The child support system in Australia is such a wonderful system isn’t it?
In an ideal world we would have children with someone who we will be with forever, who will never turn abusive or controlling, who will always contribute and be there for you and support you no matter what.
Unfortunately in this world we live that is the more rare story these days. We are seeing more and more blended families which is beautiful.
Most people don’t set out to have children with someone who will leave them behind for other things one day. Most people don’t choose to be single parents. When finding out that you are expecting, the thought of doing it without the person who helped you conceive doesn’t even flutter across your mind.
But that is sometimes what happens.
Among the many things that follow a separation applying for child support happens. This act is the one I’m talking about today. This is where I get my knickers in a twist.
I’m sure a lot of us know stories of people who work for cash so they don’t have an income to be assessed. Or who quit their jobs so they don’t have to pay. Or at least I do.
But there are those who earn good money, really hard-earned cash, which then goes to the other parent in the form of a nice large child support assessed amount.
Now tell me the reason why, someone who is earning $160k a year, their child is worth more than mine because my ex doesn’t work? Or at least on paper he doesn’t? Please tell me where child support gets these calculations from to rationalize what a child is worth based on the other parents income?
In general and ideally children all cost the same amount to raise. I think the figure most used is $250,000 to raise a child to the age of 18. (I wonder if this is the number child support uses?) It could be more or less depending on a number of things such as health, school choices, the city you live in and all the fun decisions we have to make as a parent.
Based on the above figure it costs approximately $260 per week to raise one child. So if we were to halve that it would cost each parent $130 per week to raise one child. If the parent who has the care chooses to put their child through extra schooling or extra curricular activities that cost above this amount then that is their choice and they can fund the extras. Why can’t this be a base? So that the other parent has to find work, or give the other parent some of the cash they get that they don’t declare, while receiving government payments?
Wouldn’t this stop people from quitting jobs so they don’t have to pay more money? If the other parent is earning on paper $400 a week and they have to pay $130 per week on their child wouldn’t this stop them from quitting? Because if they quit they will still have to pay that amount anyway.
I realise there are many good parents out there who do support their children with all they have and that’s awesome.
But why is it that if the other parent earns more than my ex their children are automatically worth more? Why is someone else receiving $300 per week for their children but I received $40 a fortnight for mine (if he actually pays it)? OH right, because my ex gets government income and works for cash so he doesn’t have to pay me more.
In reality, children are magical beings who arrive and none of us have any clue what we are doing or how much it is going to cost. Even if you are proactive and write your baby budget I can bet most times you will miss things that you had no idea you would require. But if we procreate with someone and things don’t work out the way we hoped they would, it would be nice to think that, no matter what, we would still be both contributing equally not only in love, support, spirituality, and discipline, but also financially.
We bought them into the world together so raising them should be done together. Whether you are together or not. There are always exceptions due to circumstances regarding this such as when it comes to safety.
I realise I know nothing about governments and how they are run, nor do I know anything about child support. I am over simplifying a lot as there is so much to take into consideration when it comes to children. Hell i may even ruffle some feathers with my point of view. All I know is apparently other peoples children are worth more than mine purely because of income and that doesnt sit right.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on this matter.