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45 Comments

  1. Hi
    My partner and I separated in 2005
    I have sole custody of our son who is now 13
    I work for myself and find this difficult bringing up my son on minimum wage

    The father has paid the minimal amount due over the years but IRD changed his payments last year to reflect his actual income and increased it 10 fold – he has now stopped paying this year and I have tried to talk to him about this but he won’t discuss.

    I’ve spoken to IRD many, many times and they tell me he has signifiant arrears but I can’t seem to get any action to resolve this.

    Who can I talk to and what options do I have to resolve this?

    Regards
    Deborah

  2. Hi, I have just received and assessment from the IRD that requires me to pay $17000 a year in child support based on my x wife claiming that she now cares for the children 100% of the time…I have parent alienation happening and am in the process of engaging a mediator to re-establish a parenting plan. For now I need now I need to know what does child support cover…is there an actual list existing?

  3. Hi Rob
    Great site you have here!!!!
    I stumbled onto your site whilst googling “when do i stop paying child support” unfortunately I couldnt find the answer to this on the IRD website as it does not seem to have any info to help the paying parent, their help line is also of no help either.
    I have been paying child support for 3 children for the past 15 years. And it has been crippling. Every year its gone up despite having only the one child to pay for for the last 12 months. I received 2 letters from the IRD a month ago stating that i no longer had to pay child support from 9 October as my last child would be 18 on 10 October, great news, wooohoooo, its finally over. I got a call from IRD yesterday telling me my child support for my 18 yr old was being reactivated again as his money hungry screw of a mother had reapplied to IRD for more child support (funny how she can afford an overseas holiday every year, yet i havent been able to have a holiday). I asked the IRD robot how does that work? You had told me it had finished, i was told by IRD that if one parent wanted it extended they could, i said i thought that once the child finished school i stopped paying. I was told, correct, but this would be extended to 31 December 2016 and i would have to keep paying until then , i said, but he will finish school in early November 2016 as he is year 13. I was told that it didnt matter, i would still have to pay until 31 December because that was the law (is it a law?), i asked, how is that fair? Considering he will finish school in November, isnt the IRD supposed to be fair? I will be writing to them over this as well. But the question i cant seem to find an answer to is when do I actually stop paying child support, age 18 ?, when the child finishes school ? 31 December 2016? Or am i likely to keep paying until he is 19
    Thanks for your help
    Regards Bill

    1. Hey Bill. Well it is confusing and I watched the video on this page which helped explain it.

      http://www.ird.govt.nz/childsupport/explaining/changes/age/qualifying-age.html

      If they stay at school it is the day before they turn 19. If this is the child’s last year at school then 31 December. Say he went back to school again next year then until he is 19. Not very fair I know, but at least you are at the end of the spectrum – I still have another 7 or 8 years to go!

  4. O’k I’m a father of three kids of which one I am stated on their birth certificate, It wasn’t until i got their passports that i learned their last names were different, and i was kept off their birth certificates, I’m guessing that this was done in the purpose of collecting benefits without me knowing, I cant be sure but as my ex is money hungry i cant think of any other reason.

    I am married now and have my 3 step children living with us, even tho i support them 27/7 they are not included in my assessment for paying c/s in which my ex claims for the 1 child for whom i’m on the birth cert. as far as IRD are concerned its their fathers responsibility to support them.

    So I work and do a lot of over time in the busy season and are required to pay $800 a month , but yet for 9 of those months their is no overtime at all, which makes us struggle to no end having to fork out that much money, that’s $200 per week for 1 child, when if we were to collect child support from a father that is unemployed we would receive the minimum of around $80 a month for all 3 children,
    The system is totally unfair and is actually hurting children and families more than its actually helping.

    My child has just turned 18 and i received a letter stating my c/s would stop,
    within a week i got served court papers to do a paternity test for the other 2 kids so she could collect c/s through IRD
    we have been apart over 6 yrs and the kids are nearly 16 and 17 ,
    why would she wait so long to claim c/s if she wasn’t receiving some sort of benefit, saying she didn’t know who the father was.

    My ex works little hours over a few days and with me having to pay $200 and now probably more per week , why would she have to.

    C/S needs to be fair and needs to take into account all situations involved, step children or biological children should not be a factor if you are married or been in that relationship for a very long time.
    Income needs to be capped on your hourly rate ! you should not be punished if you choose to work overtime or need to take on a second job to help get ahead.

    You should actually be assessed on their yearly income for your monthly payments to encourage them to get real jobs and help support their own children.

    We are paying c/s for our children to help raise them so the cost should be spit, not the non custodial parent paying for everything and giving the custodial parent the right to stop you having access or seeing your kids as much as you want and sitting around because they don’t need to work anymore.

    Id be interested in hearing from people in my sort of situation to discuss the different options we could have to sort this criminal injustice we have thrown upon us

  5. Ok so I am a dad of four girls only two of which now fall under child support. My marriage ended in 2007 and my ex immediately went to IRD for child support rather than enter into a private agreement. My initial assessment of income was incorrect and as a result I applied for an admin review. The amount over assessed was in the order of $15,000. The review found in my favour but advised that as my ex did not have the means to repay the debt then I would be unable to recover the $15k. Ok so when eventually the marital property was finalised I again applied on the grounds that circumstances had changed and that my ex now did have the means to repay the over payments. This was declined on the basis that the review found it unfair that the monies should be repaid form a settlement of this nature. Bazaar eh! Any how I have found the whole child support process an absolute dog. If indeed it costs $14,000 per child per year, which I doubt, then each parent should pay 50% of this regardless of the nights each parent has care of the children. I have found that I am forced away from shared care, which would be my preference, as to earn enough money to pay the assessments I am forced to work in the main centres.

    The solution in my mind is easy. Parents should endeavour to enter into private agreements in the best interests of the children. Children are not best served by stressed, anxious parents who are constantly intimidated by IRD and their employees. On a final note a child does not cost more simply because of the mother or fathers earning capacity or their ability to minimise income through legitimate accounting practices.

    Allan

    1. Some good points there Allan. A private agreement as the first and preferred option, followed up by a fair flat rate (if parents couldn’t come to an agreement) would be a good way to go. Unfortunately those that run our country don’t seem to put much of a priority on sorting out the mess that has been created.

      Rob

    2. Unfortunately when one parent goes on a benefit the other parent becomes the “non-custodial” or “paying parent” by default even if circumstances are 50/50. I shouldnt be either the non-custodial nor the paying parent when i share care and costs 50/50

  6. P.S. My personal opinion is that the Child support system needs to be scrapped. I would pay directly for everything my children need and try to go %50 on the excessive costs (like braces) without any prompting from the IRD. Dead beats will be dead beats and some parents don’t want to be parents etc etc. But a lot more people today want nothing but the best for their children. This terrible murderous system was brought in for good reason and with the best of intentions but it has failed, and it has killed, and it continues to rot the citizens that pay over and over again. It’s time we took full responsibility for our own actions and tell everyone you alone will support your children/or not but no one owes you a living!. So no more hand outs, no more using children as a weapon, and no more Child Support. The GOVT can but out of relationships unless there are criminal acts involved. A divorce or separation is no reason to link two people together financially for two decades when having a child links you financially to them for life.

  7. Has anyone tried pointing out that there is a huge increase to the cost of living at the moment especially in Auckland with the rents rising as fast as the housing. Surely the GOVT will have to review the $17k living allowance portion of this corrupt system. Keep adjusting it for inflation?????

    1. you would think so, the living costs are way out of whack with reality.

      As for CS as a whole the starting point should be private agreements, however due to how benefits are tightly integrated the starting point becomes IRD enforced.

  8. Hi there,
    Stumbled over this website – extremely reassuring that I am not the only paying parent that has been struggling with the IRD!

    Back story,
    I am a paying parent, living in Australia, of a 12 year girl living in NZ. I have been paying child support for almost 10 years and there has not been ONE SINGLE DAY that the IRD has it right.
    When I started the process, they were very supportive of my situation and my plight… over the phone.. but when it came down to brass tacks, they just about bankrupted me.
    I moved to Australia with my baby and 4 bags. During the next emotional 12 months, childs father begged for a “visit”. I scrapped together enough money to take her home and be with her father for a month. As I landed back in Australia, childs father had a Non-Removal order on me. I lost my baby to him because I felt sorry for him. Never Again.

    Since that day, I have been battling the IRD.

    I have examples from, asking me to pay “arrears” that are 3 years old, taking Tax refunds for “arrears” that have note been mentioned, double dipping (taking from my employer AND personal account) for 6 months, covering me in paperwork to “square up”, what ever a “square up” is, telling Aus government one figure and then debt collecting another, choosing their own exchange rate, declining a review order on the grounds of high costs to cover contact (I pay for round trip tickets to and from NZ for my daughter AND myself because childs father refuses to let her travel alone – almost $19K per year) because he pays $1600 per year to drive to Auckland. The list goes on….

    I have since remarried and had children with my husband (which the IRD have not registered this year!) and the only thing that works in my favour is that they do not take his income into consideration.
    I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I knew the money was going directly to my daughter, I would pay double – but in my 10 years I have paid for a new deck, a wedding, travel and so on – I swear, he told me!! – so you can see why I totally love what you are trying to do here.

    Paying parents (Mothers or Fathers) ARE NOT the enemy. So why do I feel like a dead beat parents when I have to explain myself to “Admin Review” each and every year? Its so degrading and not reflective of the relationship I have with my child.

    I would take any kind of comments or feedback about this whole situation!

    Thank you 🙂

  9. Hi. I contacted you some time ago (June 8) about a massive child support bill I’d received from the IRD after my former husband took my daughter more than a year ago. Well, I thought you might like an update: I have had a review with the IRD and learned that he has put his income down as “nil”. He claims he has earned nothing for a year, while stating he owns a company that employs 14 people. Even the woman doing the review was surprised at this, given he pays $400 a week in school fees, $860 in rent (he moved into the house only a few months ago, by the way). And yet the IRD didn’t question this at the time – they must have access to his financials – and are continuing to come after me and putting penalties on me for $1100 a month – when after my rent, petrol, food, etc I’m left with nothing. I produced emails, letters, references to support everything I said, but was told it was irrelevant. In the meantime, I’m losing my job in a few weeks and am frantically interviewing for another, admittedly with a reasonable chance of success. Now I’m waiting to hear. And I’m still rarely seeing from my daughter.

    1. Thanks for the update Helen, hopefully IRD will take a good look into the set up of the business. Wishing you all the best for a positive outcome both with the job, and the review – keep us posted!

  10. Hello Rob,

    Just thought you might like to look at the ramifications of the below llink:

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/childsupport/managing/income/how/

    If you earn no income for 11 months then advise in the last month you will earn $1000 the calculation will be as folows $1000 / 31 days = $32.25 x 365 days means $11,774 will be the assessed income to pay child support on. And it will all be payable in 60 days from 1st of March. This is an impossibility.

    Personally I have had to estimate my income as I had no income at all for 6 weeks. My assessed income has increased by $20,000 over what I will actually earn due to this formula and there is nothing IRD can do about it as it is in legislation.

    There is an end of year washup which you would think protects you but it uses the exact same formula!!!

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/childsupport/managing/income/squareup/

    In a nutshell please advise people to reconsider estimating income. It is no longer simple or “fair”.

  11. For the purposes of Working for Families tax credits, are children for whom one is paying child support regarded as “dependent”

  12. Question please. Can a parent deny access to a parent paying child support. No written agreement in place. Just mutual agreement going for 2 years.
    Another question if a dad has custody to one child and ex has other 2 children. Dad pays child support for other 2 children. Is he entitled to child support from ex for the one child that lives with him.

    1. Hi

      Firstly no parent can deny access to another without a court order, from what we understand. You as a parent, have every much right to your child as the other one does.

      Secondly yes you are entitled to child support for the other child, as far as we are aware, so you should get hold of IRD, and get it moving along.

      Cheers

  13. Hi,
    I have just been assessed as having to pay $1100 a month for my daughter (aged 13). My ex-husband and I had 50/50 care until he did not return her a year ago. I fought through the family court for her return only for him to gain full custody. That’s right: I lost my child. Previously we simply shared her expenses, both of us paying $50 a week for her “exclusive, essential” expenses in a private arrangement. To pay my legal fees, I have been working up to seven days a week in two jobs for the past year and still have thousands to pay off (it’s on my credit card). This has bumped up my income but I’d dropped one of the jobs as I couldn’t sustain the pace and I’m trying to get a reassessment. I don’t see how I, living in a tiny two-bedroom brick and tile unit I bought five years ago, driving a ten-year-old car, only holidaying when I get a work trip have to pay more than a quarter of my income to a man in a two-income household, who earns at least twice what I do, took my daughter out of a state school and put her in a $400 a week private school against my wishes, lives in an 800-a-week home by the sea, has a holiday property in Coromandel and spent all of January in France, Germany, Spain and Morocco. And I’m desperate to have my daughter home again. At least the New Zealand justice system is also injust towards mothers.

  14. Hi Rob,

    I was looking through your site the other day and came across an area that said you assist with Admin Reviews for a small fee, but I can’t seem to find that area again. I’d be very interested in getting some assistance if you still offer it.

    Thanks

  15. I still cant believe the responses youve received so far! But then I bet theres 1000’s more who havnt put their names down :/

    1. we have put all minus very few, which mainly didn’t answer a few of the crucial questions or were more concerned with swearing and personal attackes on people. We have around 30 still to publish.

  16. Hi there

    My husband has just gotten his child support assessment and we have 50/50 shared care. After objecting to the assesssment it has been corrected to include the care arrangement as it got lost in the change over.
    However we are unclear how we ended up with monthly payments of $100 more when nothing has changed.
    Is there anything anywhere that actually steps you through how the pay,ents are worked out? I dont trust their online calculator and It appears she has declared an income of $0.00 which seems absurd!
    Makes it smarter for my hubby to stay home and not work at all!
    Grrrrr why did they make it so difficult to understand?!

  17. Hi Alf,

    I would like to respond to your story and if anybody has any comments i would love to hear.
    As far as i am aware you”don’t” have to pay childsupport thru the IRD unless you or your wife(ex-wife) did apply for it. get this check because if they have send a letter with out any aplication that is almost illegal. so if i may ask, you pay $1367.20 but how much does your wife get?

    regards

    Jarno

  18. Hi my name is Jarno and i am following you guys everyday, seeing what happens out there, what people are going thru etc.
    I would like to know who started this site and what is being done with the information! there are so many different cases, many where people have to pay more.
    I really like to hear back and see what we can do because its getting rediculous.

    Regards

    Jarno

  19. Hi Rob. Child custody issues are becoming more common in my private investigation business and so far my clients have all been male! The inequality of access to the children has led me to write the following blog. I wanted to provided some clarity on video and audio recording and in particular get the point across that quite frankly the dads need to wake up and wise up and take steps to protect themselves from false accusations! I hope that you can post this link and I welcome comments from men and women who have any questions on my recommendations.

    Regards Debra Young (see link below)

    http://www.privateinvestigatorauckland.co.nz/child-custody-protect-yourself-against-false-accusations/

  20. My ex has made life very difficult for me to see my daughter, My daughter resents us for court action over the past year. I believe one of the reason s for my ex preventing our family seeing daughter/granddaughter was because my ex wanted to have 100% of the child support. We were going to enforce the court order which was in place for our family to see daughter/granddaughter in the weekends. We were battling the mother and daughter we gave up, this was not any easy decision to make. I hope there are no financial incentives for Mothers to prevent visitation with child support?

  21. Advice please, while like many ive been dealt a blow, $561 now $ 943 yes a solid earning increase in last couple years, rather than dealing anymore with IRD, ( not worth stress to my mental health now ). I’m taking steps to get by, I’ve suspended kiwi saver and cut of phone and Internet…
    However while I work 50 hours a week, I’m considering a 8 hours weekend job to cover some medical needs, doc- dentist stuff.
    In my case Our child is 17.25 years old, I hear April 1st 2016 the payment will stop on 18th birthday rather than 19th now … Is this true..
    And if I work more, earn more do I keep paying longer to cover this years increased earning or does iRD estimated earning apply with no catch up.
    Regards KC

  22. Hi Rob,

    Action needs to be taken against the Government because of this!
    Even though this new change doesn’t affect me to badly, others it has and in the future it could affect me that badly.
    I submitted my story to you and hope you have a read and let me know what you think.

    The new changes are making people who are well off from working hard to get what they have to working hard and being in poverty because of this.

    This too has angered me and brought me to emotional tears !

    I’m struggling to see how the new formula is fair if it doesn’t take into account your partner and step children!

  23. i have a diferent situation…my wife and i seperated 5yrs ago…we agreed she would stay in family home with the children i would cover the mortgage nd rates also pay for our two daughters schooling
    5yrs on…i still cover mortgage rates and schooling..but because ex wife is on a winz benefit….this year im orderd to pay $1367.20 per month…

    any ideas?

    1. Admin review, if you are covering those essentials the amount you pay should be adjusted to reflect that fact. Go for it mate, there is no cost too do an Admin review.

  24. A class action is a nice thought! Under the new review my husbands child support payments double. We were already struggling as a one income family. How IRD can place value on one family over another is appalling? This change puts us in the most dire situation ever and only fuels the contempt we have between families. We are at the most desperate point ever. IRD are the dodgiest agency ever…

  25. Just putting this out there , But does anyone think there are possibly grounds for a class action against the IRD here ?
    For example , here in Australia there has recently been a successful class action taken against the banks for Illegal “late” fees the banks have been charging to the tune of 38 million for one bank alone .

    Is the constant shifting of the goal posts by the IRD unlawful ? Are their fees or various late payment % penalties unlawful ? Or how about the fact that they charge X amount to the payer and only give a portion of it to the payee …..and pocket the rest .

    I smell a big old dirty rat here .

  26. Thank you. Please feel free to use my story in the article that you have mentioned on your Facebook Page.
    I have no issue with giving financial support to my son but this new system definitely has its faults. I feel penalized by not having a “percentage” of custody/visitation with my child, when the lack of contact I am having has not been created by my hand.

    Regards
    Jason

  27. I have just received my 2015-2016 assessment for a paying parent. My income rose by $1965.00 this financial year. Now that the mother of my child has her income factored into the calculation I am now paying $3600.00 more a year. An increase of approximately $70.00 per week. Struggling to see how this is a fairer way. So I have gone from paying $729.00 a month to $997.00.
    This is going to have a huge impact on my day to day living costs and to be honest it has now created a whole lot of stress for me.
    It is impossible to communicate with this organisation when you are the paying parent. They tell you you can go for a review…which I have done once before in the past and that proved both stressful and pointless.
    It appears that because I earn more than my ex partner I am now penalized even more and to top it off my ex wife has made it so difficult to have contact with my boy that I do not get to see him and if he wanted to see me he was made to feel so guilty that he stopped coming.

    Jason Gardner

    1. Hi Jason, you find yourself in a situation that many of us are in, reeling at the new formula, that was meant to be fairer – yet in many cases such as yours it is not. Hang in there and if we can think of any solutions that might help you will be in touch.

  28. Hi,
    great to find a site that may be able to help with IRD review processes.
    Do you provide phone help/guidance services?
    Thank you

  29. Hi there,

    We have just stumbled across your website while we were trying to find a support group in dealing with Childsupport, however on the grounds of when you have found out that you are not the biological parent.
    Is your agency currently or on the past dealt with these situations? If not could you possibly advise if there is someone who specifically deals with this?

    Thank you. I look forward to your response.
    Rachael

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