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  • Dads' maintenance bill to be reduced
  • By Susie O'Brien, Social Affairs Reporter
  • Herald Sun
  • 14/10/2005 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 47 articles in 2005 )
ALL money separated mothers earn will be used to cap maintenance payments under changes to the child support system.

Two-thirds of separated parents, mostly fathers, will pay less maintenance under a plan set to be implemented next year. This is because for the first time the total income of the custodial mum, the amount of time separated dads spend with their children, and the ages of the children will determine payments.

Fathers pay between 18 and 36 per cent of their earnings over $13,000 for each child. Mothers' incomes are taken into account only if they earn more than $40,000.

The changes will also see the minimum rate of maintenance increase from $5 per week flat rate to $6 per child for welfare recipients and $20 per child for those earning less than $13,000.

Child Support Agency figures show 40 per cent of people pay the minimum rate of $5 per week.

The reforms flow from the Parkinson review of child support released in May. It is believed Family and Community Services Minister Kay Patterson is set to adopt the major recommendations.

This will mean:

WEALTHY dads will pay proportionally less of their income as they earn more, but will still pay more than those on low incomes.

MUMS will get less in maintenance the more they earn, but will keep more in welfare.

BOTH parents will have about $16,000 quarantined from their income for self-support, but after that the income of both will be treated the same.

FATHERS who see their kids one night a week or more will pay less.

FATHERS will be able to quarantine overtime and second jobs from maintenance if earned after separation.

This will mean a separated couple with a combined income of up to $25,000 will pay 17c in the dollar for one child under 12 and 27c in the dollar for three children or more.

A family with a combined income of more than $126,000 would pay $15,448 for one child under 12 and $30,389 for three or more children.

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