been making occasional payments on the debt within the last 6 years. (Limitations Act 2010)
I suspect that he will have made some payments and as such the creditor assumes that the debt is agreed and thus maintained “alive”.
@Allan, the keeping of invoices is a requirement in relation to tax law. That doesn’t stop you being prosecuted for tax evasion prior to that period.
Statutes of limitation were introduced as far back as early 1600’s and those statutes at different times have defined specific time limits for various situations in which a claim or a prosecution can be taken.
That is very different again to a liability from a legal document – which is not a debt it is a period of time during which you are liable.
I am as interested as you, to know the basis of a claim dating back 25 odd years especially if it is a child launching the claim.
A claim is not a debt – Is this a claim or a debt being claimed?
kiranjiharr (#53) at this stage we don’t know how the new CS formula will work. IRD have 4 indicative scenario’s on their website only using data that is like the new formula but is not based on current figures.
If you work their 4 scenarios we see that 2 cases have minor reductions for the paying parent, one that benefits from the relaxation of the shared care threshold gets a 58% reduction in liability AND in the other example a poor chap earning just $44,980 (in this example) who has a 65% increase in his liability.
This last example is presumably because the ex is earning reasonable money and the new formula somehow assumes the lower paid date needs to be active in topping up the higher paid parent and their children’s life style.
The devil will be in the detail and Mr Dunne can expect a lot of correspondence if he remains in Parliament and his long term position as Revenue Minister.
It is very frustrating that IRD have yet to release more information about the new formula for people to begin to get to grips with the implication.
Hi Alan agreed on examples given but application will be a lot different. but remeber these are “indicative” scenarios.. if you follow the wording closely and scrutinise instead of taking it on face value, the way it is worded is deceptive. and you know from past experience thats how IRD will apply it. it will never be as per the perception given. you may not agree but thats ok. I await to be proven wrong.
I read yesterday that IRD are putting up a calculator in late May for the 2014 changes.
Allan, have emailed you the calculation details…it is still too complex to understand.
simply put they will take a percentage of your whole pay and your ex’s pay to workout CS.. i.e no maximum caps will exist for which they should tax at.. so this straightaway increases the CS take. They will then look to equalise your pay with your ex’s, if she earns less than you then the formula takes into account relieving you of more monies to equalise her household. i.e giving incentive for her to not work at all but you to pay for running her household.
then they will look at dividing the CS by the time the child stays with you. for most cases this is almost nil.
the 28% night stays.. expect your ex’s to rob you of this as well.
@62# I was under the illusion that there will be a fixed amount to raise a child which will be determined by Stats NZ every year and that amount will be apportioned to the wage of both parents and then to the %age night.
fixed percentage is more like as opposed to fixed amount..
IRD have just released 4 more examples of the new calculation. At this stage they don’t have their promised calculator ready but say it will be all go mid-July.
I have compared the examples with current formula.
Example one is a fairly typical situation and Dad gets a 9% reduction in what he currently pays.
Example 2 has a 35:65 shared care situation and the paying parent’s reduction will be 58% on what “she’ currently pays. If we assumed the parents had manipulated things between them and had informed IRD shared care already existed (40:60 care) then what the paying parent pays in the new formula is a 7% increase.
Example three has 2 paying parents (Child in third party care) and they get a 21% and 17% reduction respectively.
Example Four provides a 2% increase in liability for Dad.
Overall this looks like some progress but until we get the real deal and the exact numbers we are still groping in the dark for our own individual situations.
#65 Allan, until there is some attempt to rein in the power bestowed upon the “contractors” employed by the IRD with regard to their “decisions” on Admin Reviews, it’s same old, same old. Practically everyone I know who has had an Admin Review has been assessed on their “potential” income.
I suspect that they have been very poorly advised before seeking, or responding, to the Admin Review then Golfa. I can’t think of one case I have supported where a deemed income has occurred in the last 18 months and that would about 20 cases.
Every Admin Review is appeal-able via the Family Court and the review officers are required to follow precedents set by the Court.
#67 Allan, I guess people aren’t advised at all when going to their first Admin Review. They show up with records of their actual earnings and outgoings but have no idea that their earnings can (and probably will) be inflated at the whim of the IRD contractor.
Going to Court is often a complete waste of effort, time and money.
Yes IRD and the Family Court suggest that doing it on your own is easy. Reality is that is the way to loose and offer up significant information that will be used against you in subsequent proceedings.
I do not agree that going to Court is a waste if your are well advised of the likely outcome and possible downsides. Yes it takes effort and time, in my view children are worth the effort. It should not cost a lot if you are careful with how you go about things.
I have a 50/50 shared care arrangement for one child. How ever i still pay $4300.00 per year, and receive $872.00 from the mother.
Under this child support rourt, a person can have a CYFS child in their care and be paid tax free for looking after that child, then turn around and add that child to their assessment to reduce what they pay in child support for their own child, ( double dipping ). They can also get remarried and have a child with that person and further reduce the child support they pay for their own child, without the new husbands income coming into the equation. A person that earns over 50k per year and pays $872.00 per yer in child support is nothing more than a system driving parents from their children. Easier for IRD to deal with one parent, this system is definitely not for the children.
Tony you clearly need some help and some of this disparity can be resolved.
Write to me [email protected]
However you are right Child Support in shared care situations can be a rort. I know one chap who pays mum $800 a week (net) for each time his 2 children go to her house and of course, due to the offset, he gets zip the other way.
First of all why do they have to wait till next year. We have been waiting long enough. Why has it taken this long. Why is it the responsibility of the paying parent only, why are they the only ones who get screwed over. Is it not the responsibility of both parents!! Please explain why the mothers can do what they want when they want. We struggle to pay child support while she has a job, her husband has a job, and the child is old enough to get a job! And they get from us $1200 a mth. Also we have no contact with the child. Why are we paying for her life style, that’s her choice, the money is suppose to help the child, but we all know it doesn’t. This is why I believe that IRD and the family court should take into account the circumstance of each individual case, and not base it on your yearly wage as this can included interest or investment, why should an ex benefit from that, why shouldn’t you have theses if you can, your no longer together!! payment should be no more than $100 per week per child. The money should also be put into the child’s account and not to be touched by the mother otherwise money is cut. This way the child benefits and can have money for such things as cars and college etc. If its for the child then the mother should not moan about it!!!! I believe if there were more mothers paying child support things would be way different. How about someone from parliament or IRD spend a month in the life of someone who pays child support, then lets see how the laws change!! Come on man up!! Also why is the age up till 19!! Should they not have a job by then. It doesn’t only affect the paying parent but his family. As according to IRD my two children are not worth the same as one child receiving child support. Please explain!!!
Unfortunately Sharon there will be little relief to you after 1 April next year. The age to which Child Support is payable falls to 18 cf 19 but you may find you are paying even more.
However there is much I disagree with in your post and I have paid Child Support for several years and I have also received Child Support when my children lived with me.
$100 a week might be what the Government thinks is needed for children on benefits (I think for 1 child it is about $125 a week extra) but in my experience children’s expenses are a lot more than $100 a week.
The relative poverty for “second” families is a known anomaly that is not really addressed with Mr Dunne’s belated reforms.
Sharon #72. Very sensible suggestions from you but the so-called ‘child support’ system is not intended to be sensible, it’s intended to transfer as much wealth as possible from men to women, in this case usually the women who ditched them and trashed their children’s family units. $100 to $150 would be more than enough as a 50% contribution to actual child costs, and by limiting child support realistically in this way fathers would have enough money to pay directly for various needs of the children thereby strengthening the father-child relationship. However, our so-called ‘child support’ system is also not designed to benefit the best interests of children, only to transfer wealth from men to women. Yes, a small proportion of mothers pay it to fathers but mothers are generally supported by all systems to seize the children after separation ensuring ensure they are the ones paid so-called ‘child support’ either directly or through the DPB. Also, mothers are frequently favoured (the pussy pass) in IRD reviews so that receiving mothers will usually be awarded more while ‘liable’ mothers will usually be allowed to pay less. Incidently, ‘liable’ women default on payments more often than men do.
I’m not saying we disagree with paying child support, never have, its just the amount. I’m saying why is the parent who receives child support, child is worth more than my two , as that is how IRD see it, I have children with disabilities and so I am unable to help money wise. Its suppose to be shared. Not one paying for the child’s life. We have no contact and are not allowed any, what they do is none of our concern, so yes I disagree with the cost, its like paying for a child that’s not yours. When we have two well in need of our help.
How about CS being paid to CYFs for a an adopted child that refuses to live with the family.? BOTH MOTHER AND FATHER are paying CS seperately. If that’s not bad enough, only a small portion of this actually goes to child and carer. The rest goes into a central fund and not to the child.
A few links to share on this, plus a question
Will they be adding the liable parents income plus the
carers income together to find out what bracket the
child would be living in low, medium, high and then
basing the child’s percentage this way?
The child expenditure amount for a qualifying child in a child support year is-
is the amount, determined in accordance with the child expenditure table applying to that child support year, that applies to the parent in respect of the child on the basis of-
(a) the combined child support income amounts of all both parents of the child; and
(b) the number of children in the child’s child support group; and
(c) the age group of those children
is the number of children in the same child support group as the child.
Here is a link to the amended act
The long awaited calculator is finally available on IRD website.
Plug in the numbers and get your estimate.
i cant work it out, so as an example, if the paying parent is single and has the children none of the time and is on say 25k the receiving parent has 100% of the care but earns nothing, what does that work out at? in none of the examples given did the receiving parent have no income.
its ok found it and done some calculations, this will be interesting!
Oh I like IRD. Finally. Peter Dunne; You dunne it. Let me join your party.
Halving of child support for 2014!!!!!!!!
Of course I believe nothing until its in (I.e not taken out of) the back …
herewegoagain: no parent should ever have no income. They’d at least be on a benefit or DPB.
For those who are lucky enough to be supported by a husband that are stay at home mums = no income
Student debt and child payments to be pursued by the IRD in international agreement.
This could be the start of an awareness that questions where we have arrived at.
#36 thru #38
Allan’s right. My ex and I have been separated for 13 years. He has worked in his mother and father’s family business the whole time and lived in one of their three family homes for the same amount of time and together with a well secured and funded Family Trust, last year the ex moved back after the family sold one of their homes and he is now living with his parents. Through the “family” business, it pays for his travelling expenses, his vehicle, the children’s food costs (food industry business), his Gold Amex Card, and because the children are in his care every second weekend and two days during the week and have stayed at his parents with him since 2001, the children’s costs are taken up by the parents. Any living allowance has probably not been re-calculated and I doubt very much whether he pays rent. As the ex has continued to live in a fudiciary relationship with his parents he has also only continued to make annual declarations to the Inland Revenue Department of $20k p.a. This calculates out that from 2001 until the current time my ex’s weekly child support payments for two children have been and remain at $26 and some cents for both children. He has paid little in the way of the children’s school education yet he has been able to get away with paying very little. When he can afford to drive around in a 2013 Toyota Hilux and send my son to Australia on a sporting trip costing $3,000, there is something terribly wrong going on in child support policies. Where’s the equality in that when I as the primary caregiver of the children who have the children more than 28% of the time, struggle from week to week and have to pay half of the children’s sporting costs as well as their transport costs to and from school each day. Of course I believe it is in my interest and in the interest of the children that the time is right to finally seek an Administrative Review on this man’s “real” income and “living arrangement lifestyle” he has been able to maintain with the help of his parents and their Accountants who condone and support such covert tax evasion as being in the best interest of my children…. all is not what it appears gentleman even though I can empathize with some of your situations. Have a good day.
Anon, yes what you describe can happen and then again it may be the actual situation as well. Wonderful for your kids that their fathers family treat them well in his care and that they get benefits like overseas sports trips and safe modern vehicles to drive in.
You say the admin review process is available to you and I am surprised given the hostility with which you write you have not used it already.
Maybe you have and the review officer found your application was just vexatious and without any special circumstances and threw it out.
The system is less than perfect and does not cope with individual situations equitably at times. I doubt anyone here would disagree with that.
Anon (87), have you tried to get your children’s father to look after the children for more of the time? He appears to be in a better position to give them a good life economically, so rather than look to him to improve your economic situation why not let the children be where they can benefit most? Alternatively, have you asked the father to assist the children directly with their expenses such as ‘the children’s school education’. He appears to be caring enough to spend money on them so he may actually enjoy being the one to take them to buy their uniforms, text books etc and to provide them directly with money for school outings etc. Other than that there should be little in the way of costs for ‘the children’s school education’ because in NZ their schools are already funded by taxes (which their father already pays).
Keep in mind too that the current arrangement allows the father to contribute financially in a direct way to the children. This will be much more valuable to them than money because they experience him directly showing love, care and generosity toward them, enhancing their sense of worth, confidence and belonging. Having a financially successful parent will also provide them with a role model towards their own financial success.
The current regime instead sees one parent’s financial contribution channeled through the other parent. The children then don’t experience that contribution as coming from the paying parent, and don’t experience the love and commitment that the contribution represents. Instead, as in your case, the children are more likely to hear the receiving parent running down the paying parent and blaming that parent for any financial hardship.
Keep in mind too that the current arrangement is likely to mean that your children’s father will remain financially resourceful into the future and thereby able to assist them as they continue through their lives, including any grandchildren. When your children need a private loan to reach the 20% deposit threshhold on their first home, who do you imagine might help them?
The sad reality for many children is that their fathers become financially wrecked through our child support regime and its short-sighted philosophy that separated parents should somehow be kept financially similar. That philosophy never had much to do with the welfare of children but was based on feminist self-entitlement at the expense of men. Numerous children now face a bleak future with neither of their parents able to achieve financial security when one may otherwise have been able to do so.
There are many reasons for you to celebrate your children’s father’s intelligent arrangement of his affairs. You might try being supportive, looking at the bigger picture and working with his sensible system rather than complaining against it.
I agree that both parents should support their children, with the resources at their disposal, time or money or ….. I don’t necessarily agree with one of the aims under which child support schemes are “designed”, for an equal standard of living in both households. I certainly don’t agree with IRD Child [and Spousal] Support, who try to put fathers as money only support. I see that value or attitude as being relationship vandalism and against the children receiving the best parenting from both parents.
You have listed economic information, which appears to be a sensible guess on your part, rather than having seen direct evidence. Being practical, that may be quite definitive.
However, in my eye, the issues around who drove the separation, who made the decision about whether you are the primary caregiver, are left out of your comments. The Care of Children Act purports to make both parents responsible for decisions about the care of the children. However, when there is a degree of dispute over care of children, these nicey pie provisions are soon lost in the battle to squeeze all of the money out of the family.
Please excuse me asking these questions, but I am wondering if you have taken the initiative to force the outcome of some decisions and then are complaining when you are unable to force other aspects of the outcome?
When these types of disputes arise, children are often crushed in the stalemate outcome? Although you have complained about your father of your children, you have not revealed your decisions that may/have fuelled the non-negotiating relationship that you have cultivated? I can’t get worked up over a carefully revealed half story. MurrayBacon – axe murderer.
Does anyone have an true understanding of how much the new child support rules will affect existing shared care arrangements?
Despite me offering to pay all the school costs, and after school costs, my ex refuses to go to a private arrangement. I can understand why. She’s living with a prominent businessman living in a multi million dollar house, has holidays to exclusive resorts around the world flying business class.
Up until now I had 1 of my kids living with me ful time and the other in shared care and that only gave her around $300+ per month. I think she may just qualify for the 146 days rule for this year so the IRD want to increase the amount I pay her. It’s fair, after all, she’ll need the money to have spa’s and shopping trips for herself to de-stress herself since she’ll be having a couple of more days with 1 of her kids! Not sure how the new rules will affect my situation.
Shame a partners salary isnt taken into account. Otherwise I could relax and reep it in…….
@91# use this calculator
Thanks Kumar. Obviously the only issue with this calculator is the fact you have to enter your ex’s salary. I’m sure she’d be willing to give that to me….
I wonder what is to stop her from just giving up her work now and just claiming more child support…..
How to sneak child support amendments through parliament.
Legislative History: 9th April 2013 the new legislation as posted above is passed.
Going back to the Child Support Amendment Act (No 2) 2013
Going back to the Child Support Amendment Act (No 3) 2013
This Act comes into force on 1 October 2014 unless it is earlier brought into force on a date appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council.
Legislative history: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0075/latest/DLM5617800.html?search=ts_act%40bill%40regulation%40deemedreg_Child+Support+Act_resel_25_a&p=1
18 September 2013 Divided from the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill (Bill 90-2) by committee of the whole House as Bill 90-3B
19 September 2013 Third reading
24 September 2013 Royal assent
That’s how you sneak child support amendments through parliament.
Both the above Amendments have come in the term of McClay not Dunne.
Dunne’s portfolios handed to MP McClay Last updated 17:29 10/06/2013
This changes the landscape considerably. Have a good look at these little add-ons and see what is going on.
The child support (no 3) amendment due to come into force on the 1st October 2014 would have come into force after the introduction of the child support calculator.
Now with the proposed deferral of the introduction of the calculator this legislation being a separate amendment will happen before any proposed child support calculator and open the door to child support cases – where the Family Court can appoint a solicitor to assist the court (new job for admin review officers)and guess what, their fees will be paid out of the Crown’s consolidated fund, and those fees automatically become a debt to the Crown owed by you.
If your child is a party to the proceedings you may also be paying their legal bill.
Liking this so far?
If the solicitor doesn’t agree with the amount determined by the registrar, he/she can within 14 days have the Family Court review the fee, upwards obviously.
These fees are then collectable as if they were already a judgment of the District Court, with collection automatically enforceable, unless you agree to total payment or instalments made within a maximum period of 5 years.
You thought it couldn’t get any worse, right?
Family Court Judges have absolute control of who they appoint to assist the court – without right of appeal – and how much you will pay them, which then becomes a debt to the crown.
This is the sort of legislation that our parliament is passing.
And here is how it happened in, The House of the Bitch:
This is the Hansard debate – scroll down to third readings – here is the headline below in italics.
The Child Support Bill (No3) is a separation from another bill already passed two readings. The debate you see below this is the debate on this bill, before it passed into legislation.
The House of the Bitch:
If you go through the debate, at no time are the words child support mentioned, let alone the legislation debated.
This is what you get for women’s suffrage, on women’s suffrage day – I bet some people thought it was a really big joke!
This folks is what we pay parliamentarians for.
19th March 2013
So this piece of planning has been in the pipe line for some time.
Here’s another change in 2013 just in case you missed it.
Child Support Amendment Rules (No 2) 2013
At Wellington this 30th day of September 2013
Dear Downunder, thank you for following these legislative changes through. I would guess that very few parents will have noticed these changes.
As fast as many parents are working out how to deal with familycaught$, without wasting too much of the family’s finances, legal workers are devising new mangles and sausage machines to entrap parents and involve them in wasted legal costs.
All of this leaves me worried that the majority of MPs are not watching these issues, to protect the general public from legal workers. MPs who are legal workers are under a conflict of interest. It looks as though they are carefully managing this conflict of interest, to maximise the incomes of legal workers at the expense of the public. Why are the honest MPs not doing anything to protect the public? It looks as though they are asleep on the job and need to be woken up.
Murray – the joys of democrazy; MP’s don’t care about you or I; MP’s are mere parasites living off the public purse. I’m sure you have seen the flow on effect it has on the serfs who work for government in the courts and various so called public services. Much has been said on MENZ about Peter Dunne and how little he has achieved in 29 years as a political prostitute; he typifies the complete disdain and disregard all politicians have for their constituents. Promises made in the heat of battle for reelection are quickly and conveniently forgotten. The PEOPLE are only there as a revenue source and nothing else. So please stop worrying because we should all be so happy; delighted in fact to be living in this panacea we label democracy!
Dear Bruse, legal worker – NZ public relationship (Parasitism).
As you can see Judith Collins introduced this legislation in the 49th parliament, so regardless of who won the election unless it was specially discarded by the incoming government it would have naturally progressed.
If it had not been for unforeseen circumstances all these changes would already be legislation and men with assets and income would be getting financially stripped in the Family Court on a regular basis.
What changed in the 50th parliament was the suicide of a New Zealand father in Australia when the IRD made three withdrawals from his bank account in one week. It was only reported because it happened in Australia, if it had happened in New Zealand as it does it would have been covered up as usual. That’s the only reason the Child Support amendment legislation was introduced into parliament when it was, because Dunne got caught out.
1. The original plan for changes to the court process have been added to the child support legislation by stealth rather than through debate, but that was obviously the original plan anyway.
2. The IRD haven’t been able to produce this child support calculator that the new legislation needs to operate and quite possibly never will.
As this has been effectively dumped on the next parliament it should be an election issue, for respective potential ministers.
We are back to where we were. Dunne Nothing did nothing and Judith Collins got her way with her bunny boiler legislation.
Dear Downunder, thanks again for raising these issues. It leaves me thinking that the NZ Parliament lacks any knowledge about legislation quality. Party politics and corruption reign supreme over analysing changes in social policy before turning them into legislation. Legislation is simply “assumed” to have the desired outcomes and to have no perverse outcomes. These assumptions are like driving a car with the windscreen blacked out, you can’t see where you are going. You don’t need to see where you are going, if you know where you are going! Life is cheap.
In this respect NZ seems to lead the world for creating hazardous legislation. Hate to admit it, but maybe we should take up arms, to force NZ to become an Australian state? I cannot see any safe alternatives.
WELLINGTON An Inland Revenue Department officer bragged to colleagues about the suicides of his taxpayer clients, according to an affidavit Act MP Rodney Hide read to Parliament yesterday.
Mr Hide has asked the Minister of Revenue, Bill English, to investigate the new allegations against the IRD, the latest in a catalogue of accounts which damn the department for the way it recovers tax debt.
Mr Hide said in Parliament that he had a statutory declaration from a former IRD officer, later identified in a television interview as Allen Connor, about the attitude of a colleague.
Mr Hide read parts of the declaration to the House: I became aware that a number of his clients were completing suicide. I did not know how to react to this, and I did nothing. Of this I am ashamed.
1 think perhaps five of his clients committed suicide, but I remember a time when perhaps there were three in a three month period.
“What I witnessed next was someÃ‚Â¬thing that will take me a long time to forget. This officer started to boast around the office about how tough a negotiator he was, and that his clients’ suicides were evidence that he needed to ‘lighten up’ on people. He seemed to wear these deaths as a badge of pride.
“Again I said and did nothing.”
Mr Connor said on TV One’s Holmes programme that he was convinced IRD management was aware of the cases and brushed them under the carpet.
“As a result, more and more people died.”
Earlier, during question time in the House, Mr Hide asked Mr English whether he was concerned about a claim that one IRD officer was responsible for five. taxpayers killing themselves, and had bragged about it.
I would be concerned at any such assertion,” Mr English replied, “but I suggest the fact that such an allegation is made in no way makes it credible.”
Taxman drove loving dad to death
5:30 AM Sunday May 6, 2012
The family of a man who died under a mountain of debt are outraged at the way he was pursued for child support payments.
Paul Anthony Jenkins, 39, killed himself in Geelong last Tuesday, shortly after receiving a bill for more than A$41,000 ($53,300). The money was to help support his daughter, 17, who lives in Wellington with his former partner.
The Inland Revenue Department had asked the Australian Child Support Services Agency to chase the debt because Jenkins had moved across the Tasman.
His father, Tony Jenkins, said Paul maintained contact with his daughter despite a tense relationship with her mother. The teen watched her father’s funeral on the internet this week.
“It was a beautiful funeral,” Tony said. “They did a haka to take the evil spirits away from the coffin, played the guitar, sang some songs. It was quite overwhelming, the chapel was full, it holds 130 people and it was overflowing.”
Supporting a new baby and his current partner’s three children on just $630 a week, Paul had fallen behind in his payments.
Heavy fees and interest had been added before deductions from his bank account were forced – $98 was taken every couple of days.
“He could not afford it. They keep on adding interest all the time and he wasn’t getting anywhere. It was going to take all his life to pay off,” Tony said. “On top of that, he was trying to look after his new baby and the three other kids. He could never, ever get his head above water. Paul didn’t know which way to turn. He was at the end of his tether.”
The last bill Paul received said he owed A$41,264.47 and A$635 was due immediately. It also showed seven instalments of A$98.32 had been deducted from his wages during two weeks in March, including four on one day.
The letter did not explain why so many deductions were taken.
“He had called me that day, upset and saying he needed money for his car.
“I gave him $1000. I wish I had known about this previously. I would have talked to these people [at Child Support Services] myself.”
The coroner was yet to determine the cause of Paul’s death.
The death has raised concerns among community advocates, who told the Herald on Sunday there had been similar cases.
Mangere Budgeting Services chief executive Darryl Evans said the language used in IRD letters and bills made people feel threatened and hopeless. He said one client thought she would go to jail when she opened an overdue bill.
“I’ve always thought the language the IRD use is extremely strong. They bombard you with letters, two or three a week. It’s frightening for people.”
A spokeswoman for Australian Child Support Services said there were payment options for those who asked.
“It’s important parents are aware of the support services available and seek help as early as possible.
“If a customer is clearly distressed or needs urgent assistance, our staff are trained to recognise this and connect them with an appropriate counselling or support service.
“I express my sympathy towards the family, circumstances such as these are a tragedy for all concerned.”
Inland Revenue spokesman David Miller said significant penalty write-offs were available if a parent arranged a payment plan.
IRD needs reining in
Rodney Hide: “The IRD’s sole job is to gather money for the Government. It does so by threatening and bullying people.
“Our Parliament backs IRD through the law and turns a deaf ear to complaints that tax collectors are too aggressive.
“There are no proper checks and balances on IRD’s treatment of people who, for whatever reason, have fallen behind in payments or, indeed, who dispute that they have been fairly and properly assessed.
“In 1996, air conditioning technician Ian Mutton committed suicide after being pursued by the IRD over debt that started from a missed $84 tax payment. Mutton’s 13-year-old son killed himself a year later.
“Our Parliament found a ‘culture of fear and punishment’ at IRD and ordered a clean-up. IRD seems to have slipped back to its old ways.
“We have had another tragedy. And behind this tragedy are thousands of cases of injustice and poor treatment.
“It’s time again for our elected representatives to inquire into IRD’s heavy-handedness.”
Support Payments ‘Drove Man To Suicide’
Sunday, 19th November 2000,
‘You’ve Pushed Him To The Grave’, Ex-Partner Tells CSA Officer.
Queenbeyan woman Kate Gibbs is convinced the pressure of making child support payments while being unable to build a new life of his own is what finally drove her former partner to commit suicide.
Ms Gibbs and Warrant Gilbert always expected to support his three children but not to the extent where he was only working to keep up the payments and simply exist.
The 28-year old Canberra man died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a friend’s car in August while clutching a letter of demand from the Child Support Agency which he had received two days earlier.
The Act Coroner’s Court was told this week Mr Gilbert was being forced to live on $150 a week, 47 per cent of his gross salary gone in tax and 30 per cent in child support.
Coroner Warren Nicholl made no recommendation about the CSA but said it was clear that Mr Gilbert’s struggle to meet obligations played a large part in the lead-up to his death.
Ms Gibbs claims the CSA even asked Mr Gilbert to sell his car and furniture to maintain the payments without taking into account whether the mothers of his children had entered into new relationships and their circumstances had changed.
Ms Gibbs, 20, said, “You should have to pay for your kids, fair enough, but I mean when they’re set up and don’t need the money, it shouldn’t be taken.
Child Support Agency general manager Catherine Argall said legislation prevented her from discussing in detail individual cases but she did suggest the CSA had not treated Mr Gilbert unfairly.
“When CSA hears of the suicide of one of its clients, it has a profound impact on us and particularly those staff who have spoken with the family.” Ms Agall said.
“In circumstances such as this we review our contacts and in this case I can confirm there was no indication that Mr Gilbert was in distress over child support.
“The public records indicate that Mr Gilbert’s personal circumstances were complex.”
MS Gibbs said other factor may have contributed to Mr Gilbert taking his own life but she believes the child support payments and the fact that the mothers of his children did not want him to see them tipped him over the edge.
Ms Gibbs said Mr Gilbert was working seven days a week but still could not get out of debt or buy his own home.
“He wasn’t getting anywhere,” she said.
Mr Gilbert had three children from two different relationships.
Ms Gibbs, who was with him for four years, claims she rang Mr Gilbert’s CSA case manager the day after she discovered he was dead.
“Pretty much the first thing that came out of her mouth was , “Did he have a will? Does he have any assets?” and I said, ‘You’re not taking anything else off him. You’ve pushed him to the grave,” she said.
Ms Gibbs believes the CSA has a punitive attitude to non-custodial parents.
“When we put a claim in to get payments reduced and he put down $10 for entertainment they wouldn’t lower it because he spent things on entertainment,” she said.
“It’s just little things. You can’t go anywhere. You just haven’t got the money.”
Australian Suicide Victim ‘Hounded’ Over Child Support
Wednesday, 15th November 2000,
It was ‘a tragic indictment of the system’ that a Canberra man had committed suicide holding a letter of demand from the Child Support Agency, the ACT Coroners Court was told yesterday.
Barrister Richard Thomas said the receipt of the letter two days before Warren Gilbert’s death in August had ‘tipped him over the edge’.
He said Mr Gilbert, 28, had died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a friend’s car after being ‘hounded’ by the CSA.
The CSA had been taking 47 per cent of his gross salary in tax and another 30 per cent for child support.
With a massive 80 per cent of his wages gone, Mr Gilbert had $150 a week to live on.
Mr Gilbert’s body was found on August 20 in a car parked at the Namadgi National Park visitor’s centre.
Constable Clorinda Iannucci said Mr Gilbert’s former partner had told her that Mr Gilbert hated having to pay so much child support for his three children because they could never go anywhere or do anything.
‘He couldn’t get anywhere in life because they [the CSA] kept taking all his money,’ she had said.
Constable Iannucci said she had contacted the CSA, but it had refused to provide any information.
She said the mother of two of Mr Gilbert’s children had told her she had not been concerned about obtaining child support until social security had told her she would lose her welfare benefits if she did not get Mr Gilbert to pay maintenance.
Mr Thomas, appearing for the former partner, said Mr Gilbert had been ‘very frustrated’ by the situation. He had been unable to realise plans to buy a home and get married. He had mentioned his massive debt – the full extent of which he had only discovered the previous day – to the last person to see him alive.
‘We say it was the Child Support Agency letter that was the precipitative event that tipped him over the edge,’ Mr Thomas told Coroner Warren Nicholl. ‘It may be appropriate that you make a comment on the situation he was in.’
Mr Nicholl did not comment directly on this, but did say that it was clear that Mr Gilbert’s problems in meeting his child-support obligations had played a large part in the lead-up to his sad death.
Earlier, Mr Thomas said Mr Gilbert had been trying ‘to do his best,’ but was being ‘hounded’ by the CSA.
He could see no other solution to his problems than taking his own life. It was ‘a tragic indictment on the system, one which Federal Parliament might ultimately seek to address’.
Barry Williams, the Canberra-based national president of the Lone Fathers’ Association of Australia, was an observer at the inquest.
Outside court, Mr Williams said the association had been trying to convince the Federal Government that child support and family law issues were factors in many suicides.
‘But deaf ears are turned to people like us because of the money factors involved,’ he said.
He said his association supported the CSA and believed parents should pay child support, but this should be based on a flat rate calculated after tax had been deducted.
He challenged the Government to try this approach for two years. If it did not work, he would ‘shut up’.
And a follow-up article
Parental payments cost ‘three lives a day’
By Megan Doherty – Canberra Times front page 19/11
As many as three men a day are committing suicide because the nation’s child-support system is driving them over the edge, according to the Lone Father’s Association Australia.
Association President Barry Williams said the claim was not based any official figures but on anecdotal evidence such as phone calls made to its 22 branches around Australia.
“People will ring to say their son or partner has deliberately driven into a truck or driven off the road because they can’t take it any more,” he said.
ACT Coroner Warren Nicholl acknowledged this week that a struggle to meet child-support payments had played a large part in the suicide of Canberra man William Gilbert.
Mr William said the Lone Fathers Association supported the Child Support Agency and believed non-custodial parents should pay child support, but believed it should be based on a flat rate calculated after tax had been deducted.
Earlier this month Labor and the Democrats defeated in the Senate the Government’s proposed changes to child support which would have seen non custodial parents pay $48 million less a year to custodial parents.
A spokesman for Family and Community Services Minister Larry Anthony said negotiations with Labor and the Democrats were continuing.
Australian Democrats Senator John Woodley said no-one denied injustices were occurring in the child-support system, especially to non-custodial parents, but the solution was not to shift the problem on to custodial parents. He hoped a compromise could be reached.
Yet another valuable life has been cut short and three more children have lost their father.
The relationship of male suicide to child support, and denial of contact to children must be obvious to all politicians, but they refuse to enact changes that may provide some relief.
This article should be sent to all Labour and Democrat politicians to support the message that the high level of child support paid under the CSA legislation is a major cause for male suicide.
They must be encouraged to rethink their decision to reject the minor changes in the CS Amendment Bill that would have provided a long awaited, small measure of relief for paying parents.
By the way, CSA refuses to release the figures of “unexpected” deaths – and they do have that information because to terminate a collection a death certificate has to be supplied.
Our sympathies go to Warren Gilbert’s family.
Men’s Rights Agency
Warren Gilbert was trying to support his partner and her three children, as well as his earlier family. He was overloading himself, so it was all his own fault?
Interesting post Murray.
At least in Australia they have a more open position regarding the discussion of suicide and even discuss the impact of child support as a contributing factor to a death. We even see evidence from partners, although I see that like New Zealand the Australian Revenue service are not required to release any information to the Police or the Coroner, when a child support debtor commits suicide.
Information about claims dropped due to death of a payer should be readily available under Official Information Act. Aggregated totals are not able to be withheld under the Privacy Act. The deceptions of hiding information only add to the indicators of bad faith.
This reminds me of Government Departments refusing to disclose information, on the basis that it might incriminate them! Not covered by legislation, just saying I have government lawyers on my side, do you want to take me to caught? To me, this open government approach doesn’t engender respect or trust.
Although I suggested “Warren Gilbert was trying to support his partner and her three children, as well as his earlier family. He was overloading himself, so it was all his own fault?”, there is some truth in this hollow defence.
However, if a pattern of action has killed on previous occasions and kills again when used similarly, then a time does come where such actions are culpable homicide.
If it is not manslaughter, then it is murder.
If it has not been prosecuted, this does not excuse the callous or careless killing of taxpayers. This just shows that the prosecutors didn’t know about the situation, or refused to prosecute fellow travellors.
To save our children, we would need to gather the facts and institute private prosecutions. If the IRD staff hide behind false names, then the prosecution is more difficult to initiate. But the deceptions of name only add to the indicators of bad faith.
It is not just that a taxpayer has lost their life (how careless?), a lady has lost her husband (how careless?) and several children have lost their father(how careless?).
As anyone who has spent time with bereaved by suicide family knows, these are not balance sheet items, they are the very reasons that the Government exists to serve?
How did the best interests of the children get lost?
Was it lost sight of, when IRD set bonus criteria for their staff?
Is it true that there is more bonus available, by delaying payment demands and then running people into penalties?
How cheap is life in NZ?
Could we save lives, by poisoning all IRD CS staff (with low cost phenergan I presume)?
You should’ve signed that one Murray Bacon – Axcidentally Murderer.
If we are talking about human capital there must be some staff in the IRD who haven’t coped with the suicidal deaths amongst their case file loads.
What are the numbers of broken down employees (who live with the continuing nightmares) about what they were instructed to do, either directly or by policy and then conveniently kicked out the backdoor, knowing that they would be too ashamed to publically admit to the consequences of what they are responsible for.
I was told by one observer, that three IRD CS staff have completed suicide. That was some 8 years ago and only reflected those that he was told about, so the total may be higher now. In essence, PTSD at work at a desk.
Is it true that there is more bonus available, by delaying payment demands and then running people into penalties?
In the USA, the Federal Government paid bonuses to the state CS departments, for accounts in arrears, that were later brought up to date. This encouraged staff to delay demand letters and to then chase hard. Devil take the hindmost. The results were as you would predict. The Federal Government did not give any consideration as to the perverse incentives, in dollars or in blood, that they had unwittingly created. I am curious to know if it is the same in NZ?
How cheap is life? As cheap as your analysis of social policy.
as a society, we used to drive quite a few young pregnant girls to suicide. Now, we have moved the killing machine around, to face our young men more.
MurrayBacon – deranged axe murderer – it is only my axes that hold me together!
I’ve met one ex child support officer that had a complete breakdown.
They are out there, alright. I wonder how much the system actually costs in human lives?
#109 Sorry – paid should be pays.
There was a sharp increase in men’s suicide deaths, between 1975 and 1980. This is before the familycaught$ formally went in to existence. Initially this seemed to “prove” that the suicide deaths were unrelated to familycaught$ operations?
How could something start killing people, before it even started to exist?
In my opinion, it reflects judicial activism, the behaviours had started before Parliament had started their debates and Committee processes. Quite a large number of men were already buried and cremated, before Parliament had started to consider the various pieces of legislation, which would drive these deaths.
If I am right, then these individual judges had taken decisions, quite outside of legislation. Thus, the responsibility is personal, not covered by the immunity that would protect a judge, if they were working according to legislation.
Private prosecutions of these judges are required, for manslaughter and/or murder.
The numbers each year make Cave Creek and Pike River deaths look like a Sunday School picnic. As well as recorded suicides, there are probably quite a few suicides hidden among industrial “accidents” and road “accidents”.
Air NZ programmed their plane to land on Mount Erebus, into a rising, rocky slope. The coordinates entered into the navigation computer made sure that the plane would strike the mountain. There could be only one outcome. The plane did exactly what it was programmed to do. It was entirely foreseeable and predictable, that not a single person would live through this landing on Mount Erebus. Noone was ever prosecuted for these manslaughters.
NZ as a society prosecutes small men, but not the men who are “one of us”. I seem to remember that the blame was put entirely onto the pilot, who wasn’t told that the navigation waypoints had been changed!
Cave Creek didn’t result in any prosecutions, it isn’t any fun prosecuting fellow civil servants, especially senior ones. I can’t imagine Boshier fronting up for prosecution willingly or happily?
It is really more important that these large scale incompetencies are prosecuted, than fathers flicking a child’s ear are prosecuted, or people driving a bit fast and lose control are prosecuted.
If we only prosecuted actual assaults and dropped most breach of protection order follies, we could put in the effort to prosecute the out of control manslaughterers in our society.
Protecting children from incompetent parents?
It seems to me the child support legislation doesn’t cater for children, it is based on varying interest groups and money.
1. At the top of the pile you have a bunch of bunny-boiler lawyers after any client that has a child to a partner with a quantity of assets or a good income, so they can walk out of a rigged court dripping of cash, property, and future income.
2. Then comes the state revenue machine that engages in creating fictitious amounts of debt, adding penalties from the income tax legislation and hounding fathers to the grave and beyond (has he got a will?)all of which wouldn’t pay for the fat arses that sit in the Family Court.
3. Then there’s the people that for whatever reason can no longer tolerate the presence of the other parent and simply want a no combative means of paying for their children.
4. Then there’s the fathers that want to the hell out of this place for the preservation of what sanity they have left.
5. Then there’s all the other participants and various imaginable situations.
The legislation is written by and for the interests of the group 1. and group 2.
One of the primary aims of Child Support is benefit recovery.
Naughty people having babies in “less than ideal circumstances” need encouragement to behave differently. Since the Magdalene Laundries of Ireland no longer exist to punish “wayward” women (girls) and the current PC thing is to provide support so Paula (poorer benefits) Bennett can get her degree and cabinet position there was a need for someone to pay for this magnificent lifestyle WINZ provide for sole parent support.
Child Support is thus akin to the Magdalene Laundries except sentence is 19 years (to be reduced to 18 if our bosses at IRD can get their act together).
These days the detainees working in the laundry are largely male.
It never was the “best interests of the children”. The penalty system was designed into it from the very start. This transfers money from families to the State. The “best interests” was just a cover.
It worked. The State is a successful parasite on families. No wonder they are so intensively interested in children. Other people’s children, that is.
Dear Ted, an important part of good parenting is protecting your children from hazards. IRD CS is a significant part of the hazards that kill young men. Most parents are not taking this responsibility seriously.
They should take this responsibility seriously, as when their young adult son steps off this world, seeking peace, usually their relationship with their grandchildren is lost too. Too many relationships are damaged, much better to protect your children, than to attempt to sort out these issues after a suicide.
Yes, the standard story is sort of paradoxical – you go from children that you have the “best interests” of, then at some age the males anyway become deadbeats, worth only what you can get out of them. At what age does this happen? A difficult question.
The difficulty disappears once you realize they never had any “best interests” in mind at all. Of the children, that is… the “best interests” they are so exercised about are their own.
“¢replace references to distress warrants with references to warrants to seize property; and
“¢extend the time that must elapse before goods seized under a warrant may be sold from 5 days to 7 days.
This looks a little suspicious. Why do you suppose they would need to do this?
I bbet it now has to tie in with some other act. Naybe around the leins area where you offer property as security for a personal loan.
This whole provision disturbs me. In a subsequent relationship, are the new partners assets, which they bought into the relationship in jeopardy?
NZ child [and spousal] support may be cruel at times and dangerously counterproductive for the child’s welfare [best intyerests?], but often the USA takes the cake:
Share Your Story on USA National Parent’s Website
Look down for #51
#51 Story By
I am a stepmom to two children who live with myself and my husband. The judge ordered an estimated $2,000 a month in child support to the mother who has less than 20% of the children’s time.
What’s the latest on this bill? Is it coming into effect at some point this year? I recall reading that it was delayed for a year, presumably to allow IRD to alter their archaic and utterly uninterpretable systems.
The latest on the bill!
Last I heard they were well on their way to spending a hundred million dollars and there’s no guarantee that the system will ever work.
INCIS – the sequel
Is the reality that National perceived a more equitable distribution of the time and financial costs of bringing up children (ie reducing the spousal support component), as being a good vote loser in the election. A vote loser that they could not afford.
They don’t admit that they are backing out of the changes, just claim that IRD computers couldn’t handle the workload. (I would guess that this claim is untenable, as CS is only a small part of their total workload. Even if the CS workload doubled, the total workload would still be within safety margins.)
If my guess is right, they don’t want to admit that they are actually dumping the proposed changes.
While on this subject – a father was telling me that his teenage son is now living with him. He hasn’t bothered to request child support, as he isn’t likely to get anything anyway and cannot afford the aggravation. Immediately four similar stories come to mind……
So, what do the statistics on deadbeat mothers tell us? Women may not owe as much child [and spousal] support as men, but when looked at in terms of what percentage of what they should pay is actually paid, they show up worse than men. (Another form of analysis – ignore sex and consider payment history compared to taxable income – then women are little better or little worse than men.)
So, if we allow that the story of men not claiming child support is quite common (they see it as being safer for the child’s interests), the official statistics are failing to give anywhere realistic pictures of what is going on between parents. Then all of the ballyhoo about deadbeat fathers is largely a public excuse to run bulldozers over men’s lives. Remember also the child support charges based on mythical estimates of income, again leading to statistics more related to LSD drug, than reality of what is going on in society, between parents.
Does this serve children? I think not.
Does this serve women in any way? Maybe in a dangerous destructive psychiatric sort of way, but not in reality.
These cs games don’t encourage and incentivise honest, constructive relationships between parents, that promote healthy development of children.
I suggest if men do ever want a child support system that sensible protects children’s and parent’s interests, they should put in these child support claims and make complaints about child support frauds that are perpetrated against them.
The present cs industry is as dishonest and corrupt as the DV industry and every bit as destructive of children’s outcomes in our society. Lets face this reality before we are swept away and destroyed by the wastage it promotes.
While our caught$ refuse to prosecute perjury, they will remain unmitigated, destructive parasites on society.
Ask your election candidates what their policy is on prosecution of perjury, fraudulent cs claims and fraudulent familycaught$ applications?
Peter Dunne said that he would rather parents work out between them payment for children when parent spilt up. that’s fine. I was paying $200.00 a week plus any extras. but when my ex got snotty she went to the IRD for child support from me she failed to tell them about my payments plus she changed my new address to hers which meant that I never received any information for 10 weeks. only because she must have had a guilt trip and told me. phoning the IRD yes they said you owe us money plus penalties for none payment. I told them that I had been paying her $200.00 a week for the past 10 weeks.thats fine you can keep on paying that plus your child support with us. Yet the IRD say that you should not give false information. So why was she not pulled over the coals for that. one rule for them and another for the men. what a complete sham
Make a compliant to the police.
Falsifying a legal document is a crime.
Charge child support staff with dishonest use of a legal document.
Charge your partner with fraud.
If the police will not do it, and they wont.
File a private prosecution.
Instruct the court that the police will not help.
Study the relevant laws first so you can quote it by memory.
The calculator is back on the IRD website for the proposed changes w.e.f. 1/4/2015.
If these go ahead as planned (this time last year, I had received a letter from IRD about the proposed changes; this year @ now I have not), then all well-and-good.
Choose carefully who you vote for. Labour (nor National) promise anything explicitly good for men.
IRD nor Peter Dunne nor National, if they get back in, can afford the publicity if the changes are dumped. Labour, if they get in, can easily toss out the changes as ‘unaffordable’.
Remember, the proposed changes in CS tax are GOOD if the both you and your children’s mother work paid employment (she covers some of the $$$$ cost of raising your children); and basically no change (you still pay big $$$) if you work and she doesn’t.
Are you referring to mothers receiving the domestic purposes benefit or unemployed mothers or mothers who don’t have to work because of the income of their new partner?
The main point is the trend away from equality
There is a clear intent that to maximise the returns for the government and women then men must be pushed out of children’s lives as much as possible.
No intent for equal rights in this legislation
The rewards are all for the opposite
Hi folks. I’ve just re read this thread and skimmed through the original draft of the change to child tax legislation. But I can’t find any confirmation re the dropping of the maximum child tax age from 19 to 18. Does anyone know if this aspect of the legislation is likely to be passed through or has it ended up on the cutting room floor alongside anything else that may benefit liable parents. Thanks in advance
I didn’t look at the final legislation but the bill proposed lowering the age to 18 years unless the child was still at a school (definition of the Education Act).
The actual effect is that nothing changes unless you have a child between 18 and 19 working less than 30 hours per week, and you were still paying child support.
Long term it means that the IRD will probably try to recover child support for education post secondary school.
Does anyone have bright ideas about how to check how many hours a child is working? The child we pay for is 17 and a 1/2, left school at a couple of weeks shy of 16 and has worked ever since. We have a private arrangement and don’t really want to upset that apple cart BUT now we think he might be working full time or at least over 30 hours a week and we’re being lied to. I assume his place of employment won’t be happy to divulge that info, nor would IRD but they would only know his income anyway not hours. We were pretty happy the age was being lowered to 18 and would have just paid till then but of course now it’s 19 again, not sure I want to keep paying for another 18 months when he’s working full time!
Hi Downunder, I don’t quite understand what you mean. I get the bit about the child being at school but wouldn’t the liability cease if the child was working MORE than 30 hours per week NOT LESS. Also, if the liability was to end at 18 instead of 19 doesn’t that mean that the liability should cease regardless of the employment or educational status of the child. I’m confused 🙁
Hi Cheerio. A friend of mine thought that his 18 year old daughter was working full time so he called IRD and explained the situation to them. They actually followed it up and found that he was correct and amended his liability accordingly. That was about 7 years ago but I assume the rules about so called children attaining full time employment still apply.
The way it works at the moment as far as I am aware is that you pay child support until the age of nineteen unless the child has left school and is employed for more than 30 hours per week.
What I read in the proposed change is that child support would stop at 18 unless the child is still at school.
So, the only ‘effective change’ would be for parents who have a child aged between 18 and 19 working less that 30 hours a week, or a child over 19 still at school, which I assume is rare but still possible.
Hell, anyone understand the new definition on income from 2016 and its implications ? cheers
Let’s say child B is living with the mother in NZ and the other Child A with the father in AU.
How does the child support system work here? Example: Father has a total of 3 children in his care (including daughter A) with his current wife who is currently unemployed. Earns (not real figure) $5000 per month. Pays mortgage, loans, utilities whilst providing for the whole family. IRD has informed him that after all the expenses discussed he has to fork out $2100 per month to the mother of his child B in NZ. He in return does not get any support from the AU government. At the end of it all he cannot afford to put petrol in his vehicle, he is left with only $160 for grocery on a monthly basis. He was also informed that if his wife goes back to work and says earns $3200 per month his child support figure then increases to $2900 per month. To make things more interesting, a couple who was previously separated but now together was in a very similar situation (with regards to living apart). The working parent in AU was paying $1500 per month in child support to the non-working parent in NZ. However the parent in NZ was nice enough to advise that she was only getting $500 per month from Child Support. Is the Child Support from AU taxed in NZ? Or is there an administration fee involved resulting in a $1000 loss.
Probably the mother in NZ is on a supported child benefit and the NZ taxpayer recovers the $1,000 you pay in Child Support each month and only passes to the mum the excess $500 as a top-up on her benefit.
I thought that excess so-called ‘child support’ paid to the mother only applied when the so-called ‘child support’ exceeds the benefit. Most sole mothers receive between $400 and $1000 per week so the $1500 per month nowhere near covers that.
I have received the letter confirming my new required payment. This has gone from $108 per month to $454 per month. I don’t know how I’m going to pay this, I can’t get more work as the job I’m in is all consuming and as my new wife and I have her 3 children to support we are hamstrung. I don’t understand how this can happen and how very little media there has been. If my son was in the same town as us we would have him 50/50 but because the ex moved to another part of the country (which I tried to stop but court just let her do it) this is not possible and I am hit for it. Don’t know what to do.
Have you made sure all the details are correct? like the amount you earned 1st of Jan 2014 to Dec 2014?
Also if she moved away from you, are you aware that you can get a discount due to costs involved in contact.
You should ring IRD and discuss.
The government of New Zealand is merely a cover up for legalised robbery.
My husband has fully paid his child support for four children for the last 15 years. But we were just notified the payment has jumped from $800 to $1500. This is beyond unreasonable and there is no way we can afford it.
My perspective is that of the second wife and these 15 years have been difficult for me. I have never had any children myself though I wanted them. We could never afford them.
We have had alot of difficulty over the years even being able to see the children. My husband’s ex has not worked for 22 years and just lived off the DPB. Meanwhile we work our fingers to the bone and are just penalised for it. We are happy to support my husband’s children but the government thinks nothing of someone like me who comes along to be a good wife and suffers to pay for his first wife.
And the government also does not take into account that she spends the money on herself not the kids so besides paying child support we provide above this a great deal elsewise with clothes and food and other items.
We are stressed and depressed and don’t know how we can go on with this massive hike in child support. We don;t know what to do.
I totally understand your situation as my partner has been paying child support for the last 11 years for 4 children, never missed a payment, and has had to pay for ALL visitations, phone calls etc and yes our payment has gone from 2300 to 3300 a month???? I do accepted that we need to support my partners children but seriously how do they justify the increase! The children’s mother has never worked, has since had 3 children to another man who has also since been in jail for manufacturing drugs and with this we had a failed custody battle through the courts as we live in Australia. That ordeal also cost us a fortune.
Up until now we have had to have a very tight budget watching every penny that comes in and out of our house hold to survive. After these changes you would think as a minimum there would be some form of transparency of the ex’s budget to validate the money is being spent on the children.
And how does the government state that these children are worth a percentage of their fathers wages! To me they are saying children are only worth what their father earns and not the true cost a raising a child!
We do have 2 children together, but these last 5 years have been very crippling for us. Our youngest has started Kindy this year so I fortunately found a job which suited her school days thinking this would help us get a head but now with this “NEW” assessment my money is paying for this increase and still does not cover it. We have a humble mortgage, car and life but with this “NEW” assessment we will not meet our payments. My partner has contemplated taking his own life which rips me apart.
With this “NEW” assessment when will the increases stop as in the last 4 weeks our payment amounts have changed 4 times! and all increased!
My partner read your statement and said to me he wanted to cry.
I am at my wits end as I can imagine you are too.
If only there was some form of independent support for fathers so they do not have to rely on Child Supports pathetic one sided administrative review process!