Where the fun begins... and probably ends


Child Support... and the way you, too, can become destitute

, posted: 20-Dec-2011 17:16

Right... this is going to be a bit rambling, just because that's the way my brain works (or doesn't in most cases).

Awhile ago I split up with the mother of my 2 daughters... She hasn't worked for 8+ years so ended up on the DPB.

I moved out, tried to sort my finances and generally made my usual mess of all things involving money. As Blindspott once said:
"Not one day that you are here on this earth
Has been promised to you
So make the most of every day as if it was your last
And every breath as if it was the same, the same"

So I tend to live day to day...

THEN I had to start paying IRD money for child support... "Sweet!" worked it out using their calculator at my current wage.... Not A Problem, I can *just* afford that!

FUCKING WRONG!

See, what had happened was, just before the break-up, I had changed jobs... I was over doing 65-70hrs a week for $17.50... The resulting pay was good but, shit, I was 39 and worn out!
So I took a job that promised 48hrs at better money.. all worked out a bit less, but we could survive....

LOL, NAH!

48 hrs?? I wish... try 38 if I'm lucky!... ooops!

When IRD do your child support calculations, they base it on the previous year.
Now I know I'm no mathmetician, but there's a HELL of a difference between 38 hours and 65...
And even making an extra $2 an hour doesn't cover that difference!
SOOO my first bill from child support was FUCKING HUGE!

my reaction was beyond WTF! it was more "OMFGMYLIFEISOVER".

Of course, I rang them (warning: never ring child support, they will steal your soul) and was told... now this cracks me up...  "All good, just do an estimate, include a payslip and we will sort it!"

It might make sense to mention at this stage my car shat itself, and I NEED it to get to work... hard to commute at 1am.

Anyway, filled out the forms, sent a payslip, sweet...

DECLINED! "fucking WHAT???"
Phone: "You haven't had a 15% difference in pay so it's declined... you earned lots at the start of this financial year"
Me: " Um, that was at my old job... doing 65hrs a week.. I just sent you my payslip..."
Phone: "yeah, but we take an average and that estimate shows your wage will only change 12%"
Me: "But 12% is a lot of money and my car has just died"
Phone: "sorry, nothing we can do"
ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhh
About this time I was scammed on trade me, so I rang and told them... just to cover my arse... and also mentioned a loan in my name that was used for the family (renewed every year, yeah, wont do that again).
They were going to send me some forms...

Anyway, after spending 2 months getting my car drivable, nearly having a nervous breakdown and wanting to explode govt departments (not really), My life started turning around...
Some friends got my brain working properly.. shit I even smiled with feeling for the first time in months.
I actually felt good and was starting to get on my feet. Nearly started to have money to give those IRD... WAIT!
LETTER!


WE ARE TAKING NEARLY HALF YOUR WAGES!

THE FUCK WHAT?????

Straight on the phone...
Me: you realise if you do that, I cant do 2 things... eat, and afford to go to work....??
IRD: sorry, your claim was denied
Me: I know... *insert same shit about job change here* + mention loan and paperwork I never got
IRD: We have no record, but that will take 8 weeks anyway...
Me: But I won't be able to go to work in 2 weeks.. or eat... I'll end up on the dole.. with nothing. I WONT BE ABLE TO SEE MY FUCKING KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (never once actually raised my voice or swore... I was too devastated)
IRD: sorry, we'll send you some forms... do you realise we have redundancies happening here?
Me: Really? I can't think why? (it's not like you actually fucking help people)
IRD: so sad... anyway, can't help you, sorry, forms in the mail, have a nice xmas *click


O...K...
I have now run every option through my head, including bankruptcy..
I have one option.

Move to Australia


and not see my kids...



It's the only place that pays enough for me to not default on my loans, pay IRD and still eat.
That means selling everything... which is not really much , but meant a fuckload to me,
and leaving behind MY KIDS!'

My Daughters... an 8 year old and a 2.5 year old...

IRD... YOU have such a broken system, you are forcing a hard working adult to either become a dole bludger, or to leave the country.

Child Support? They don't get supported!!! THEY LOSE A PARENT! Possibly forever...
My youngest is 2.5... What memories is SHE gunna have of her dad? Loser? prick that ran away? Abandoned them?

Why? All because nobody is this bloated, fucked-up system actually gives a FUCK about the kids...

Child Support my fucking arse.

Thanks IRD.. if I had any mental issues, I'm pretty sure you would have driven me to a grave.
But FUCK YOU! I'm not like that.
I have all the paperwork, and when I have to explain to my kids why their dad left, They will hate you nearly as much as I do.
Hopefully they see the light when they're old enough and leave this country before it fucks them like it fucked their father.


cheers


Mick

Other related posts:
It's been awhile.
Is TelstraClear Mobile just in Beta?
Another week and starting to think








Comment by DjShadow, on 20-Dec-2011 19:03

I feel your pain on this, I doubt you would be the 1st person the current unfair system would of sent under


Comment by Dratsab, on 20-Dec-2011 19:09

Unfortunately running to Aussie won't help, their tax department and IRD have a reciprocal tax agreement.

If your ex is on speaking terms, try and see if you can work out an agreement with her in which you supply her with a pay slip on a regular basis (so she can see you're not bullshitting about annual salary) and pay her directly, based on the IRD's calculator using your current wages.

This is what I do with my ex and it works well. On top of which my ex gets all the money - I'm not paying a subsidy for parents who don't pay (which is what I'm led to believe is what happens).

The only hitch I see is that IRD are already involved and may try and block you from paying directly. Actually, I'll rephrase that - they will try and block you from paying directly (through having payments deducted from your salary at source) - probably to protect the subsidy.

It's gonna be a bit expensive up-front, but I'd recommend you speak with a family lawyer or an accountant who specialises in tax matters.

Good luck!!


Comment by Ted, on 20-Dec-2011 19:20

Spare me the violins! Its not IRD's fault you can't even afford to pay child support, let alone provide for your kids at a level above abject poverty. Thats just a cop out and you know it. Your kids, your responsibility.


Comment by Dratsab, on 20-Dec-2011 19:36

Lol - misunderstood :-)


Author's note by blakamin, on 20-Dec-2011 19:40

Dratsab, I'm not running away.. i'm going there so i actually HAVE the money to pay! I don't earn enough here!
IRD have already blocked me from paying directly as she has no job.


Comment by jtbthatsme, on 20-Dec-2011 20:16

Actually paying directly to her whilst she is on a benefit is benefit fraud on her behalf as the money IRD collects from those where the custodial parent is on a benefit is kept in IRD coffers to help support all.

Don't get me wrong I am not saying I think the system is right as it's a far way from it.  Supporting your kids is important regardless of whether or not you have them in your care or not.

I have 5 kids and pay child support currently for 4 of them as one lives with me.  If the one living with me left my care my current CS payments would more than double to just under $1000 a month.  Funny thing is I struggle now paying the $440ish a month. 

I think that maybe you should have based a reassessment on the costs for when you have them as a consideration for a reassessment only has to be something tiny like 5% of your yearly total child support. (At least last time I looked)  Key word there of course is consideration.

So that goes pretty much like your other talk with them "thought about it but nah"


Comment by George McCasland, on 21-Dec-2011 06:00

The problem is not as much the system as it is fathers not taking the time to learn about child support, and hiring the first attorney they talk to.

The Basics of Child Support
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gLmRXW4BIU&feature=bf_next&list=PLC8077B1999DA0324&lf=plpp_video

Federal Child Support Enforcement Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents
http://childsupportrights.org/


Comment by Kyanar, on 21-Dec-2011 09:15

Ted, you have no idea what you're talking about. Last I checked, kids didn't inherently cost a percentage of your salary to maintain, yet IRD simplistically assumes that they do, and then maintains a flawed broken system for calculating how much that percentage is (based on historic data with no connection to current circumstances) that very nearly bankrupts some parents. I know one guy on a benefit who got issued with an assessment for $80,000 child support simply because his ex lied about his earnings (claiming he earned millions, when it was more like lost that much).

The child support system is broken, and biased against the non-custodial parent so much that one cannot really take it seriously.

Lastly, I don't see where blakamin said how much he was paying in child support - where did you get this "abject poverty" stuff from?


Comment by oxnsox, on 21-Dec-2011 09:18

As Drabstab suggests, if possible try and work out an agreement with the ex. Doing it thru a lawyer is worthwhile because it's down in writting, but work out the details between you first as this minimises legal costs.

If you have such an agreement in place there is no reason for the IRD to be involved. As far as I'm aware they don't clip the ticket they just set the rules to cater for the folk who can't come to amicable agreements.

Part of the assesment process also takes into account your status. If you're in a new relationship, there appears to be a greater understanding that you have to support 2 households. Otherwise it seems they assume you can somehow live for a lot less (flatting?). 

Of course if things with the ex are all too strained (which is likely), then you're pushed into the IRD corner and their systems. The Key thing is for you to try and take control of the situation yourself somehow, even when working with government agencies.

What ever solution you settle on it's important  you acknowledge your commitment to your children (you'll probably have to bite your tounge on what they may be told or believe), when they're old enough they'll work it all out if you've been consistently supportive, but it's not going to be easy on you. 

Although you may be making financial contributions to the ex's household, it's also important that you accept you're not responsible for how she spends it.  (ie: if you think shes spending the money you provide for groceries on her social life it'll do your head in. Those are no longer your concerns or decisions.)
Bumpy times ahead bloke, but this was what works for me.


Comment by oxnsox, on 21-Dec-2011 09:29

As Drabstab suggests, if possible try and work out an agreement with the ex. Doing it thru a lawyer is worthwhile because it's down in writting, but work out the details between you first as this minimises legal costs.

If you have such an agreement in place there is no reason for the IRD to be involved. As far as I'm aware they don't clip the ticket they just set the rules to cater for the folk who can't come to amicable agreements.

Part of the assesment process also takes into account your status. If you're in a new relationship, there appears to be a greater understanding that you have to support 2 households. Otherwise it seems they assume you can somehow live for a lot less (flatting?). 

Of course if things with the ex are all too strained (which is likely), then you're pushed into the IRD corner and their systems. The Key thing is for you to try and take control of the situation yourself somehow, even when working with government agencies.

What ever solution you settle on it's important  you acknowledge your commitment to your children (you'll probably have to bite your tounge on what they may be told or believe), when they're old enough they'll work it all out if you've been consistently supportive, but it's not going to be easy on you. 

Although you may be making financial contributions to the ex's household, it's also important that you accept you're not responsible for how she spends it.  (ie: if you think shes spending the money you provide for groceries on her social life it'll do your head in. Those are no longer your concerns or decisions.)
Bumpy times ahead bloke, but this was what works for me.


Comment by Dratsab, on 21-Dec-2011 10:27

@oxnsox - unfortunately, as jtbthatsme points out, it would actually become benefit fraud. Something I hadn't taken into consideration...

@jtbthatsme - $440 a month? Wow, I wish my payments were that low. I'm picking it's because you have full time care of one child. I have two with my ex that I pay for - $455 a fortnight! Don't get me wrong, I take my responsibilities seriously and don't begrudge them any of the money, but it's a real struggle.
   
@ted - did you post just to troll or are you actually as ignorant as your post indicates? [/politeness]

@blakamin - unfortunately it looks like, on top of paying those who don't want to work via your taxes, you're now also going to be contributing (significantly) to other peoples kids because these kids have a parent who won't pay :-(


Comment by tdgeek, on 21-Dec-2011 12:28

Mick


Been there done that a while back, its a hurtful time, the emotions that exist compound with this one size fits all approach by the Govt.


I have two suggestions.

1. When the excess support figure is washed away by the "last years earnings" getting back to normal, can you manage ok then? If so, and if you get nowhere with the IRD, I would look at what you need to do between now and then to get through. Bank can consolidate loans to one loan for a longer period and lower payments?  Personal loan from the bank, even if guaranteed by relatives?  


2. Can you arrange an appointment for a meeting? One to one may well get  past that CSR mentality that you get on the phone. And if they can make some changes, reassessment, etc, that would be a positive.


Comment by tdgeek, on 21-Dec-2011 12:43

Mick


Been there done that a while back, its a hurtful time, the emotions that exist compound with this one size fits all approach by the Govt.


I have two suggestions.

1. When the excess support figure is washed away by the "last years earnings" getting back to normal, can you manage ok then? If so, and if you get nowhere with the IRD, I would look at what you need to do between now and then to get through. Bank can consolidate loans to one loan for a longer period and lower payments?  Personal loan from the bank, even if guaranteed by relatives?  


2. Can you arrange an appointment for a meeting? One to one may well get  past that CSR mentality that you get on the phone. And if they can make some changes, reassessment, etc, that would be a positive.


Comment by tdgeek, on 21-Dec-2011 12:48

Mick


Been there done that a while back, its a hurtful time, the emotions that exist compound with this one size fits all approach by the Govt.


I have two suggestions.

1. When the excess support figure is washed away by the "last years earnings" getting back to normal, can you manage ok then? If so, and if you get nowhere with the IRD, I would look at what you need to do between now and then to get through. Bank can consolidate loans to one loan for a longer period and lower payments?  Personal loan from the bank, even if guaranteed by relatives?  


2. Can you arrange an appointment for a meeting? One to one may well get  past that CSR mentality that you get on the phone. And if they can make some changes, reassessment, etc, that would be a positive.


Comment by Karen, on 21-Dec-2011 15:00

Thinking about this story again this morning, I think you need to firstly contact your local MP, and secondly, write a letter to the Commissioner of the IRD.

There is no fairness or logic in this situation and it is worth drawing to the attention of someone who can act on it.


Author's note by blakamin, on 21-Dec-2011 15:28

Thanks everyone (mostly :D)
I'm looking into everything ASAP!


Comment by Jason, on 21-Dec-2011 17:03

The Child Support Legislation is changing? The bill went through parliament a few months back (im pretty sure anyway). Just waiting for it to enforce. It will change the way its all calculated, how much your partner ears is taken into consideration as well as how much shared custody.


Comment by pctek, on 21-Dec-2011 17:28

Nonsense. This happened with my son, job, circumstances changed, support amount didn't - because he didn't TELL them.

Once he did and completed their forms, yes they do adjust it.
Get over it. It's for the kids, you don't want to pay it - go for custody - then she will be the one paying it.


Author's note by blakamin, on 21-Dec-2011 22:44

pctek, nothing changed. That is the way it started. Nice try tho.


Comment by DonGould, on 22-Dec-2011 16:45

I very much doubt that paying money directly to the mother is benefit fraud. All she has to do is declare it and they adjust any benefit entitlement she has.

You should make contact with your MP and the Social Development MP.

You should also take a weeks stress leave and ask your employer to contact their MP regarding this matter.

I wouldn't employ you at all based on your apparent stress here.

So what I'm reading is that paper pushing is turning you into someone who is unemployable.

$20 an hours for 38 hours work a week is not a lot of money. I was on $45 a decade ago working in Perth. We really need some perspective here.


Comment by McDougal, on 23-Dec-2011 10:19

How bout dropping your hours back a little more, so your pay falls further to be a 15% difference, allowing a re-assessment.

Use the extra time to do some maintenance on the car, grow some veggies, walk the kids out to the beach, or work a small (below tax threshold) business.

Or pick some flowers, make a few changes, do some soul searching and move back in with the kids mother. Even living in the same house and sharing the expenses if you can't make it as far as her bedroom.


Author's note by blakamin, on 23-Dec-2011 15:19

All good Don, I wouldn't work for you anyway! :D


Author's note by blakamin, on 23-Dec-2011 15:21

McDougal, lmao!
Not a hope in hell, buddy!
Wouldn't put myself thru any of that torture...
(we do the beach walk most weekends)


Comment by Athlonite, on 25-Dec-2011 08:18

I very much doubt that paying money directly to the mother is benefit fraud

and you'd be correct it would only be fraud if she chose to have family support payed to her by WINZ and didn't declare manual payments made by the father

other than that if you can garner a legal contract between the two of you about how much you should pay in CS and she agrees to let you pay her directly IRD have to stop bothering you about CS payments

my advice talk to your ex about it and go see a lawyer and ge a contract drawn up


Author's note by blakamin, on 27-Dec-2011 09:47

Athlonite, She is not working... therefore I CAN'T pay her that money. the money has to go to IRD. It is the law.
I could maybe pay her extra, but I HAVE to pay IRD so much a month, so can't afford that either..
Until she gets work, IRD are going to take their share.
End Of Story.


Comment by dg, on 28-Dec-2011 21:59

Christ, you poor bastard!

every time i see this kind of BS, I think myself to be extremely lucky, me and the X broke up then a week later found out she was preg.... we did a private agreement, i just pay money into a account every FN and any big expenses we split, but most importantly we get along, its f*ed up that the IRD pulls this crap, buts its to be expected, they are a bunch of morons, at the end of the day the only ones that are far worse off are the kids as the parents are stressed out of their brains. Ive heard there is a mens support group down in wlg that is rather good, maybe you could get some advice from them.
best of luck !


Comment by kiwijohn1, on 29-Dec-2011 10:03

Been there, done that! A hugely unfair system ran by a pack of man hating lesbians! However, try and get any MP to listen to yet alone offer to try and change the system. Values I give here are old data from the 90's, but when I started paying it was like increase your income by 50% but increase child support payments by 100%!

That is, earn $20,000 - they allow you $10,000 to live on and you pay 18% on the 10,000 left! That is $1,800!
Now "better yourself" and earn $30,000. Again you get $10,000 to live on and pay 18% on what's left which equals $20,000 or $3,600 - a 100% increase.

Naturally they have an upper limit (was 70,000) above which you pay no more so the law makers on 100K plus didnt pay any more than me on 69,950!!!
I was always going to go and tell them what I thought of them when I finished my payments but enjoying the extra $12K+ a year I see now too much! LOL


Comment by sean latimer, on 6-Mar-2012 23:49

im going through this right now,my ex walked out on a mortgage and 12 grand debt that we had together,never put a cent towards anything, we came to an agreement that ill pay all the debt and she support the kids when she has them...7 months down the track she is fileing for child support. 180 per week which will leave me with 20 dollas to feed me,the kids,petrol everything. yup real fucking realistic...i cant afford to pay my lawyer anynmore, and im so sick of fighting my ex so im just going to give up..ill pay the bullshit ammount but i wont beable to afford to see my kids again,i cant feed them let alone pick them up... so im eventually going to sell up everything and just leave,..i love my kids to death but i cant afford to live here,the system is bullshit and is designed to screw over the dad.FUCK IRD AND FUCK MY EX


Comment by sean latimer, on 6-Mar-2012 23:50

im going through this right now,my ex walked out on a mortgage and 12 grand debt that we had together,never put a cent towards anything, we came to an agreement that ill pay all the debt and she support the kids when she has them...7 months down the track she is fileing for child support. 180 per week which will leave me with 20 dollas to feed me,the kids,petrol everything. yup real fucking realistic...i cant afford to pay my lawyer anynmore, and im so sick of fighting my ex so im just going to give up..ill pay the bullshit ammount but i wont beable to afford to see my kids again,i cant feed them let alone pick them up... so im eventually going to sell up everything and just leave,..i love my kids to death but i cant afford to live here,the system is bullshit and is designed to screw over the dad.FUCK IRD AND FUCK MY EX


Author's note by blakamin, on 6-Mar-2012 23:54

Know how ya feel, Sean... I'm now in Oz.... Undecided


Comment by sean, on 7-Mar-2012 20:33

yea so how is it in ozzy?im guessing you had to leave your kids? i was talking to a friend the other day that left his kid behind and moved to perth,always wondered why but he said he had to to beable to start a new life because his ex just made his life hell...all my ex does is try to control every move i do...ive reached the point where i just cant handle being in the same city as her,ive tried for 8 months to just keep the peace but its always a different thing each month.....how do you get on with ird now etc??are you paying child support?


Comment by Andy, on 15-Nov-2012 16:35

I have a question.
I have two kids in NZ but I am not living in NZ.
I left NZ 4 years ago.
This week I contacted IRD and they asked for 1600$ for child support for 2008.
They told me the payment is 4000 but if I pay 1600 they clear my account and there is no feauther payment.
My question is what happen if I don't pay.
Is it automaticaly cancel?

I don7t have plan to return to NZ because NZ is not a place to live.

Any suggestion?


Comment by sezbum, on 3-Jan-2013 17:40

Well you could always do what my partners useless, deadbeat daddy does. Just don't pay. IRD don't do shit they just keep adding penalties they realistically will never get off you.
Don't get me wrong. Not at all insinuating you're a deadbeat, but seems inherently wrong here that IRD are hounding you for a hopeless amount of money when we have been waiting a year (so far) to get anything. And in the meantime I'm paying. So for entirely different reasons I must agree with Sean. Fuck IRD & Fuck the Ex!


Comment by barry, on 1-Mar-2013 21:32

ted you have no idea what they like currently paying over a third of my clear wage


Comment by thebestwelderintheworld, on 12-Feb-2014 20:00

Hey Mick,I am yet another father going through the same situation,I earn currently about $1500 per fortnight, last year I was earning about $2000 per fortnight(which my assessment has been made on).I currently pay $600 fortnightly for child support for my son and my bills after that come to around $$910(rent, petrol food loan)etc.My major plan is to keep at it whilst trying to save any $ I can and eventually hire the services of a lawyer to try and get full time custody of my son, He really wants to live with me and I understand this will be taken in to account when he is old enough. I have already spent a borrowed $5500 for a lawyer just to see my son as when the ex left and took him(while I was at work) she would not allow me to see him at all for the 7months before we finally got to court.A few things for you to think about:Do your kids visit? The nz courts have made it compulsory that when my son visits (every single weekend fri 4:30pm to sun 6:30pm I have no social life)that the ex and I share the cost 50/50. could you have them visit you and have your ex footing half the air fare?Being in auzzie now Im guessing you are making more $$$ than ever before, would you be willing to pay the big bucks for a good lawyer to go for custody and lead your children to a far better life in aus? Your ex paying you child support would sure put a smile on your face and help pay back those big lawyers fees.Get a new Mrs preferably with a kid/s this will drop your repayments substantially.Lastly (my bosses Idea) and probably most easiest and most effective.. get someone to put a fucken bullet in her head Problem solved.80% of New Zealand women are c***s who lie deceive cheat etc to get what/where they wante.g. in order=Do the sex, stop taking the pill, get preggas, quit their jobs an laze around at home, leave with your child/ren, get the dpb an they're set for 18 years paid for by You and the tax payer!Its hard not to be be furious at these times but doing your research and playing the game the smart way pays off, oh and sometimes lying, buying, manipulating.If anybody has any comments, advice, abuse or graphic images(not pornographic) feel free to contact me at [email protected]


Comment by thebestwelderintheworld, on 12-Feb-2014 20:01

Hey Mick,I am yet another father going through the same situation,I earn currently about $1500 per fortnight, last year I was earning about $2000 per fortnight(which my assessment has been made on).I currently pay $600 fortnightly for child support for my son and my bills after that come to around $$910(rent, petrol food loan)etc.My major plan is to keep at it whilst trying to save any $ I can and eventually hire the services of a lawyer to try and get full time custody of my son, He really wants to live with me and I understand this will be taken in to account when he is old enough. I have already spent a borrowed $5500 for a lawyer just to see my son as when the ex left and took him(while I was at work) she would not allow me to see him at all for the 7months before we finally got to court.A few things for you to think about:Do your kids visit? The nz courts have made it compulsory that when my son visits (every single weekend fri 4:30pm to sun 6:30pm I have no social life)that the ex and I share the cost 50/50. could you have them visit you and have your ex footing half the air fare?Being in auzzie now Im guessing you are making more $$$ than ever before, would you be willing to pay the big bucks for a good lawyer to go for custody and lead your children to a far better life in aus? Your ex paying you child support would sure put a smile on your face and help pay back those big lawyers fees.Get a new Mrs preferably with a kid/s this will drop your repayments substantially.Lastly (my bosses Idea) and probably most easiest and most effective.. get someone to put a fucken bullet in her head Problem solved.80% of New Zealand women are c***s who lie deceive cheat etc to get what/where they wante.g. in order=Do the sex, stop taking the pill, get preggas, quit their jobs an laze around at home, leave with your child/ren, get the dpb an they're set for 18 years paid for by You and the tax payer!Its hard not to be be furious at these times but doing your research and playing the game the smart way pays off, oh and sometimes lying, buying, manipulating.If anybody has any comments, advice, abuse or graphic images(not pornographic) feel free to contact me at [email protected]


Author's note by blakamin, on 12-Feb-2014 20:17

thebestwelderintheworld

I feel your pain...
Now I'm in Aussie I can afford to pay, BUT (and this is a beauty) they now take my earnings from 2 years ago and calculate it on that and, due to the difference in financial years, I last got assessed for 15 MONTHS!
IRD did take my travel expenses into account, only after I actually provided receipts though. The amount of shit that took.... It did my head in, especially as they don't actually read what you send in for the review.
I fly back at least twice a year and have them stay with me for 10 days at a time.. I'm taking them on their first flight from Welly to Aucks when I come over at easter so they have some plane experience and can come over to Oz for xmas (hopefully for 3 weeks).
I don't mind paying to have them visit, anything to see them really. 
To rent somewhere to have them, flights, car hire etc. costs a bloddy fortune, but worth every cent.
I also now have an awesome mrs that loves my daughters and helps out anyway she can.
The bullet plan isn't worth it, it'd be harder to see your son. ;P


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Mick 
Adelaide
Australia


A completely weird truck driver