Child Support Discussion Forum

Child Support — What does it all mean?
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Who wants to be dictated to by the State on how you support your children — what, how and when?

Whilst many views float around arguing for and against child support, most decent fathers and parents would argue the issue is not whether or not they wish to support their children, but rather the often unfair conditions imposed upon them.

Simply, it's an attack on the nature of a father's freedom and how he best wishes to raise and support his children in the many different ways a responsible father can, which are often more effective and benefical to a child than any 'slap-bang' instrument of government and statism can ever be.

For a father going through separation/divorce, experiencing the loss of family and children, horrendous false allegations, litigation, uncertainty of where your children are and how they are doing, often causes ill health, work and life instability in so many ways. Also, the effects from not having a fully functioning and emotionally present Dad in a child's life can be equally, if not more devestating as their development can be hindered considerably.

Then if that isn't bad enough, along comes an assessment from the Child Support Agency (CSA) for an outlandish sum of money based on your capacity to work at the highest rate when you were fit and able and on fire, which is possibly a stark contrast to where your financial position is today, or will be in the future if you are unable to recover from the upheaval of a traumatic separation that's often compared to a fate worse than death.

From 2006 CSA powers in Australia have increased to not only garnish your wages, but directly withdraw from bank accounts any amount they deem appropriate, siezing assets of any sort to pay the often highly questionable and unjust debts. As Fathers are assaulted with such draconian measures, one can only feel a sense of dictatorship giving rise to a totalitarian society — not a free Australia — causing fathers to unite and fight for their rights and freedom.

As there are many issues surrounding child support and the effects upon fathers, children and families,

Share your opinion and experiences about the pros and cons of child support,
lifting the veil on a most horrid part of family breakup!

Start writing a comment now...

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    By: Bill from sa, australia on December 7, 2015 @ 9:24 am
    how bout we just don't pay or co-operate with these corporate agencies that help destroy families? they have no real authority, only what we give em ay
    900. By: Action from wa, land of milkand honey..not on December 6, 2015 @ 5:02 pm
    i asked a question of the government what were the incidents that occurred that established the need for a women's affairs minister...the silent response was the comment. my next question was in the age equality why do we not have a men affairs minister the silent response was the comment's,so what does this establish....?
    By: Just-Me from South Australia, Australia on December 6, 2015 @ 1:54 pm
    Is it time Australia had a Minister for Men?
    From boys underperforming at school to spiralling male suicide figures, from the overwhelmingly male prison population to the Family Law courts, why is no one in politics speaking up for men, I ask.
    Fish have greater ministerial representation than men.
    Someone to champion their sustainability, fight for their welfare, fend off existential threats. A minister mandated to look after them. Parliamentary debates held in their honour. Fish have it good in Australia.
    Science, intellectual property, forests, sport and tourism – they all have ministerial portfolios. As do children and families. Whilst the minister for women – the Education Secretary – sits in Cabinet. Nowhere, in any our government departments and their numerous subdivisions, is the welfare of men given a look-in.
    It’s time to change this gaping omission. To at least put men on an equal footing – or fin – with fish. We should have a Minister for Men.
    By: BzBee from NSW, Australia on December 6, 2015 @ 10:48 am
    Hi Tkjc
    You point is absolutely valid and I would like to add it to my list of solutions.

    Could you reword your suggestion without the male/female pronouns (ie. when a parent does X rather than he/she) and also give an example of what you think a fairer out come would be eg. what do you mean by "dealt with accordingly", what would this look like? Clearly our courts and CSA need to be guided on what a fairer and more just system looks like, we can't leave it up to them to figure it out!
    I will add your suggestion to the list once clarified. Thanks.
    By: Tkjc from NSW, Australia on December 6, 2015 @ 9:10 am
    Bzbee so you talk about setting the rate at the minimum wage that's great so that way the children don't suffer so what do you think happens when they are denied access to their father by third mother you talk about a fairer system well to me a fair system is when a court issued an order giving a father access to his children then the mother should have to honour that order and if she chooses by her own that she is not going to comply then she should be held in contempt and dealt with accordingly some fathers have spent hundreds of thousands to get access to their children and have still not been allowed to see them by a bitter mother yet she still collects child support

    Yep top system
    By: BzBee from NSW, Australia on December 6, 2015 @ 7:55 am
    Fixes to be Child Support system fairer.....Part 2

    4. Increase payments for those parents who pay only the minimum of $25 per fortnight, by assessing their income on the minimum weekly wage (approx $34,000pa)

    This $25 is insulting, ineffective and only disadvantages children who most need this money. Let's assess the income of these parents based on the minimum weekly wage instead (unless on disability pension) - this will give these parents an incentive to find work!

    5. When children are of school age, the primary carer needs to work a minimum of 25 hours pw.

    Both the Australian govt and citizens expect that both parents should be working and earning once the children are at school. Why are so many single parents exempt from this? Widows and widowers don't have that luxury, they almost always work FT as a single parent because there is no one paying for them to stay at home every day.
    By: Tkjc from NSW, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 10:48 pm
    RS give me a call or text me 0422772277 would love to have a chat
    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 9:10 pm
    Tkjc or "just-me"

    I am a personal injury lawyer, hence this discipline is not within my scope of advice. Look forward to receiving your constructive advice re cs arrears.

    By: Tkjc from NSW, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 8:45 pm
    Michelle if you think your partner is being unfairly treated go and see your local federal membergive them as much information as you can this does help sometimes at the moment there os a parliamentary inquiry into the CSA system so getting you local member involved is a good idea I wish more poeple would do the same
    By: Michelle rutter from Queensland, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 5:50 pm
    Also these latest arrears have come from a apparent underestimate of his income....yet they are STILLL only using a very low provisional income for the Mother,,,why?i thought tax returns had to be in by end of October?so when they finally get that these so called arrears will probably be reduced,,yet they are harassing him for them when he is outta work GRRRRRR!
    By: I michelle rutter from Queensland, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 4:42 pm
    It is my partner that apparently owes arrears$3000!! Stupid thing is though he left his job at the end of October for mental health reasons and stress... He informed CSA he was no longer working and told her the reason... She said "well don't worry about the arrears as we don't want to add anymore stress to you", about 3 weeks later a CSA statement arrives saying to pay immediately $3000, including amounts for the month of November and December LOL... He is NOT working and they know this and they have just added more stress to him... He had a $28,000 debt that come about from tax returns except he had always payed the mother but they deemed $200 a week not enough so started garnishing his pay!, he has got a good record of clearing up debts except this latest statement has completely thrown us as ONE person in that office knows of his situation and said it would go on his file as to back off a little... The lady at CS words!!,, I really want to ring them and abuse them and then march on down to the fed MPs office!!
    890. By: Just-Me from South Australia, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 5:05 pm
    RS you are wrong with the advise you have given Michelle. I wrote a more lengthy response but for some reason this forum sometimes works sometimes does not.
    By: suzy from QLD, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 4:08 pm
    Well my husband is not a 'deadbeat dad' like everyone wants to pay a fair amount especially for a child ex is withholding and we have sole parenting of the other child. His ex actually blatantly told us she informed CSA of our intended holiday. After all these lies and never getting a re assessment approved, we will not deal with CSA any longer we have put a representative in place to deal with them for us.
    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 4:03 pm
    Yeah that is terrible suzy. Just awful.

    Bear in mind that the purpose of the dpo is to prevent deadbeat dads departing on a one way ticket. So a holiday is less likely to stick.

    Also too, a common theme in preceeding cases is that the payer often unconciously alerts csa to the overseas travel provision. Dont be tempted to do this! Almost all dpo's are issued as a result of this (as opposed to the ex advising them)
    By: suzy from QLD, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 3:38 pm
    The problem with CSA and DPO's is they use it to get you to pay. CSA informed my husband they had taken a DPO out via a phone call. They agreed on an amount to pay and it would be lifted. CSA phoned to say payment received, now pay the full amount to have it lifted. We were days from leaving overseas with extended family which cost us $20k+ so no time to argue, my husband was at breaking point so we paid it. When we asked for written confirmation that the DPO had been lifted, the letter received stated there was no DPO in place. So CSA lie and use a DPO when told by the ex you are going on an overseas holiday to pay any debts. BTW we were disputing and having a reassessment done at the time. What we know now, we wouldn't have paid but this pushed my husband to almost suicide with dealing with CSA, Family court and the 'EX'
    By: from Qld, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 2:38 pm
    Michelle, do you have a mygov account? If so all cs letters are stored in there. Your dpo notification willbe in there if so. Otherwise, just get to the airport early. It will be a matter of entering into a payment arrangement and on you go. B please be aware a dpo is an extreme measure for a chronic bad-payer/ cs avoidance. It is unlikely to be in place if you arent aware of it. The procedure is to contact the payer by phone after it is sent, to confirm receipt. You can complain to the commonwealth ombudsman if you do get one. They can act quickly!
    By: Just-Me from South Australia, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 2:59 pm
    Michelle what makes you have concerns that you won't be able to go. Just be aware they need notify you that a DPO has been issued and provide you a copy of the DPO.
    That does not mean that if you booked your trip that a DPO cannot be issued 1-2 days before you leave or on the day you are leaving. Just the type of tactics you can expect.
    If you are in a satisfactory payment arrangement then they cannot issue a DPO no matter how much you owe.Play their game. Write to them and ask them if they consider your current arrangement satisfactory. While the negotiations are in place they cannot issue a DPO. All negotiations must be in writing. You will achieve 2 things. You buy time and they will not lie to you in writing. Do not ignore your debt. It will not go away. Just continue to dispute your debt. Without knowing your full story this is the best advise I can provide. If you get a DPO issued on you life will become very hard.
    By: Michelle rutter from Queensland, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 2:14 pm
    I posted on here a little while ago,I really need to find out if CSA have the authority to prevent you leaving Australia for a holiday without notifying you that you have a DPO!!
    By: Oscar from SA, Austraiia on December 5, 2015 @ 9:09 am
    i like the idea of "freezing payments" until certain actions / resolves are in place, for example, if the carer parent is so unreasonable that the matter goes to court, then any money spent by the paying parent for those court actions should be deducted from the CSA assessment ….

    BUT - CSA and government will NEVER do anything that involves taking money, or freezing payments because they deem that as punishing the children … and will not do anything to detriment the children

    what you / we have to find is a way that adequately and appropriately punishes the parent without punishing the child … and that is the dilemma ...
    By: justice from wa, wa on December 5, 2015 @ 7:53 am
    and when a parent unlawfully removes the children(3yrs) CSA payments are frozen until such times court proceedings are finalised unless a criteria is met
    By: BzBee from NSW, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 9:51 am
    Hi All been thinking about changes that could be made to the current Child a Support system, so I thought I would share on this forum and get your thoughts....
    Part 1 of 2:

    5 quick fixes for the Child Support system
    1. Be realistic with the Self Support amount (SSA) by increasing it to $30,000pa.

    $23000 might be realistic if we were dealing with after tax dollars, but we aren't, therefore $23k is not a realistic Self Support Amount. (The SSA is based on1/3 of average male wage.)

    Those parents who are already on govt pensions earn FAR less than the current Self Support Amount anyway, so increasing the amount to reflect a realistic cost of self support is not going to further disadvantage these parents - because any money that changes hands from payer to payee is meant to be "Child Support" not "alimony" and we all know that alimony is designed to support the cost of living expenses AKA Self Support Amount. The parents who are working and earning far above these government pensions generally have higher living expenses associated with working - business dress which they cannot claim on tax, travel and running costs of a vehicle driving to and from work, income and health insurance if they are out of work.

    Most parents who don't have shared care or regular care of their children and are the payers, still ensure they provide bedrooms, bedding, toys and activities for their children when they visit, yet this is barely recognised or accounted for in any allocation of child support or govt payments under the current system

    2. When parents have shared care of children, or each parent cares for one child FT (or a similar situation that results in equivalent shared care between 40-60%, Child Support payments are capped at $100 a fortnight regardless of the the payers income.

    There needs to be a reasonable limit to the amount that parents who work hard and earn more are expected to give to the ex. When there is shared care, these CS Payments become more than just a CS, they become a form of alimony and the majority of Australians do not support this. We expect both parents to be working to support themselves, not relying on payments from elsewhere.

    3. Introduce a compulsory Child Support Basics card for Payees for "enacted" or forced CS payments.

    One frequent complaint by paying parents is that the CS money is not spent on the children but instead supports the receiving parent's addictions and vices.
    Ensure that the proposed Child Support card produces monthly statements which are individually itemised by product, not just by store and provide the Paying parent with a copy.

    If the payee wishes to avoid this level of scrutiny on how they spend the money, they can always arrange for a private agreement with the other parent, which saves the tax payers money in the long run by avoiding CSA collected payments.

    To be continued....
    880. By: CHANGE from NT, POWER OF WOMEN on December 5, 2015 @ 6:55 am
    i would like to travel our great land and collate signatures to change/amend the process. The difficulty is not the amount of signatures but the terms and conditions for change that people would sign to agree for change. I want to let young men know the power of female and NOT to have children.A women can wake on any given day and remove a father from his biological children. WE ALL KNOW THIS.our boys teenagers and you me do not KNOW the power of needs to be out will not be represented in media-or by advert as clearly it will impact on population growth
    By: Tkjc from NSW, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 9:17 am
    Hi to all again and sorry for the late reply. Ok I will explain this to you guys again the CSA can give you a change of assessment on capacity I accept this but it is not enforceable well it is if you scroll through forums and read all the comments about how it is impossible to win and no one has ever won you might even have a look at some past legal cases and see they have all gone the way of the CSA . So what am I talking about ? As I have stated before the CSA is predominantly a society of secrecy they lie they fabricate they alter and they bully I and we all know this what a lot of us don't know is that the CSA spends millions of dollars every year hiding their mistakes I will give you an example the CSA took me to court claiming a debt of 26000 I went to court and represented myself they had a sworn affidavit stating my debt was 26k I stood up told the magistrate that I had lodged my tax returns and he imidiately replied
    Looking at the CSA solicitor I am favouring the defendant they imidiately asked for an adjournment so as they could seek instructions this matter was then settled out of court you see my friends you need to communicate in writing not online or over the phone it makes the process long but they will follow the law when it is written secondly ask them the same question more than once when you get an answer challenge the answer and the answer will change the more you challenge the more the answer will change this will give you the basis to go and see your local member take the written discrepancies show poeple they don't like to be exposed I currently have their mistakes made public if they make a mistake no matter how small challenge it

    Lastly the comment that was made about them being able to do something as long as it is deemed reasonable I can guarantee you the courts take a much much much different view on the interpretation than CSA don't be afraid to take them on that the way the legislation appears and the way they interpret it is not going to be the same in a court of law

    Oh and one last point the next time the CSA tell you that they can give you whatever income they like ask them why if you took that income to a bank and tried to borrow money against it they would laugh at you and if it is the case that they can do this at their discression then you have just solved a problem that every prime minister and president in the world has never been able to solve u see if CSA can do it to a father then the tax system can do it to everybody else hey presto the CSA just fixed the worlds debt crisis
    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 8:05 am
    Just-me: unfortunately "never talk to them" doesnt work, due to statute of limitation.

    If you dont agree with CSA decisions then it is only to your detriment not to talk to them.

    A while back (12 months ago) they had a comments box in the online income estimation form. They have since removed it!! So now there is really no point in using this form because when you call them they ask all the same questions anyway. If you do not call them then they have the legislated right to reject it - AND, if it is rejected there is NO RECORD of you ever having provided it!

    People dont complain to outside authorities for various reasons. I've seen many broken fathers (and heard of many suicides) due to fighting the system. Sometimes it is wise to roll over and take it, than fight it at a greater cost.

    That being said, people like me are always open to constructive, specific, methodical advice as to how to fix our csa predicaments. Do you have any advice to share?
    By: Just-Me from South Australia, Australia on December 5, 2015 @ 8:18 am
    Oscar, tell me in the 18 years of you been in the CSA system who besides CSA have you lodged formal complaints to. Have you ever challenge them in a court of law. Has the CSA been neglectful in the way they have handled your case.
    These are all valid question I would like answered truthfully as you claim they cannot be taken on.

    By: SS from Queensland, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

    I feel your pain, and I know exactly what you mean. I have had to flee the country so my new family could live. They have me down as 193K when I have tax return of 21K all due to being self employed. I had no means to pay the monthly CSA of $2500 if I did my family could not live so I had to go abroad as they where putting a DPO on me.

    I wish you all the best, keep the head up
    By: Just-Me from South Australia, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
    Visited a lot of forums and I find a common thing with them all. The CSA is too powerful. They can do what they like with us. There is no point fighting them etc. Let me tell you one thing. Everyone is beatable, it is a matter of how many hits you are willing to take to win. The CSA needs follow 2 acts primarily. They cannot do what they want.
    Most people on here seem to not follow one golden rule. Never talk to them. They tend not to lie in writing. Paper trials makes them accountable.
    No matter what you all think. I will continue to fight them I have won and lost many battles and understand the war will take a long time to win.
    By: SS from Queensland, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

    I feel your pain, and I know exactly what you mean. I have had to flee the country so my new family could live. They have me down as 193K when I have tax return of 21K all due to being self employed. I had no means to pay the monthly CSA of $2500 if I did my family could not live so I had to go abroad as they where putting a DPO on me.

    I wish you all the best, keep the head up
    By: Byron from Vic, Australua on December 4, 2015 @ 8:58 pm
    Hi Rs

    Unfortunately she didn't provide the BAS, CSA got it from the ATO without permission as she refused to provide it. That's when we provided the company financial,statements to show the company ran at a loss, but they claim they are dodgy, even though they were provided by our very reputable Accountant. Feels like we have to bend over and take it, but it's ruining my life, and the kids are feeling the strain as I can't afford to provide for them properly.
    By: Oscar from SA, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 4:05 pm
    thanks SS - will be in touch later tonight or over weekend.

    likely send you a message via Skype first to work out a time to have a chat
    By: Mike from WA, Aust on December 4, 2015 @ 2:55 pm
    Unless of course the EX uses health reasons as an excuse to resign and start a business. Depression, stress etc that any "good" Doctor will sign off on. I was rejected on these grounds recently. First the reason was caring responsibilities, when I proved that to be false, they found a health issue to use as a reason. Its tough to win, even when you have all the evidence.

    870. By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 4:53 pm
    Great post oscar!

    That is precisely my point tkjc - dont tell us "they cant do that"

    Just tell us how do we fix it?

    What form do i need to fill out? Who can i contact? What are the words etc etc - because until we action it in a productive fashion, cSA are screwing us. Big time. End!
    By: Oscar from SA, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 2:17 pm
    Ian King

    you are correct. "Capacity" is not used to persecute someone who might be able to earn more (in ex's opinion) but doesn't UNLESS it fits with the other criteria, that is that they made a change to their circumstances to "avoid" liability.

    so if you were a High Court Judge earning $500,000 and 8 years ago quit to go work part time as a gardener earning $50,000, then 5 years after that you and partner split and she want child support, she will not be able to claim "capacity" to $500K because the change wasn't initiated to "avoid" - it was a circumstance that was already in place.

    However, if you earn $500K and you split with ex, and she claims child support so you quit your job, or move overseas, or start a business and then post a taxable income of $50K the CSA will likely deem your capacity at $500K and you will incur a debt if you do not make payments ...

    as with any legislation, it turns on fact - but you CANNOT do anything that will be deemed "avoidance action" .. the LAW has changed not OPINION ...

    Ian your example fits with my first example.

    People - I understand the bitterness, anger, feelings of despair and unfairness. I have been in this system for 18 years and am counting down the 11 months I have left. There is no relationship with my children because it is not fostered by their mother, and our "fights" about child support payments do not help.

    Bitching on this site will not change anything. Post examples of what you are going through (factual not opinion); post solutions - because one day, hopefully, someone with enough power will take those solutions and turn them into effective legislative changes.

    do NOT listen to those that say "CSA cannot do this or cannot do that" ..the fact is the CSA can - or they wouldn't. I don't agree with all they do - but it is in accordance with legislation.
    By: SS from Queensland, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 9:41 am

    My skype ID is as follows Hail_Hail888
    By: Rs from QLD, australia on December 4, 2015 @ 3:16 pm
    sorry, dont know why that message posted again!! VV

    TKJC, what we are saying is that the term "reasonable" is not legally defined, therefore, it is whatever CSA choose it to be. for example if they say you once-upon-a-time, (before kids and old age) your earning capacity was $120k then we can reasonably deem that to be your earning capacity and there is nothing you can do about it......

    i guess what we would like to know is what would YOU do in this situation? how do you overcome this? we are all striving for the same goal, to get our incomes for CSA purposes recognised as the taxable income, or even similar would be fine, just not these ridiculously large conjured up fake amounts!
    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 9:49 am
    Byron, using BAS amounts is correct. If you are a sole trader that is.

    Your BAS should reflect profit (sales minus expenses)

    If you are a company or partnership then you should not provideBAS as a basis for assessment.

    It sounds like you have either: an accounting error in your BAS, or a CSA representative who does not understand how to compute the BAS.


    Tjkc - you are HOPELESSLEY optimistic! It is written. It is law. They do not have to use taxable income. Its bullshit! But true bullshit.
    By: Tkjc from NSW, AUSTRALIA on December 4, 2015 @ 2:18 pm
    Oskar before you throw stones read what I have said I didn't say that they can't initiate a Coa what I said my uneducated friend is that they can't do it without adequate grounds they claim to be able to do a lot of things and only because poeple let them for some reason you have all resigned to the idea they are invinsable Oskar read the legislation completely then open your big mouth as I said earlier no one can give you Ann estimated income unless they have grounds to back it up end of disscussion
    By: Ian King from QLD, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 11:57 am
    Hi Oscar,

    My ex submitted a COA using Reason 8B "Earning Capacity", as in her opinion I could earn more than I do. However it was rejected by CSA, as I had not changed my occupation or working hours, and my Taxable income was higher than in the previous year.

    The section that you refer to 98(L), in turn refers to section 117 (4) to (9), which has very specific conditions that must be met to make a Departure based on Earning Capacity.

    I don't know the specifics of this discussion, but have learned that the legislation is very tricky to navigate and understand.

    That said, the CSA are bound by the law and must back up any decision with reference to the Act.

    Take care

    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 11:35 am
    Byron, change your assesment immediately to an annual income estimate of $18,200 (the tax free threshold) never ever provide fiancials or BAS that dont relate to you. In the interests of privacy, you must not supply your wife's financial matters to a third party. (she has no obligation to consent!)
    By: Byron from Vic, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 12:16 pm
    Thanks Rs

    My wife is actually the sole director of the company that is the trustee for the family trust, which runs the business. She set up the company with money she brought into our relationship, the intent was so that I could at least work part time in a flexible job around the kids. I can't work full time due the demands of the kids which I have 50% of the time, they are all at junior school and one has Cerebral Palsy, which means a lot of appointments at odd times. So even though its not my company, CSA are still using the financials of my wife's company to asses my capacity to earn. So yes the BAS does show the incomings & outgoings, they a have also been provided with a full accountant verified set of financials but they are obviously ignoring the fact that the company doesn't actually make a lot of money. And since I can't be relied to be there full time we have to have chefs and waiters on staff, and have to pay them adequately (I also drop my kids off and pick them up from school each day, and look after them during the holidays as my wife works for a corporate in the city). So in reality its not working out financially viable for us to continue like this, as CSA are leaving me with about $300 a week to live on. Its not up to my new wife to support me and my 3 kids (50%), as she has been for the past 5 years. I'm at a loss as to what to do as they continually bully me.
    By: Oscar from SA, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 9:12 am
    TKJC - as requested - you are stupid .... you run on emotion and what you think SHOULD be "right"

    you are not being helpful by being blinded to fact rather than what you "believe" or "think"

    check out the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 at section 98L(1)(a) which says:

    the Registrar is satisfied that, in the special circumstances of the case, application in relation to a child of the provisions of this Act relating to administrative assessment of child support would result in an unjust and inequitable determination of the level of financial support to be provided by the liable parent for the child because of the income, earning capacity , property and financial resources of either parent

    pretty unequivocal that the Registrar can consider "capacity"

    we don't have to like it - but it IS law, so we have to live with it, or change it.
    860. By: Rs from QLD, australia on December 4, 2015 @ 10:43 am

    Registrar-initiated change of assessment

    Since 1 July 1999 the Registrar has been able to initiate a change to a child support assessment where the Registrar believes that the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of either parent is not accurately reflected in the assessment (reason 8 (2.6.14)). This is called a 'Registrar-initiated change of assessment' (2.6.6)
    By: Tkjc from Nsw, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 11:23 am
    Call me optimistic call me stupid call me whatever you want if you state its law show me the legislation show me where it says that the CSA can give you an income of their choice without having to provide any evidence that it is correct the only way that can do it is with proof so if your hiding income and they have caught you stop your winging
    By: Oscar from SA, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 8:04 am
    SS - very happy to have a chat via phone and/or Skype. tried to message yesterday, but for some reason this site didn't publish my messages. would be a good feature if there was the opportunity for private messaging certain users.

    let me know your details, and I will be in touch ..

    TKJC - mate, sorry to tell you that the CSA can and does refer to capacity (usually only on the application of the other party and an investigation). The law changed a few years ago to permit them to pierce the veil on a whole range of activities that were deemed to be "avoidance" of liability to pay - and quitting jobs etc was exactly what they were after.

    By: Rs from Qld, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 9:49 am
    Byron, using BAS amounts is correct. If you are a sole trader that is.

    Your BAS should reflect profit (sales minus expenses)

    If you are a company or partnership then you should not provideBAS as a basis for assessment.

    It sounds like you have either: an accounting error in your BAS, or a CSA representative who does not understand how to compute the BAS.


    Tjkc - you are HOPELESSLEY optimistic! It is written. It is law. They do not have to use taxable income. Its bullshit! But true bullshit.
    By: Byron from Vic, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 10:41 am
    Hi, has anyone else dealt with CSA when they own a restaurant or café? The CSA have assessed my capacity to earn based on my business BAS, which, due to the fact that I don't pay GST on fresh foods, but I charge my customers GST, I usually end up paying quite a lot at BAS time, this doesn't reflect my profits at all. They use a metric for all business owners that means that if you pay at BAS time, you are making profits and they asses your income on this, not on what you are actually paying yourself. I don't know where to go from here, as they just don't get it that GST is different for hospitality than other businesses. What small restaurant owner walks away with $110K per year? If there are any out there, I would love to pick their brains as to how they became some successful.. The system is so wrong. Byron
    By: Tkjc from Qld, Australia on December 3, 2015 @ 11:11 pm
    Bud, I wish you where right. Look at my posts
    That is exactly what they do
    By: Tkjc from Nsw, Australia on December 4, 2015 @ 6:44 am
    I don't know where some people get their information from CSA can not just assess you on capacity. We live in a free and modern society and having a child support commitment does not stop you from doing things like wiring part time to study or trying to better yourself by starting your own business. I don't know who told you that they don't need to use your taxable income. If this was the case then the ATO could do the same. Capacity to earn is a another one of CSA tricks and I won't or neither should anyone else accept this get them to put it in writing that it is law and get them to put in writing that they can do what they like you will soon see that Thiet bullshit stops
    By: SS from Queensland, Australia on December 3, 2015 @ 10:09 am
    I have put something into the AAT. Do you use any online talking devices such as skype. If so I will discuss my matter with you and vise versa
    By: Oscar from SA, Australia on December 3, 2015 @ 2:50 pm
    Hi all - am about to have my Hearing with the AAT, so if any have recently gone through this, or are about to, I would enjoy having a chat if you are prepared to give off your phone numbers.

    to others - assessing income

    The CSA does not have to go by your "taxable income". Because of paying parents in the past who would quit jobs; start their own business; go overseas etc to lower their liability, the law changed so that the CSA could use your "capacity" based on what it is shown you can earn (redundancy can beat this, but not quitting a job); and can also write back in other capacity to money you had, but "chose" to invest it in ways to your own benefit but that would reduce your income to the detriment of the receiving parent (eg superannuation contributions; negative gearing, investing in shares or other property for example).

    But - this works both ways. So in my case, the receiving parent has quit her job to start a business, so I am going through the objection and AAT process to have her income recalculated to "capacity".


    what you need to be aware of, and can quickly calculate if you can work excel or other software tools, is that the "cost of a child" slides on a scale as it is affected by any increase/decrease in the "joint income" between the parents. What this effectively means is, that you may go through 12 months of hassle, just to realize that even though you "won" in the AAT, your payments either didn't change, or you may pay more. You have to weigh up the stress to yourself and new family vs this outcome.

    just getting a change to their income wont necessarily assist you. as an example, I have so far had my ex's income moved from $29K to $71K, but my payment remains the same. this is because our "joint income" pushes up the cost of the child. What you need to do is not only be aware of what their income is, but the cost of the child against the joint income, AND importantly the "percentage" of joint income. to affect what you pay you need to try 3 things:
    1. raise their income
    2. lower your income
    3. lower your percentage in relation to your part of the "joint income".

    food for thought, and sorry it doesn't help much. But the quickest way to change this is to get the government to put a "cap" on the cost of children. There is one already, but it is too high, which means that if you get a substantial pay rise, your child, living in the same house, going to the same school, eating the same food suddenly may "cost" $5000 more per year, so your payment may rise by $100 wk ....

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