If you are a child support paying or receiving parent, then our research tells us that you are more than likely not happy with the new formula.
Results of 152 Case Studies
Major changes came into the system on April 1st 2015.
The majority of the parents we have spoken to inform us that this has not, in general, made things any better.
How much does a child cost?
We have repeatedly been told that the new child support formula is based on what it costs to raise a child. Yet what exactly is this mythical amount?
Recently Mike Hosking told the nation that all the complaining parents should put up and shut up –
Mike Hosking..”The amount you pay from April 1 if you are a liable parent is based on what it actually costs to raise a child not on what you earn.”
He then goes on to tell us some “facts”. There are 33,000 parents who are paying more, and 46,000 parents who are paying less. Plus 58,000 that are unaffected.
He continues saying that 75% therefore are better off.
Naturally though, it would seem that they are not complaining as they are either paying less or haven’t noticed a change.
2 issues with Mike’s take on things.
1./ He is wrong
Saying that child support is based on what it costs on raising a child…really? From using the online calculator it is clear to see child support is calculated on how many nights per week you have the children, plus incomes of the parents. (If you don’t believe us go and punch in some numbers and try it yourself)
2./ It’s not just paying parents that are complaining
We can tell you, from actually listening to people, that paying and receiving parents are hurting due to the child support formula past and present. For the 46,000 parents that are paying less that means that there are now 46,000 parents, and children, who are now receiving less! (Let’s not forget the kids, Mike!)
Could you bring up a child, without luxuries on $175 a week? (Under 13)
When we put this question out to our community we ended up with an extremely valuable and interesting discussion.
Some parents thought less, e.g Kylie:
“My son doesn’t cost $175 a week at all & he plays sports has treats etc I would say a maximum of $90 a week maybe $50 more as a teenager I receive nothing for my son & he still has everything he needs & wants”
“I feel the cost of a child is far below $175. We have 6 kids, earn a good wage and kids do several curricular activities and I wouldn’t spend that on each child each week. Don’t think house expenses should be included as you would have those regardless, with the exception of higher power bills. I don’t think we should be paying for lifestyle but for what is realistic to clothe, feed and school a child, and all expenses should be split regardless of care. 50/50 should be just that, and parents that are stopped by ex partners seeing there children should not be penalised for that. Every situation is different, but what it actually costs to raise a child shouldn’t be. Shouldn’t cost more to raise a child if you earn 100k as apposed to earning 50k. Its only choice of lifestyle that costs more.”
Others thought more. e.g Dave:
“I think bringing up a child on $175 per week is a little light. $200 would be fair and people would need to be frugal. However where I see the mix up is….arent we as parents supposed to be going halves? If I pay $175 a week then shouldn’t she do so as well? $150 EACH is more than enough to bring up happy healthy children.”
Some agreed like Carley:
“AGREE. I agree that $175 per week is fair amount. It seems like a lot to some, but if you add up every expense to look after a child, including school uniforms, school fees and stationery, sports stuff, and then child care for after school care and holidays (I work), then the cost to look after my 2 children would equate to that. I think if there is 2 or more children, it should be scaled somewhat as I’d never expect $350 a week for the 2 children…”
Lots of good points were raised and discussed, e.g should childcare come into it? What about after school activities? Should rent be factored into it, when theoretically both parents need to have a roof overhead for their kids?
What did the Government think a child cost when they crunched their numbers?
From what we can tell they started with a study done back in 2009 that compared the costs of houses with no children, to those of houses with children. If this article is anything to go by the figures are based on an average of about $10,478 per child annually.
This equates to $873 a month or just a tad over $200 a week.
From our own research that is not way over the top, although a little higher than what most of our community thought to be a fair amount.
If the child support system was based on what a child costs you would expect most parents to be either paying or receiving around $435 a month for the first child, with some kind of scaling for subsequent kids (assuming both parents assume financial responsibility for a child and cases where one parent has the majority of custody).
When the care is 50/50 we would not expect one parent would have to financially support the other except in extraordinary circumstances.
Helen’s case is particularly disturbing, 50/50 shared care and she has to pay her ex $250 a month! Why?
I work very hard and now have to pay for his dole as well.
Or what about Zane who is also in a 50/50 exact shared care situation, and has to pay $840 a month for the privilege?
What Can We Do About This?
There is a growing number of parents, like ourselves, that believe the old system and the new system are extremely unfair.
We believe it is unfair to both paying and receiving parents in thousands of cases.
The new formula has not fixed what was broken before, and in many cases has made things worse.
We believe the only fair way is a flat rate that is based on what a child costs, and shared between the two parents that brought the child into our world.
It’s not going to be easy and there are many questions that will need answering, but just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not possible, or should not be done.
To change what is now government legislation will require a revisit of law to make things better. This is only going to happen if enough people get together and make their cause known.
To do this our goal is to gather 30,000 people that think the child support laws need another rethink.
Only by joining together can we bring some common sense to this country and help provide a fairer child support formula.
Please come and like and share our page, chat with us and join the movement towards a better life for our kids.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.