He Might Not Be Biological – But He’s The Father – Case 21


This is case study number 21

This is Sarah’s Story:

Sarah – Please tell us about your situation?

We have my child living with us. My partner has 2 living 4 1/2 hours away, their mother moved away to be with her new man & have a baby.

My child’s father lived in Aussie for most of the time – he never paid, owes me $40k…he’s been back in NZ now for a year – IRD can’t find an income source though (I’ve provided proof but still nothing)…so his new assessment is under $80 a month.

My partners has increased significantly…we don’t have shared care as they were moved away – they spend holidays here though (at our cost including travel back & forth).

Our support is now based on her greater living allowance because she has a ‘legal’ child with someone else and only works part time because of that child being younger.

Yet my child who my partner has to support also isn’t included in our living allowance.

According to the assessment letter – my child support income (which is meant to be paid to me) represents 100% of the combined child support income and my partners child support income (which is what we pay for his two) represents 89.84% of the combined child support income with the mother.

There won’t be a private agreement reached – why would their mother turn down $10,728 over a lower figure? I can’t have a private agreement with my childs father – he never pays so I need IRD as a collector (eventually).”

How much did you pay on the old formula?


On the NEW formula what will that amount be per month?


Are you happy with the new formula?


What are your main reasons for being not happy with it?

We would prefer it if my child was taken into account also – reflecting the actual living situation – he might not be biological – but he’s the father, supporting ALL the children (actually both of us are – we both earn a wage).

We can’t magic up another $363 a month…we are tight as it is.

My child’s biological father is in the picture to take her on big holidays – but has withheld child support to disadvantage me…therefore our family income supports her without his help.

Even though we have letters from IRD – they don’t mean anything.


If child support was a set amount per child split between both parents for the basic necessities, what do you think is a fair amount per month per child?


What else would you like to say?

I wonder why IRD thinks my child is worth $20 a week & my partners are worth $103 each.

We can’t get working for families as we both work full time to support our household costs.

My partners childrens mother works part-time in their own business – her husband owns it and is a shareholder.

They get working for families & probably still will with this increased figure…when you have your own business it is easy to play the system to ensure your wage doesn’t look large.

They have all the shiny toys…our car doesn’t even go at the moment.

It’s just so unfair – we have worked so hard…thankfully we only have a short time left in the system – but I really feel for all the families out there with years of this left.

Is this IRD’s way of reducing the Working for Families payments – increasing the custodial parents income so they are not elibable…therefore more of our money in the govt

Sarah – thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

We want to hear your story!

If you would be happy to share your story with our community – we would love to hear it. Please fill out our Case Study submission.

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