Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition


Child support = theft. extortionate policies.

, posted: 28-Apr-2007 16:22

As I mentioned last night, the current child support legislation in New Zealand is a complete load of B.S.

and from the comments I find that i am not the only one in that position.


firstly let me say this, in support of the child support laws here and abroad.

I understand the reasons behind the current child support laws, throughout the years there have been many changes in social norms, but also because some fathers out there are real bastards who will do all they can to avoid providing support to their kids if they aren't living with them,
therefore the government has over time had to step in to make sure there is protection for mothers who have custody, and measures that enable the government to enforce the responsibilty of the parent to pay towards their childs upbringing.

I feel sorry for the mothers and fathers out there whose ex-partners are not meeting their responsibilities as a parent, and I feel sorry for all those who grew up in a house which struggled to make ends meet because one of the parents were not helping in any way.

However

I am not referring to those sorts of situations, I am not discussing the situations where the government is justified in their actions, and the reason I'm not discussing these situations is because they are trumpeted constantly when the government wants to justify another reason to steal money from hardworking fathers.

I am going to refer to "fathers" as the paying parent without custody, and to "Mothers" as the non-paying parent with custody for the purpose of this article, this is not due to any predjudice, but simply a generalisation, I am aware that there are examples of opposite situations out there, my writing addresses this also, feel free to substitute mother for father, or father for mother or both for bastard or bitch as it fits your situation, it will not effect what I am discussing.

For reasonable people, there is some reasonable legislation put in place,

eg,

If both parents are working then there are two options, the first is that they can make a private agreement for the amount of child support to pay, and this can be done completely privately.
the second is that it can go through IRD to enforce a default child support assessment, or a private agreement should the paying parent not be sticking to their side of the agreement.

But where I ask, where the hell is the protection for the father, who loves their child, wants to support them in any way possible but have been screwed by the courts for the simple reason that they are a hardworking member of society?

Why should a father with a full time job be forced to become a part-time playmate, simply because they are a hardworking citizen?

there is no protection. there is no balance or fairness nor justification.

simply because the mother is on the dpb (dole) the father has to give huge piles of money to the government,

but hang on a second. this is CHILD SUPPORT. not EX-PARTNER & CHILD SUPPORT.
in the situations of lower - socio economic incomes i can understand the percentages, and how this would equate to what would be hoped to be spent on the child,

but what about the situations where you are not in the lower tax brackets? what about the higher tax brackets.
(all the following calculations are based on one child)

a breakdown of DPB Payments:
Sole Parent Weekly after Tax: $255.65
Accomodation supplement: $84(renting) $101(mortgage)
so thats a total of 339.65 or 356.65 (with a mortgage)
(from http://www.winz.govt.nz/get-assistance/rates-info.html)
so thats 339.65 per week,  or 1471 per month.
taking out the accomodation supplement, its 1107.81 per month.

now lets look at child support

Take a Skilled IT Professional earning $87,000 annually before tax.
lets say he lives alone, and has no dependant children living with him.
his liabilities work out @:
annual taxable income:                                 $87000.00
            Minus
Your living allowance                                    $13149.00
            Multiplied by
Your child support percentage rate
                                                                        18%
            Equals
Your annual liability                                      $13293.20
            Divided by 12, equals
Your monthly liability                                     $1107.80
Your annual liability divided by 52, equals
Your weekly liability                                      $255.65

Yes read it again, that is straight from the IRD child support calculator for the 2007 tax year.

EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT THAT IS PAID TO THE MOTHER ON THE DPB

I want someone to explain to me HOW THE HELL THATS JUSTIFIED?

that is not child support. from the IRD's theory you are paying towards just the child and helping with the raising.
by that calculation, I see the IRD using you to cover your EX PARTNERS COSTS!

its absolute bollocks.

the maximum liability for child support through the ird has changed greatly too over the years,

the maximum liability is the maximum amount they take into account when calculating your liabilties.

since 1994 the maximum amount has increase by just shy of $50,000

2008 $104,312.00
2007 $100,157.00
2006 $97,167.00
2005 $93,522.00
2004 $90,823.00
2003 $86,684.00
2002 $67,569.00
2001 $68,463.00
2000 $65,891.00
1999 $64,478.00
1998 $62,133.00
1997 $60,122.00
1996 $58,606.00
1995 $57,795.00
1994 $57,141.00
this to me is totally unjustified.

the thing that I find the most unjustified, is that regardless of the child support you pay, if the mother is on the DPB then she will still need help paying for other bigger items.
but what is worst of all, is that the father gets viewed as a pig who does nothing to help financially, by the mother and her family and sometimes his family as well,

there is no recognition of the fact that they pay all this child support, and the government refuses to acknowledge any extra help that may be given.

I am so sick of this one size fits all crap.

I'm not sure how to fix it, and I'm now pissed off enough that I'll take a break from this entry and go calm down a bit.



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Comment by Robert Pedersen, on 29-Apr-2007 03:26

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Comment by Horus, on 11-Jun-2007 22:48

I think it's also important to discuss a few of the points you raised, such as the role of the father and the apparent unfairness in the situation for him.


You say that the current scheme is understandable; to quote something you apparently yourself quoted, whether something you have written prior to posting it here or whether somebody else wrote it,


"I understand the current child support laws, throughout the years there have been many changes in social norms, but also because some fathers out there are real bastards who will do all they can to avoid providing support to their kids if they aren't living with them..."


This is completely true - in times past women who were left to do the sole parenting (and it largely was women. Remember, it was the "woman's role" to bring up the children while the man went off to work) were not supported by the government and their children did not receive any quality of parenting because the woman would have had to have gone to work at a far lower paid job than a man (current examples of this inequality are such jobs as teaching and nursing, which are still identified as primarily feminine professions and whose pay scales, in New Zealand, are capped at approximately $60,000 per annum - this despite how absolutely integral they are to our society) for potentially more hours to support her family. What's also true is that women are still far more often the sole parent than is the father - yes, there is a stronger bond between mother and child than between father and child in a general sense, but does this mean that women should be the sole caregiver? No. And yet, as you said, "some fathers out there are real bastards" who will shirk responsibilities as far as possible. Experience - and I have plenty of firsthand experience from my own father and the ex-partners of close friends of mine - tells me that such men claim to be good fathers. How would you, then, propose sorting out the liars from those telling the truth? Obviously anyone could make the claims of being a good parent and caring for their child(ren), but the reality is often very different.


My own father, for example, despite the fact that days after he left my mother and she needed him to come around to her place and make a meal for his two kids so she could go to a meeting, he told her it was the "most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard." His own children needed to be cared for, and it was "ridiculous"; and ex-partner or not, my mother was still the mother of his children - not just her own.


My friend's ex-partner has behaved in a similar way. Since leaving, he and my friend organised for him to have visitation with their child once a week or three or so hours. However, more often than not, he would cancel, for various reasons; he couldn't take three hours a week out to spend time with his child. When he did turn up, he was always late - and this, to him, seemed like no problem at all. And yet he still seems to think himself a suitable parent. Similarly, my friend had to ask this man for months about providing an essential item for their child; the father seemed to feel that his child support was his contribution, even though money is absolutely no substitute for actually being a parent (three hours a week for parenting on some level is apparently too much), and that while he may pay your quoted $255.65 a week in child support, this is not handed to my friend but rather counts towards an entire income package which goes on rent, food, clothing, power - all the other necessities that without, their child would suffer more than they already are.


Now, their child is already situated in what many term a broken home; is the mother then supposed to go out and work, further distancing her child from any parental contact? Importantly, if the family was still intact, my friend's ex-partner would be paying far more to support his family than a mere $255.65 a week, and his income would have to cover all additional purchases besides power, phone and rent (which the benefit currently received by my friend covers). Apparently $255.65 is unfair on the father. The mother receives no extra support beyond this benefit, and so any extras in terms of expenses must come out of her pocket - which is completely empty as she has no extra income.


The emotional strain on any parent in such a situation would not have such a simplistic monetary value - yet the ones paying this money, apparently, view it as theft because their ex-partners are having to live off this severely limited income as well. Imagine this "skilled IT professional", who earns $87,000.00 a year before tax dropping to a total annual income of $13,149.00 - which is what the mother of his child has to live on. There is NO comparison. He still has $73,851.00 in income before tax - which is more than he would have had were they still together. Again, no comparison.


Just because the situation may have deteriorated to one in which the father doesn't love the ex-partner, does this mean that she, as the mother of his child, should go without the incredibly low income she already receives? Should their child go without? Because complaints such as the ones being made here suggest this is indeed the case.


Comment by Karen Dwight, on 21-Jun-2007 21:17

So true.When you see it like that really some people on a solo benefit aren't living off the tax payer afterall.I can also see and wonder what it does for a hardworking person to be penalised for having a good job.Maybe there should be a flat rate that can't exceed beyond a reasonable figure.It is very dishearting.I have also heard that IRD don't take into account your living cost and any other family that you maybe supporting a new partner and his/her children & maybe have some of your own children together.It is typical of the way things are now in NZ.We just seem to take everything handed out to us and nobody fights back at the system.


Comment by Mark Bloxham, on 28-Nov-2007 15:54

I would say that anyone defending the 'system' isn't on the receiving end of an IRD bill, or even worse an 'Administrative Review'.



The two main things I am trying to find out is who determined the percentages of income that it takes to raise kids ? Who decided that if you have 2 kids it takes 24% of your wage to raise them ? I can't find that anywhere on the IRD website. Currently, with the top figure of $103,000 at 24% that equates to $21,000 a year tax just to wake up in the morning. Add tax onto that, which makes it $30,000, thats the average wage for a lot of very hard working people out there who should be disgusted that the goverment are not encouraging people to work



The second point is that there are absolutely no safegurads to make sure that Child Support goes to your children AT ALL. The money is paid to the 'Custodian' parent and there are ABSOLUTELY NO GUARANTEES of any sort of standard of living for the children. The parent could be a gambler, an addict or just careless with money but the children aren't protected fom that at all. A better system would be for the Custodian parent to provide receipts for the paying parent to pay. Even the most creative of (usually) mother would find it hard to generate the percentages that the IRD say are justified



A final note is that the rate goes up by 3-4% regardless of the paying parents position. Look amongst your friends and see who has a pay rise every year anymore. It a thing of the past and its definitely not 3-4% in most cases



The Civil Service (not the Goverment, they come and go) are creating an environment whereby it pays to have a child then separate, as you can have a comfortable lifestyle without feeling the need to work. If you're on the Dole these days, you have to go on courses and take any job offered, otherwise they stop your benefit. Not so for single motherts, they can choose not to work.


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