Solo parents owed thousands in outstanding child support

By Talisa Kupenga

A working solo mother of two says she is owed around $5000 in outstanding child support payments from the father of her eight-year-old twins. She has been calling Inland Revenue for the past eight years to understand why this is still happening, but to date is still out of pocket and without any answers.

Skye Stirling a mother of two says the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) needs to change its system for processing outstanding child support payments.

“The real problem is what happens to the bill when the child turns 18? It gets wiped. They get nothing. It's sad.”

For the past eight years, Stirling has sought answers from IRD about the $5000 she is owed in child support payments, and why the father of her children is not paying his $29 per month.

“They say ring again next month, ring again in three months. We can't tell you any more information because of privacy. They have no idea and they've done nothing even though I've provided his contact number, his address and his place of work. What sort of system is that? It's not right.”

She started the Facebook page "Support our Seeds" on Saturday to advocate for change. Twenty-five solo parents who share a similar situation have contacted Skye.

“If you get a fine or an infringement, you have 28 days to pay the fine. If you don't pay the fine, you go to court. I'd like to see the same system used for collecting fines applied to outstanding child support payments.”

One mother who shared her story with Skye said after years of trying she gave up calling IRD. From the day her child was born to its 18th birthday, she did not receive a cent or any back-payments.

“It's not about being greedy it is not about wanting thousands of dollars because I don't want that. I just want what I am owed and every other parent that is owed money that's working hard to support their children they should get what they're owed.”

Te Kāea contacted IRD this afternoon but it was yet to provide a response.