Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition


Child Support, some measures that could fix it

, posted: 12-Jun-2007 13:31


A short while ago I posted some fairly emotional posts around child support and the whole family justice system as a whole,


I have had a range of different responses, including a response comment from "Horus" on the post @ "Child support = Theft, extortionate policies"



"Comment by Horus, on 11-JUN-2007 22:48
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.

Absolutely not. my complaints were partially based around the fact (as discussed in an earlier post) that often the father is penalised because he _HAS_ a full time job.
In fact, I know of cases where fathers wanted to be there for their kids desperately, to the point they tried to negotiate to have 50/50 split custody.

The Mother had no intention to get a job, so the father offered to "hire" the mother to look after the child during the day when he was at work during his days to have the child so that the child would not be looked after or "raised by a stranger" as is often the argument played during custody cases when the father works, the mother doesn't and the question is asked as to who would look after the child during the days that the father had custody.

this becomes much more of a moot point once the child is at school, at which point many other factors come into play.


getting back to the point, the current child support regime imposed by our government is extortionate and unfair on the father, and the child, and to an extent the mother.


Currently it works as thus, without going into exact amounts,

lets say the mother recieves $255 per week on the DPB with one child.

and lets say the father pays $255 per week in Child support.

what does the mother recieve? $255 per week all inclusive.

that to me is not fair and the government is ripping the father off, and the mother.

How the government could fix the Child Support system
For the purpose of this discussion Mother = parent with custody of the child,
Father = parent paying child support without custody

this is a minor fix and would not address many of the issues in the system, but it would at least let the father know that money was going to the child, and let the mother feel that the father was actually contributing financially.

Current Benefit for a single person 25 and over, unemployed with no children: $178.49

Current Benefit for a single person, unemployed with One Child: $255.65

Difference: $77.16

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

The way I see it, in no way should the benefit for Mothersbe reduced (as its already a paltry sum), but at the same time why should the Fathers be ripped off and the Mothers be penalised?
As mentioned in the comment by horus:

"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).
"

I propose the following.

IF the paying parent pays $5 up to $77.16 per week in child support then the amount received by the Mother should remain at $255.65.

HOWEVER

to make the system fair on the Mother, and to at least let the Father feel his Money is going to good purpose
(This is on a best case scenario, we assume both parties are good people, who don't have drinking or gambling problems and would act in the best interest of the child as far as financial and purchasing type decisions go!)


Rather than putting the father in a situation where all the money he pays is actually going into government coffers and used as a money saving and negating mechanism so they don't have to look after their own citizens when what is I bet a majority of cases the mother was a hard working tax paying member of the community prior to having children.
(simple sum example figures, Father pays $255 per week child support, mother receives $255 benefit package including $77 child support.)
$0 + $255(childsupport) - $255(benefit) = $0.
eg, government pays nothing!

this is how it should work.


If the Father pays $77.16 or less per week the mother should recieve $255.65.

however if the father pays $77.17 per week or more then the mother should receive $255.66 or more, based on the amount paid in support.

Some Example figures;
all figures are for a paying father with no partner nor children living with them, purely for examples sake

Example 1
Fathers Income PA: $27,000
Fathers Support payments weekly: $46.45
Minus Support supplement minimum:$77.16
Subtotal: $-30.71

Mother receives: $255.65

Example 2
Fathers Income PA: $50,000

Fathers Support payments weekly: $126.00

Minus Support supplement minimum:$77.16

Subtotal: $48.84



Mother receives: $304.49

Example 3
Fathers Income PA: $87,000

Fathers Support payments weekly: $255

Minus Support supplement minimum:$77.16

Subtotal: $177.84



Mother receives: $433.49



I ask, wouldn't that be more fair? on both the Father, knowing his child support was not covering his Ex-partners income, but instead increasing his ex-partners ability to afford things for their child,
and for the mothers to feel like the contributions that the father was making monetarily at least counted for something?

thoughts?



Other related posts:
Useful Links and A bit of humour...
TOR: A Cool project from the Internet
NASA, perchlorates and the giant Mars soil composition question mark.








Comment by stevonz, on 12-Jun-2007 14:41

Hmmmm interesting read. Can't really offer any pro's or con's.

I just hope I never get in this situation with 1 kid already & another due next week.


Comment by Horus, on 12-Jun-2007 19:41

"First point: I'm not the one assuming that it costs $77.16 to raise a child.
thats the government.

I'm saying that is the difference in the base amount between a single person with no children and a solo parents benefit."

Yes, it is the difference, but it also seems a large part of your proposed amendment to the current situation - for instance:

   "Fathers Income PA:                             $27,000
Fathers Support payments weekly:    $46.45
Minus Support supplement minimum:$77.16
Subtotal:                                                $-32.71

Mother receives:                                   $255.65

Fathers Support payments weekly:    $126.00

Minus Support supplement minimum:$48.84

Subtotal:                                                $-32.71



Mother receives:                                   $304.49

Example 3
Fathers Income PA:                             $87,000

Fathers Support payments weekly:    $255

Minus Support supplement minimum:$77.16

Subtotal:                                                $177.84



Mother receives:                                   $433.49"

Why it changes in the middle I'm not sure. How you got a difference of -$32.71 I'm not sure either, when $46.45 - $77.16 is -$30.71, and certainly can't be the answer to $126.00 - $48.84. Anyway, as for $77.16, you cite it a number of times - your argument appears to rely on it. If your argument is that the current scheme "rips fathers off" because the difference between a single-person benefit and a parent-and-child benefit is $77.16, and the benefit received by the mother is equal to the amount the father pays in total child support...then yes, the implication is that $77.16 should be what the father pays because apparently a single person can get $178.49 from the government anyway. Remember, you stated:

    "lets say the mother recieves $255 per week on the DPB with one child.

and lets say the father pays $255 per week in Child support.

what does the mother recieve? $255 per week all inclusive.

that to me is not fair and the government is ripping the father off, and the mother."

Yes, the mother is being ripped off - and the suggestion from you is that the father shouldn't be paying so much despite the fact his responsibility should be to provide an appropriate environment for his child, and this, in this case, means providing a means for survival for his child's mother as she is the sole caregiver and has no other income. Remember also, J W:

    "but hang on a second. this is CHILD SUPPORT. not EX-PARTNER & CHILD SUPPORT."

Obviously your argument has changed from being about how the father should only pay a little bit towards the child, to being about how much the mother should get and how the government is apparently ripping her off - when, of course, your argument states "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!" It shouldn't be the government's responsibility to provide a stable environment for a child, which, remarkably, does in fact include the ability of the caregiving parent to survive as well. If the father leaves the child in the mother's custody when he decides he wants to go - as happened in my friend's case, and in the case of my parents, and in most cases in reality - then he should have to provide income for the mother of his child because he has left her with every bit of the rest of the responsibility. He has it hard because he has to pay for her survival (at least, in theory from your argument)? What about how much work she has to put into raising a child that, in fact, two people should be looking after? But of course, this is in theory - as stated, the government does make extra payments, sometimes in the line of $80 more than what is provided by the father. So your point that the father is apparently supporting the mother is not completely realistic, is it? The government is not ripping the mother off, but providing extra support for her; the government is not ripping the father off, as he should provide the financial aspect of keeping his child cared for - and no, not in the form of nannying, as was earlier proposed as an "appropriate" idea.

"My calculations are better than the current system in which that base amount of $255 doesn't change regardless of how much the father pays, so I don't see why you have a problem with my solution?"

Again, your argument has completely changed. I can (and have done) quote you saying that the father is being ripped off - now you appear to be arguing also for the mother's benefit, which I can only gather happened because it was mentioned in argument against your "how unfair" argument. Yes, the base amount shouldn't change - but then, the father should not get off without having to actually support his child, which does include support of the mother of his child. The fact is, the father's contribution shouldn't - and wouldn't - be thought of as "extortionate" because if the father actually cared, he would want his child to have the best he could provide no matter, and perhaps in spite of, his relationship with his child's mother. So, yes, I agree that the base rate should remain constant - but the father should not be able to pay less than what his responsibility, given his lack of involvement in other areas, should be. Strangely, this pertains to your original argument, rather than your amended one.

"I totally agree that it costs more than $77.16 per week to raise a child, so why then shouldn't the mother get MORE money?"

She should, you're right. The government comes to the party on such things, too - however, remembering, again, your original argument, it should apparently not involve the father as it's "unfair" for him to pay for her survival, too. $77.16's the closest you've come so far in actually stating what figure you think the father should be responsible for providing. It's like you've completely changed your original opinion and are, in fact, arguing two entirely different arguments.

"as for

   "if I gave a third party an apple, and they gave you the apple, and the apple is not cut into bits and parts are not given away or kept, then the total profit for that third party is NO apple."


Thats half the problem.

it should be the following, if a third party is going to give you an apple anyway, and I give them another apple,
then they should give you TWO APPLES."

As stated, the government provides necessary extra income, such as an accomodation supplement to provide for the mother and child having a place to live. Simply put, if the government receives $255.65 from Party A and pays it to Party B, they're not taking anything. In reality, it's also giving extra income, too. Quite frankly, if the father of the child can provide, it shouldn't come down to the government to take up the slack he leaves behind because he thinks he's got it tough. The government didn't choose to have the baby. The parents did. The mother didn't choose to raise the baby alone with no independent source of income. That was the father's choice when he left her to do the work - so why shouldn't he provide the apples when he is able? Considering the "skilled IT professional" ends up retaining $73,851.00 of his taxable income, he certainly has that ability.

"Where would the money come from if the Mother was single without a child on the benefit???"

A) If there was no child, she wouldn't be a mother.
B) If there was no child then the father wouldn't have any parental responsibilities to provide for an entire human being outside himself, would he? No. But...he is a father, and so he does have that responsibility, not through the child's fault and, to be honest, nobody else's because if he was around more, the mother might be able to provide more financially and not be the only emotional support (remember the whole not turning up to visitation thing?), and yes, while the plan was to have a child together, whose responsibility is it to use a condom if a child is unwanted?
C) The mother, who wouldn't be a mother and wouldn't have to stay at home raising the child would be out in the workforce, providing for herself, getting more money than she currently does and not having to rely on her ex-partner and the father of her child or the government who shouldn't have to provide for the child in the first place.

Whose choice is it that my friend's ex-partner won't turn up reliably for three hours visitation? Hers? No. Whose choice is it that she's the caregiver and the father doesn't show caring for his child at all during the week? Hers? No. There should be no assumption that the mother wants to raise a child on her own - and yet the "unfair" situation is that of the father who takes no other responsibility for his child when he should. In fact, my friend greatly dislikes the fact she is so reliant upon her child's father to provide, as well as the government, but she's been placed in that situation by this man. It's not her choice - it's his. Not only is she raising a child on such low income, but obviously from a lot of corners there is no emotional support, as evidenced by the statements that the father's being ripped off, why should he provide for her survival, and can she be hired for her nannying services in respect to looking after her own child to justify this support?

"Isn't that why we pay taxes? isn't the primary purpose of the unemployment benefit to look after those of us who have paid tax when employed but when in a position to do so the government looks after us in return?"

 Yes, it is; but when Person A makes a choice to bring another being into the world with Person B, and then shirks his responsibilities to provide for the child, it shouldn't be the government's job to look after it. It should be the father's - the government didn't spill the milk, so why should it, and not the father, mop it up?

"why should the mother be ripped off with the paltry sum of $77.16 per week on top of what a person with no depends would get, especially when the father is making a larger contribution?"

I've already answered this in so, so many words.

"I think you should re-read what I wrote, the read your comment there horus, because my logic I see no problem with, yours I see plenty."

Which argument, which statement, which logic? Because yours is rather inconsistent as you progress through your posts.

"Oh and horus,

I am referring to CUSTODY when i state the father is penalised for having a full time job.

not financially."

Dude, he walked out. Do I really have to explain?


Comment by mkr, on 12-Jun-2007 20:39

that comment from horus just there raises a few intresting points. me and my partner have just gotten back together so weve managed to avoid getting deeper into this kind of situation. i think ill come back to it in a few days though just got the kids into bed so im looking to chill and not up for intense stuff tonite. just joined and noticed youve got dvorak keybords as an interest and am thinking of getting one. might be cool to talk about it sometme.


Author's note by inane, on 12-Jun-2007 22:05

Yes it raises some points,
also expands the debate outside fairly well defined boundaries.

best of luck to you and your partner.

Dvorak keyboard is the way to go, one of the best decisions I've ever made.


Comment by steamingly angry, on 21-Jun-2007 10:22

"The mother didn't choose to raise the baby alone with no independent source of income. That was the father's choice when he left her to do the work" Horus - this is only ONE of the terribly sexist and presuming comments that are in your reply. Have you never heard of situations where the mother has kicked the father out, and denied him access to his children? Or when couples have both decided to split up, but the court rules in favour of the mother having full custody? In Inane's blogs i read that he uses the term 'mother' and 'father' for sake of argument and this i understand. There is nothing in your comment indicating the same. "If the father leaves the child in the mother's custody when he decides he wants to go" this is laughable. I have yet in my entire life met a man that has just woken up one day and decided to up and leave with no provocation. And when fathers does leave, be it for whatever reason, most of them do not want to leave their kids behind but feel it is best for the child's welfare at that time to stay with their mother. One point you seem to be missing here, aswell, is that alot of women were on the benefit before metting their partners (who were earning money) So now that they have split with their partner, they are back how they were to start off with, albeit with a child. "The mother, who wouldn't be a mother and wouldn't have to stay at home raising the child would be out in the workforce, providing for herself," What about those women (and men do it too, but i'm not arguing that right now) who deliberately bludge as much as they can off the government, before they have children and after?. And just as a final note, i would like to add that single mothers do not have to be on the benefit. there is nothing stopping them from getting a job. With the internet and it's resources today, there are many 'at home' jobs, or jobs where your child is welcome (i.e nannying)


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I'm a professional Geek, and also in my own time, I am likely to write about all manner of things on this blog.
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