[+Add your comment]
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,
So basically you are saying that even though your child is now going to school, you are still unemployed. And now you want two other productive members of society to pay for you to sit on your bum while you use parental alienation syndrome to punish your ex for not lining your pockets with gold.
I have been interacting with the Child Support Agency the past few weeks. My ex submitted a Change of Assessment request, questioning my income, my child care percentage, and contribution to school fees.
The case officer has requested, in addition to my Tax returns, two years worth of bank statements, financials, Income statements, and Asset registers for my Australian and South African personal and business accounts. Letters verifying that my children were present with me (from 3rd parties), over the past 8 months, and all manner of documents relating to their schooling.
This is ridiculous. So far I have submitted 65 documents, and counting. It has taken weeks of my time to compile and submit, and I have had to involve 3rd parties, which I would prefer not to have to do, to provide verifying letters.
All in response to an original request which could not have taken more than an hour to complete and submit.
Do the case officers have any idea of the impact of their requests on respondents, and the amount of stress attempting to comply creates ?
I believe, in order to be fair, and prevent abuse of this system, any request made on one party, should also have to be made of the other party.
The lodgement rules apply...the debt increase or decrease is simply an outcome.
TOscar the three months backdating is nothing to with income. This is about going from private collect to CSA. The payyee can only ask for a period of three months arrears for amounts not paid in line with CSA assessment. In special circumstances which are rare 9mths.
Income lodgement that is late and higher than income being used (post 1 july 2008) will back date as long as is applicable. Lower will apply from date of lodgement.
Pre 1 july 2008 twx will back date for a higher or lower amount.
Tax lodgement implications and collection periods are seperate issues.
If actions you cause or omit to cause (eg you do not lodge your tax to avoid child support increases) eventually catch up with you, then the CSA can recover. However, if your ex causes or omits to cause various actions (seemingly to her own benefit, but that eventually show that you should have been paying more) then the CSA will not pursue you for that.
also think there is a 3 month limit on any "back payment" a person may try to claim for - but cannot be for actions they have delayed themselves.
Her CS payments do not form part of her taxable income.
CSA advises Family assistance of the assessed anount her FTB A is adjusted.
Airfares? Not sure on the context would need more information however taxable income is defined by ATO
On a tax assessment where it asks about CS payment this is for a paying parent. If you have a new spouse with children your CS payments may increase her FTB A entitlement.
I know you recently coverd this issue but wanted a reminder of how it works. Formula assessment and amount each parent pays.
I have a sneeky suspicion that my X is not filing my CHild Support payments into her tax declaration, thus if I am right, she is claiming Family Tax Benefit A to the full amount (although confusingly i have seen 'base amount' mentioned in CSA docco).
Q2 Given the above scenario and another suspicion that the X is not declaring air fares (nett 6K) every two years. If i spill the beans on her and get CSA to investigate my suspcions it may actually not be in my interest because:
If either of the two incomes used P1 or P2 then the new total
P1 + P2 = more money to split up (cost of each child care) therefore if she has understated and she had 100% care % and I 0% then I could end up paying more child support for events already past.
Your advice is appreciated.
Thanks for the kind words.
Yeah look up Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) otn - it may reveal the motive behind some of the other sides decisions making as destructive as that is.
Basically I have not wanted my kids to suffer any of this PAS so i hope you are right that when they are old enough they will sort out the path and open up to their long lost Dad.
I have a few emails from, I call her the Black Widow (BW) when i started challenging her on the fairness of all the financial stuff. She has portrayed herself as 'the victim' typical of PAS. BW claiming that these emails where damaging to the kids and that I should not discuss money matters with them. So fair enough being in a totally subservient role I have backed off completely and do not engage at all with the BW in any medium.
So the only way for me now is to get physically away from this mentally deranged woman. Get the hell out and hope the kids will work it out sometime in the future.
What disappoints me the most is the the person you married ended up having such a load of personal baggage some of which was inherited from her parents dumped on you the only male in the world who has given SO MUCH in 20 years. It's incredible how much damage is done when one person has all the power and they use it like a drunken sailor 'punch drunk' to say the least.
So for me there are two reason to leave all this behind:
1) My survival
2) The kids well being - they are materially well off but all I can hope is that the mental health issue they inherit can be healed with time.
Being involved with this woman has been the worst single decision of my life full stop.
Good luck to everyone (both sexes) dealing with this sort of shit.
It does seem to be a loosing battle, though we can dream and hope and pray for a better outcome some time in the near future. As near as tomorrow would be so appreciated by so many party's.
The only great thing to come out of all this is that there have been so many magnificent children born and with any luck our other hope and payer is that that they one will never have to go through difficulties like ours!
As poisoned as their minds may be made, one can also be sure that that child will become an adult and ask questions that they never knew the correct answers to and that one day it'll all come unstuck for the parent doing the poisoning. One can hope anyhoo.
Our main problem is that the mother drags this child into things a child shouldn't have to bare. His a kid, just let him be a kid!
One time we had my better halves son up on a holiday when he was 10. He told us some things by accident that were eye opening. Like how worthless and useless his dad is and it went on a bit more. We didn't make a big deal of it with him as they were things that his mum and her parents had been telling him. We probably shouldn't have even mentioned that we would be talking to his mum about it. On that note. He locked himself in the bathroom, howling. When we finally got the poor fella to open the door he asked and begged us to please not mention to his mum as she would never trust him again?! I couldn't believe it?! What mum even puts that much pressure on an 10yo?!
There have been several more issues brought up over the last few years, things we have found out. It's not looking good for future relationships.
But as I said, hope and prey it changes. I know there are many people worse off in these situations and it's terrible to imagine!
John I just hope you can get through it and that you can get to the point of seeing some sort of light at the end of the tunnel! Tomorrow is a new day and anything is possible!
Real CS info and Oscar, you have helped and it looks like I have some investigating to do. I have a feeling her salary is double that of what she is claiming on our statements. So from that it doesn't sound like the outcome will be any great, though can't get much word as we are only $20 short of the max payment a week to my knowledge.
Thank you all, let's all look for that light as now it seems more distant!!
Oscar's note is very good. CoA is not a silver bullet and it can be the applicant who gets the less than favorable outcome.
Currently it goes last years income so if you go then your partners current income will be assessed now and then next year again.
The CSA can do searches and will see her payg info if available.
CoA is a tough experience and where absolutely not 100% the only option probably best not to go there.
Usual private info is shared under law.
Have a read of reason 8 on the Child Support Guide first.
Also talk to CSA about your concerns and ask for her income to searched.
I think many payer parents don't "fight" the unfairness put on them by the Payee parent because of costs etc. Especially when the "obligation to pay" is not linked to "right to see or know the children" and both of these are controlled by the payee parent.
if the system provided that where a payer parent was subject to "costs" to pursue "rights" that for "no reasonable reason" were being withheld by the payee parent, that these costs could be recovered dollar for dollar from child support payments (that is, the amount is reduced by money spent in court etc), then we might suddenly see an increase in the "cooperation" of payee parents, the decrease in court activities, and an increase in the payer parent being able to maintain their rights.
Currently too much power with no repercussions lay with the payee parent. No repercussion because to pursue costs money that for the most part the payer parent cannot afford.
Simple change - powerful outcome. And because it's based on "reasonableness" it would be easy to apply.
Just a thought !
if she is an employee, then she doesn't need to lodge her tax returns for the CSA to see what her income is. they have access to all that data, and this CAN work in your favour. If they do not lodge tax returns for some time, then they cannot rely on any deductions when they finally get around to it (so effectively the CSA will rely on the taxable income deemed by the ATO).
if they are a private business owner, then non-lodgement of tax returns will affect you, because it is likely they are hiding income.
a change of assessment can assist in both situations. I have recently been through this system, and had the determination handed down yesterday.
things to be wary of with Change of Assessment. if you start it, you give ALL your information to try and get the best outcome. The other party can refuse to provide any detail. then the CSA has to make the best "judgement" call. You can object to the decision (which I did) - as can the other party. However if the other party did not provide any detail or cooperate, then the weight given to their objection is likely very low.
Now for the absolute "kick in the guts". Let's say you earn $x and they say they earn "y". your CSA payment will be worked out on a formula that looks at X + Y then determines what a child is "worth" for an income that is X + Y. then apportioned according to your custody percentages.
Now when you do a change of assessment, again, let's say you earn X but it is deemed they earn W. Then the formula is as above, except it is based on X + W. depending on the difference between W and Y, the "worth" of the child may increase, and you could still end up paying more.
So you need to be SURE that they are earning a sh1t load more (not just a fraction more) for this to work in your favour. In my case, I had her income of approx. $28K deemed to be $72K.
you have to determine whether you think the effort; heartache etc is worth it - I did.
hope this makes sense.
Real CS you hit the nail on the head your quote:
"Interesting your a mum experiencing the same challenges as a dad who pays..does this mean CSA is not just picking on dads and in fact the two real issues are the custody system and the other parents behaviour?"
I recall Real CS said that the CSA had the discretionary power to grant custody percentages removed from their powers in 2008 or thereabouts. So this power has gone back to the Family Law Courts (Law society) oh well!
So where does that leave us Sal etal as payers if we want to negotiate a better deal? NOWHERE is what I think you are saying.
Yes for me the biggest issue is paying full dibs (0%) care percentage and having my 3 children poisoned against me. The other half is in a very STRONG position and the FLC is supporting indeed encouraging her on.
The system sucks and this situation for me has given me permanent and serious mental health issues. So I am getting out before euthanise myself. Its toxic here and any rational human being has to get away before the system forces them onto the streets with NOTHING to look forward too.
I know that she has sent a message to my better half saying she will be the one that is worse off when she does her tax so I assumed that that would be in reference and regards to the support payments she is receiving. But I suppose it could also just be the fact that she might have a bill to pay to the ATO when she does finally get around to it.
The silly thing is that CS can see what she earns as the people she works for lodge their tax return. It somehow falls to her though to lodge her tax for them to process it. I just don't understand. If we didn't lodge our tax they would be right onto it, chasing us.
I am new to the stage of taking action just because we've had enough of this end of the stick. Thank you for guiding me in the right direction!
Why these people have to be so selfish, bitter and twisted is beyond me. I understand a small minority it seems that have the right to jump up and down but seriously, the more I read and look into this when i have a couple of spare minutes is making me feel ill. It's okay for us to scrape by and have ex's live the high life. Affording to have holidays, entertainment, extra coricular activities and the best of everything. And the most painful part is they have the child/children that we know deserve the best of everything in life. If we could we would spend what ever time could be granted with the child/childre giving them our all if possible. The fact is, as far as the child/children are aware that the best is coming from the parent receiving the payments and not the parent supplying the payment. While most of the time the ex fills the head I the child left in their care with complete and utter rubbish about their absent parent, and keeping the fact that they are helping a great deal financially.
Beyond your CSA assessment and without the order of a family court it is in the first instance between you and dad.
For CSA to rewiew it would be CoA reason 3 and the extras often end up on top of at 50 50 rate or split based on income.
You can also apply under this reason for reduction in CS due to dad not meetinf his obligation to extras if you are 100% responsible and he wants them doing extras.
You can also request reduction here if he is not helping with out of pocket medical expenses.
Interesting your a mum experiencing the same challenges as a dad who pays..does this mean CSA is not just picking on dads and in fact the two real issues are the custody system and the other parents behaviour?
If you pay 100% in csa payments dont go giving your x a cent more thats what csa payments are for to pay for the things kids need so no you are not in the wrong if you say no to your x and I wouldnt be giving him anything extra as well. Just what csa tell you what you have to pay each month
if you are sure (or pretty sure) she earns more than she declares, lodge a change of assessment.
Complaints at CSA are about staff behaviors more than anything. If it is the rules the CSA is not able to change them. The rules are set by govt via FaHCSIA. The CSA cannot go outside them and nor can they offer an opinion on fairness has tough as that sometimes can be.
The ex does have to do her tax if obligated under tax law. Perhaps a better approach would be to ask CSA to do some searches on her income but ultimately they cannot make her lodge.
Just beware that it is not always the case that the more she earns the less your partner pays.
Based on your description with the lower level of contact it is possible if she earns more he could pay more
Many posters here have found this so I suggest using the online calculator to assess the impacts.
The CSA is not able to make any altetation to an assessment outside their powers...
Hope this info helps
Now, it's not that he doesn't believe in me but he has given up on the system ever changing. And that I'm sad to say is what they add relying on!!
I found this page tonight and had to take the opportunity to vent and hopefully help change things at some stage. For this generation or next! Sorry, it's taken two posts for me to get I just a snippet on here!
Our eldest was unplanned, born 12 months into our relationship.
We live 3500km odd away from any other family and can only afford to fly his son and our girls brother up once a year, he is a wonderful kid and if he ever decided to live with us we would take the opportunity to have him. Unfortunately we also live in a two bedroom demountable and can't offer him a room or the four outside school activities and school/sport/scout camps every school holiday so he isn't going to make this move whilst he has all this on offer with his mum.
Our biggest problem is our close to $400 contribution a week we are making to his mum when she has not lodged her tax return since our relationship began 5 years ago. Apparently nor will she have to by law for another 5 years in which case he'll be 18.
As I mentioned, the birth of our eldest was unplanned. When we met we had both pretty much given up on the idea of ever settling down and ever finding "the one". He had two loans and a credit card, I had a loan and a credit card to pay off, we are still struggling to get on top of our combined debts, let alone send the amount of someone's soul wage for a year to a women who also earns more than she is declaring to earn by at least $20,000.
I attempted to ask her about this in the form of a text message once. I simply requested for her to do her tax and questioned her on why or how her income can drop another $20.000 without doing her tax. She sent the blame to CSS and now I'm apparently the bad influence on their son who she may or may not allow to visit and I owe her an apology?! That was with out me mentioning some facts that had been brought up when he was last on holidays. I didn't want to drag a 13 year old into it anymore than than he already is. She has this money, sends him to outside school activities all these camps and feeds him two minute noodles, little boys and take away?! He gets so excited when his here having big meals with veggies and salads.
We like everyone else (who is getting a raw deal, short straw, not so great end of the stick) only want what is fare. Like you, we are happy to pay and support the upbringing and costs of a child that is family! It just needs to be fare. Surely as a whole we can do this. I know that everyone thinks fathers don't have it hard enough. Maybe,there is only a small fraction of them that don't. Majority however, are playing by the rules and be dragged over the coals for doing so! It's not just them hurting but there new family as a whole, including the children from the previous relationship.
Our kids miss their brother, they would love to have him here, we would love nothing more but we can't afford to fly him and we'll be lucky to even be able to afford to travel down for family Christmas to share him and the rest of our family.
Robin is on the right track, but still a little of the mark. The CSA, while considering the taxable income, take more of the "capacity" into consideration. The rule was changed some time back to counter those parents who were earning good money (say FIFO workers etc), that quit their jobs (for whatever reason) and then fell under the minimum payment levels for CSA.
The CSA, unless good reasons can be established, consider this as done for 'avoidance of child support', and will "deem" your income based on "capacity". So if you quit a job paying $150,000 to work part-time at $30,000, they can deem your capacity at $150,000 and you will accrue a debt to the CSA.
If you do not agree with assessments done by the CSA, then lodge a change of assessment. Initially this is with the CSA, then through the objection process (if any) it may end up with the SAT (or equivalent). it is an onerous process, and is quite invasive - to which the 'other' parent may not even lodge any documents. This may or may not work in your favour. I am going through this process at the moment, and all I can advise is that if you get documents submitted from the other party, really investigate them for any inconsistencies you can find.
The CSA do not look at this as a task they have to undertake (the proving of any facts / submissions), so the more questions or suspicions you can raise in your submissions or objections the better.
The CSA will look through the veil that the ATO accepts as deductions. For example, if someone is negative gearing an investment property to claim a loss with the ATO, while the ATO will permit this write off, the CSA will look to the income derived. So when you don't know the answers, ask the right questions so that the process will ask those questions of the partner.
Income and CSA. The standard formula uses last relavant year of income. This includes your taxable income plus some tsx free pensions and benefits. Rental property losses are also added back. If your assessment is based on this then lodgement is needed. If lodgement on time a decrease in CS if income is less will occur but if tax late that income will impact only from date it is done.
If the income is higher the increase will back date to the first day that income was used.
Now the two other income scenarios.
1 You have done an estimate. This is where at some point your income dropped by T least 15% when compared with last years income. You then need to tell csa each change as it happens while estimate in place.
Next and this is journey you may be experiencing CoA reason 8 under capacity to earn or capcity to pay.
Here a SCO can set the income for a future or past period of up to 18mths. YES this can be for more than you earn currently if they believe you have a capacity to earn and there is no reasonable excuse for the lower earning.
You would need to object to the decision. If that fails appeal to SSAT. Beyond that a court but only on grounds of error in law.
csa cant take more that you earn they have to go of eofy tax returns if your partner does his tax then csa should be going of that. As he has the kids 50per cent of time they should see that as meeting the kids needs and base the payment from that as well. You can lodge a form for change of payment with the SSAT ( I think its called that ) and have it changed but it take any where up to 80 days. Also if he does have them that much check with centre link about payments not sure but he might be intitled to some of the xs family tax A & B payments as well
Hopefully I can help.
Answer to the question the x will have to do a new mediation ceft as they exp every 12 months most courts need it anyway and it has to be lodged. U can go do it your selves and lodge it at the court just makes u look better in the courts eyes. I did mine 4 times and I had my x put on the watch list so he cant leave australia at all with the kids or without.
I have been reading many of your posts recently including "what it costs to raise a child" and changes. Can the Child Support system be improved - this forever will be a yes. Does the custody system need improving ABSOLUTELY-
For your petitiion I thought you may want some details- The CSA cost of children is from three seperate studies used during the parkison review into the child support law- and they found the costs based on what Austrlians on X gross income spent in Net spending.
I also found this stufy not done for Government or CSA but if your suggestion was followed may increase CS payments and worth a look-
In regards to your last post (I am not a lawyer) from what I have seen in this area- unless you can show that the passports may lead to the children being taken to another country and not returned then the court probably will not support your partner not signing and rule in her favour - the reaon two parents needs to sign is to stop children being taken away and kept overseas - just for a holiday with no risk of that then you may be out luck - (not my opinion on right or wrong as I think all dads should have quality access) just what I have seen.
There was a poster here quoting fact CSA keep half the payments - rubbish- CSA if they collect penalties on overdue or estimates has money that goes to federal fund - not CSA's direct= after the 7th of each month the due date- money owed to a payee and is sent that night as it comes in - this was new about two years ago -prior to this it was held until the last wednesday of the month in Reserve bank and reserve bank is government and does not pay itself money nor operate and lending or income building activities - if in doubt do FOI to Dept of Finance who control govt accounts.
Bettina if you are serious about affecting chnage with CS- you need to read the parkinson review - as it was touted to be the solution to all the complaints people still have - but a key piece missing was penalty for stopping custody which is not in any way run by the government - should it be yes but then you would have to challenge the law society to take away this golden goose.
Hope this helps
it will make it harder for them to ignore us. The more we share this, the more signatures we will get, the more chances that we may be heard.
I am all for mother's and father's being required to support their children; but the current system is STILL a mess, even after the reforms in previous years. They are NOT interested in 'the best interest of the child' one little bit - which goes against why this agency was created in the first place.
I have got the petition up and running though I'm not sure if this one will work either, I don't have adobe DC so am having difficulty getting it online where we can add names and email addresses. But see how we go with this one- https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/changes-to-the-child-support-system
I have got a petition for the Senate started. To add your name, please go to- firstname.lastname@example.org, click on the link and it will open up a PDF requiring name and email address. I hope to email it to the Senate by 1st August, so lets get it out there :-)
Thanks to all that replied to my earlier post.I now have ahave better understanding of how child support works.In saying that I am struggling to understand how my ex can underestimate her income which forces my payments up.Then when she lodges her tax with a income 20k higher than she estimated(with no ramifications)my payments go up due to the formula used!!It seems to me no matter what happens in regards to her income my payments rise,how is this fair?
I am in it behind you 100% my situation is bit similar to yours .. If you need any help let me know .