50/50 Care dilema – Looking for answers and discussion

50 50 care dillema

The current system does not appear to deal well with all cases that are 50/50 and the below is an example.

We have real people in these situations reaching out to us all the time, and really struggle to give helpful advice as we have a child support formula that seems to take money away from families that are trying to care for their kids.

This was sent to us anonymously – we would really value your feedback as always:

So my husband and I have his 2 children shared care 5 nights a fortnight.

We are going through family court to try extend this to 50/50 split.

At first ex wife (their mum) was fighting it and now is saying that we can have 50/50 split if we pay half of everything – school uniform fees etc plus extra activities (they do a large amount of activities which we have no say in) thing is my husband pays child support and she is on a benefit so she doesn’t actually see the money.. (not really our problem) ird have worked it out and say he will still be paying 220pw so $880 per month!!

And on top of that she wants us paying half of everything.

The way I see it is 50/50 split each home is already sharing costs of everyday needs so no money should need to exchange for that and the $880 per month he will pay will cover his half of everything else. Why should we be punished and made pay more on top of that because she is on a benefit.

At the moment he is paying $1300 per month.

If she was not on a benefit she would receive $880 per month thru child support assessment, would she still then expect more? I would hope not.. so why do we have to pay more because she choosing to be on a benift.

Children are 8 and 11.

Ps we also travel one side of chch to the other for school ect activities ect

There are a number of questions that come up regarding this.

Firstly why does one party have to pay $880 in child support to the government, when they have their kids half the time?

We know the government is recouping the benefit money, but is it really fair to take that from the other parent?

Should it not be one parent pays the costs when they have the kids in their house, the other pays when they are with them and expenses are shared?

It seems like an impossible situation, that doesn’t appear to have the child support system looking out for the best interests of the children.

If you were this Dad what would you do? Offer to pay the 50% of extras even though you were already paying $880 a month? Or what is your suggestion/thoughts?

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4 Comments

  1. we are in the same boat! I am in tears typing this! we have a 8 year old stepdaughter my (partners daughter) that we have week on week off. we pay everything 50/50. Recenlty cos of the mothers decisions in her life she is on the dpb yet we now have to pay ird $65 a week! not just the week she has her every week! im sitting here trying to think of the best solution. we are stretched as it is and I know it doesn’t sound like much but it is to us! we can let the kid miss out time with us she goes back to her mum full time and we have every 2nd weekend for $100 a week but will save as no more school lunches, clothes etc or just suck it up and pay?!?! I always had faith in the system and now I think what a joke it is. DOES no one think of the children! she enjoys week on week off with both her families and we feel stink to maybe change it but are we not “stupid” to hand over that money each week and pay 50/50!

    1. Hey Kirsty, I am currently writing an article about a 50/50 case just like what you have described. The worse thing is the money probably just goes to the government! Hang in there and I hope you can try to keep 50/50.

      1. Thanks Rob, this website has lifted mine and my partners spirits! SO many situations out there, ours is minimal compared to some! Yes that’s what erks us its not even going to the kids! That money we could put in a savings or whatever etc. Not to mention ive talked with IRD numerous times and they have been so rude!!! There reason yesterday that which ever parent earns more in a 50/50 situation will be the one that has to pay etc!? Keep you your guys awesome work! I was going to write John Key a letter but I doubt that would do anything. Cant even go to Fair go!

  2. Not to mention most dads that are trying to get equal care have to pay huge lawyers fees as well as the CS and to top it off the person on the benefit gets legal aid, so technically that means dads helping mum pay her lawyer to try to stop him from seeing his kids through his taxes. They usually have no reason to hold back access other than it will affect their benefits…. One sided much? If a parent is fighting for more access, CS should be put on hold until an outcome… Would def sort out the weeds and make both parents more responsible.

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