Discussing :: Fathers rights in child support

#1

Fathers rights in child support

Hey

A one night event a few years back now left me being the father of a little girl.

I wasn't told of her till a couple of years down the track and have since tried to see her as much as possible. However, we live in different cities so it makes this hard.

Money was never talked about and I was even told that it wasnt wanted as it was more about her knowing her dad.

Recently I have been asked for money, she refuses to meet to discuss and is threatening IRD if i dont give her what she wants.

Looking into the situation fathers have little to no rights and are absolutely crippled by the IRD formula that does not take into account what the fathers cost of living is (ie auckland or Gore - you get teh same living alloawance), doesnt take into account what the actual costs of the child are (purely based on fathers income) and in the situation of more than one kid seems very skewed.

I can understand that in the situation of a broken relationship where a child was born into a family situation to two people that planned it child support works to a point. In my situation I will be lucky to see her a couple of times a year if i am forced to pay a huge amount of my salary over to someone I really dont know and cannot necessarily see that the money would be spent on the child.

Has anyone been through the same sort of thing?

#2

A father has every right to see his child as much as the mother does. Arrangements can be very unfair on the father, with a regular income expected to be paid to look after the child with limited or no contact - but as you mention there is no proof that the money will be spent on the child. Unfortunately, I don't think there is much you can do, unless you drag it through the family court for regular contact.

#3

It seems very unjust she is not willing to meet with you and discuss. You have every right to hear the ins and outs before agreeing to pass over your salary as yes, you will not know if it's going fully onto the child.

I'm lucky in the sense I my dad paid child support for myself and my sister however despite a messy divorse, they made a personal out of court agreement on a figure.

Wishing you luck mate, tricky situation if anything.

#4

Hey Scott, I understand your situation, because I am the mother in a similar situation. The father of my child, who was equally a part in creating her, yet has never met her as he moved overseas before we knew about her, and does not help financially at all. This is pretty frustrating from my point of view. He's moved on, got married, has all his time to get a job, travel, can afford to do what he wants, yet I am restricted by time, money, commitment, etc. I don't date, who wants to date someone with a kid? And I can't afford a babysitter or to do anything but pay living expenses for me and my child. If I didn't have a child my life would be WAY different. I would be living overseas. I would be travelling. I would be dating, or married. Looking after a child is VERY constricting, and it just feels more and more that way as they get older and you realise what you are missing.

I'm guessing this is some of what the mother is feeling, too.

I don't, however, understand her reluctance in talking to you about this. I would be more than happy to speak to the father about how we could get overseas to see him, or for him to come here to visit. I post photos and video of her online. We skype (though not often as he goes a long time in between contacting us) so he knows what she looks like and vice versa.

As far as your concerns, you might be better off going through the IRD if you think her demands will continue to increase. I'm surprised she hasn't gone that route already. And no, you don't know how she will spend the money, but you will just have to trust that the mother looks after your daughter sufficiently while she is in her car. If I had extra money I wouldn't necessarily spend it all on the child, I would allocate some to myself, I might even go to a movie, or buy some new clothes, because right now I can't do that, I spend every cent on my child, covering her needs (which are HUGE, especially around now, after christmas, and entertaining her over the holidays, and then school fees, uniforms, stationary, new shoes, school camp, gymnastics, girl guides, ballet, etc).

Just because she wasn't 'planned' doesn't mean she has any less rights of support, or make you any less responsible. She is part of you, and she will grow up wanting to know you, and spend time with you. The mother will have a lot to do with how your daughter thinks of you so it will help if you can try to keep things civil between you.

I realise this isn't the ideal situation, but it is the actual situation. You can make the best of it and have an awesome little girl in your life. Someone who will love you and learn from you, make you laugh and probably cry, and call you up one day and ask if you'll walk her down the aisle. Don't miss out on this opportunity. Try and make it work.

ps. More than happy to talk about this further if it helps you understand what the mother is going through. From her POV I can assure you, it's not easy.


Hey

thanks for all your comments. I guess every situation is different and from the male and female perspectives we will each dig our heels in on things...!

She was previously married and has 2 kids with her ex hubby. So my daughter is number 3 for her which sounds like it differs to your situation..(?) in the sense that number 3 hasnt had much impact to her day to day living.

In terms of the IRD the formula is a farce in all aspects which is why most woman (I would hope) would want to arrange something out of that before going at a guy through there. For example a woman has 3 kids to 3 different dads and collects 18% from each of them - does that sound fair? if it was 3 kids to one dad its 27% total... The problem is when the amount of money required/requested to pay will hinder my ability to see her - thats a big issue for me. I also offered to set up a large sum of money, in Trust in daughters name that she could recieve later in life and that the mother can use now to get into a house. That wasnt even considered by her as an option even though it would be saving her living costs now, putting extra $ in her pocket weekly, getting her into the market and leaving a large sum for our daughter to use later on. Talking with a lawyer he passed the comment that 'that really does make you question who the money is for...'

Can I ask why you went through with the birth if you knew he was headed overseas?


It certainly seems like it would be better to settle outside of the system, if both parties can agree on what is fair. I would think that doesn't happen too often, both sides probably generally think they are getting the raw end of the deal. I know that my daughter's father thinks he is hard done by because he can't see his daughter, and I don't send enough photos, or video, or call enough, but from my point of view, I do EVERYTHING for her, and it's exhausting physically and mentally, and he gets off scott-free (what an odd term)

I kept my daughter because I was old enough and mentally able to raise a child. If I was a teen, or for some other reason couldn't raise a child physically or mentally, I might have considered other options, but to me that's not just an easy out. I know a lot of people who have chosen that path and many regret it. It's almost more socially acceptable to choose abortion in our society than to raise a child alone. I don't really understand that. I'm intelligent, creative, and other positive things (started sounding like I was tooting my own horn...) and I felt I had a lot to offer a child, with or without a father figure. It's a shame, I would rather my daughter had a father, even if not her biological father (who is, I must add, a bit of a twit sometimes) but at this stage I guess it's not to be. It's not ideal, but it's not as bad as a lot of kids have it either.

18% from each father... that could be quite the lucrative finance scheme... :/

It's good you have advice from a lawyer. I'd be a bit worried setting up a trust, if the IRD could turn around and say 'Yeah, but that's not for day to day living, you have to provide that regardless of the trust'.

I'm kind of an American, so I generally expect the worst as far as this kind of situation goes, especially as I have a could of guy friends in the USA who have similar situations to you, pay a lot of money, and seldom see their daughters.

I wonder if there's a 'Idiots guide for dealing with your kids other parent' book...

#5

I think a father has as much right as a mother and child support should be looked at equally,if parents split up and mum gets a new live in partner or same with dad then child support should be evaluated and neither party should pay as much BUT either one who has custody must allow time out with the other for his/her children. you dont often hear of mothers paying child support to the amount that a fathee has to.

#6

yes this is the one area dads face discrimination due to not being a mother. Until the dads can give birth i can't see it changing. Even though research is telling us that dads play a very important role in a growing childs life.

#7

Unfortunately I have recently had to deal with child support myself. I don't think the system is necessarily unfair in that it is skewed in favour of the mother but rather that the system as a whole doesn't make a lot of sense. The % example above is proof of this.
My situation is that my ex earns more than I do but because she isn't contracted to work 30 hours a week she isn't classed as a full-time worker. Because of this, even though I have less money and have our daughter more than my ex does, I pay hundreds of dollars a year and my ex pays less than $200. Again, because my ex is a part-time worker we can't enter in to a private arrangement either.
The one thing I am thankful for is that the IRD reviewed my situation and I am now paying a quarter of what I was previously paying and the extra I paid is coming off my future payments.

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