Dads weigh in over child support

The Press 31/08/2009

Fathers are backing a Families Commission proposal for more shared parenting ahead of a review of the child-support scheme. Inland Revenue will shortly release a discussion document on possible changes to the child-support scheme. In response, the Families Commission has released an issues paper that suggests child support should be based on the needs and costs of the child, rather than on the income of the liable parent, and payments should be passed on to the parent who is getting the domestic purposes benefit or other social security benefit.

Jonathan Young, a former Father and Child Trust social worker and father of one, said the Families Commission proposals made sense and would be fairer for fathers. He said most fathers with whom he had dealt wanted to support their children, but objected to paying money to Inland Revenue which did not help their children. “A lot of these guys were having the kids a couple of days, paying school fees and clothes, and then paying child support on top,” he said. “That child support wasn’t benefiting the children; it was just going into the government coffers because the mother was on the DPB. They would much rather pay that money if they knew it was going to be spent on the kids.”