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From the Child Support YouTube Channel:

When parents ignore court orders

When parents don’t lodge tax returns

50:50 shared care

“Extra Care” formula

1031 Responses

  1. mat.i
    | Reply

    Bring on Andrews system, it is fairer for everyone and encourages both parents to succeed, not be penalised for working harder or being successful, forward the video link to everyone you know so they can get behind what childsupportaustralia.com is trying to achieve.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyrtKUoC-j8&feature=emb_rel_pause

    I am a paying parent who pays religiously, i support my son who lives with my ex and see him as often as possible, my daughter lives with me full time since her mum kicked her out (at 12 years old) with the current (combined income system) i pay substantial child support even though i have more care by percentage because i earn more, the ex chooses to work lower hours and run a business for an income conveniently just above the threshold. keep in mind she is a qualified accountant……… csa have no interest in my problems or ability to pay, just tax returns. everyone get behind this and lets change the system, Andrew, tell us how we can help, start a partition? send an email to the ombudsman? csa complaints department? there must be some way. im all for supporting my kids, but lets do it fairly. give child support the power to collect by any means necessary, copy and paste and send the above video link to as many people as you can and let them see the basics of how bad the system is. Some dead beat parents doesn’t make us all dead beats.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Thanks Mat. We’re trying to get something done through the Family Law Inquiry (see home page). However, they have been very unhelpful so far. Yet to publish Child Support Australia’s submission. A great number of individuals also sent through submissions supporting our position that have been marked “CONFIDENTIAL’ and hidden from public view – often against the wishes of the submitters. Difficult to get much done with bureaucrats around. Regular lobbying doesn’t do much at this stage.

  2. Why??
    | Reply

    Hi I’m a receiving parent who paid for both my children by myself and their father couldn’t be bothered to keep in contact with them. He owes me $17,000 in unpaid child support. There are always two sides to a story and given I sent my kids to private schools and paid for private health insurance to ensure that they were healthy. I paid for the medications and I had to stay home with them when they were sick! He had the nerve to tell me to quit work and go on the single mothers pension. All because he didn’t want to pay and be part of the kids lives! I’m amazed. This is why the world is screwed!!

  3. S Ritchie
    | Reply

    I recently turned 60 and have taken $25 000 from my super as an income stream. Given that its non taxable do i have to declare this sum in my income for a child support assessment?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You don’t have to declare earnings to Child Support. They work off your tax returns.

      Don’t have experience in this area but suspect they will add the super income stream to your income for child support purposes (if they have access to the info). They do this with salary-sacrifice contributions into super, adding non-taxable income to your income after you do your tax return.

  4. TG
    | Reply

    Hi, I am a mother of two children and I have been a paying parent even I am a concession card holder due to low income since my ex husband quit full time employment straight after the separation. he voluntarily choose to be a part time student at the age of 46 year old. His income was dropped down $37000 from $65000. He has been a student for last 5 years and working part time. CSA told me it’s his own choice and we cannot stop him being a student so I just have to pay. It was based on equal shared care but we got a final court order last October. Now I have children on 60%. CSA and centerlink changed the care percentage, he became a paying parent. 3 days after the new assessment letter issued, he lodged estimated his income as $10,000 to CSA. His taxable income 2019 was $47000 which no longer CSA apply.
    $37,000 lower income.
    He started his own business since July last year and also working full time. He has money to go for a family holidays, had a lawyer for court proceedings, why CSA doesn’t initiate any investigation. How person can pay $500 per week of rent, food and bills within the income of $10,000, seriously.
    This feels so unreasonable as It is not reflecting his financial capability.
    I was told by CSA I can put a objection, if I want. Do I need to put both change the assessment form and objection form?
    It’s been so stressful that CSA just accept everything without any evidence.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      In the circumstances, it seems like a waste of time trying for a Change of Assessment based on earning capacity. I believe you can object to his income estimate. But note that income estimates only affect child support temporarily. Eventually, they will look at his tax return for the year of the estimate to work out how the correct payments.

  5. Tim
    | Reply

    I have court orders in-place that require my former wife (Payee) to allow me access to my child, however my child is almost 18 and I was only allowed access to meet her once when she was 12yo. I have no idea where she lives. Given that this is a clear breach of a court order where do I stand with Child Support. I did set up a Child Support Agreement with the mother and each month I paid my share, including some extra costs. Now the mother (payee) has called Child Support to collect just 4 months prior to my daughter’s 18th birthday. I believe the money the payee has been spending has run out and now she’s dashing for cash. I would love the opportunity to know my daughter and be a dad but that was robbed from me. I am stressed and angry, because I now have 3 kids to my current wife and we’ve been married for 17 years.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Hi Tim. Child support is independent of everything else. They only care about the current care arrangements. And they routinely undermine court orders. Not much you can do here but pay up I’m afraid.

  6. TS
    | Reply

    Hi my ex is Japanese and living in Japan, and I’m Australian so my tax return is lodged annually and is an open book with full disclosure whereas my ex states her income is between $0 and $4000 each year and has done this for the last 13 years however when we were together she was a full time flight attendant with All Nippon Airways. I get that she has a child and may have left her role but living in Japan, I find it hard to believe she’s on $0 salary. I’ve been told by CSA that I can show them her pay slips to dispute this but as I have not spoken in 13 years, have no address details or any other info, Aside from hiring a PI, I have no way to know her whereabouts and if she’s working or not. It seems unfair that I’m the Australian citizen and paying full child support monthly for 13 years based on my tax return lodgings, and yet she being Japanese is under no obligation to advise her correct income, so CSA use a guide each year and some years it is $0 and other years it’s $4000 a year. I feel penalised for doing the right thing!

  7. David
    | Reply

    Hi. I am currently separated and have the kids 6 days (1 and 3 yo). I have been separated since nov 2019. I married in 2017. My ex worked in a high paying job (~200k) when we meet. She also had businesses on the side. She quit work when she met me (start of 2015) to work on her businesses, and then, once we had kids, the kids 2 days a week. She used to brag during our relationship about how she earns more than me. Just before the separation she was getting $2k after tax each week cashflow from the businesses yet because of all her trusts and non-shareholder discretionary trust distributions, her taxable income in 2019 was only $31k. She has a 2019 model car 100% for personal use the business pays for entirely which she did 40,000km last year (live country work city). She tells me she is broke. I have 4 investment properties from before we met and made some salary sacrifice super contributions (under the cap). These rental loses and super have been added back to give me an assessable income of ~190k. She put 20k into super in tax year 2019. She is pregnant too (my child) with conception prior to separation but we found out after we separated and i will never go back her. She threatens me with the kids often (if you diont do X then you dont see the kids). She was abusive and violent through our marriage and after id had a gutfull i reported it to the hospital when I got an xray after one her outbursts. I have a letter from our nanny which is unbelievably damning to my exes behaviour around the house. I have been paying her something since we separated but upped it after she told me her businesses were doing badly (she never during our marriage showed me the numbers of her businesses). She has asked for an child support assessment but one we manage. DHS advised she could only claim for three months of lower payments but after the assessment my ex is asking for me to pay her the diffrerence since the start of the separsation. I was wondering your thoughts on:
    a) whats the best form to challenge her assessed income?
    B) do i hold tight and pay her only the difference for the last three months? Or do i wait til i recieve some sort of order before i should pay?
    C) i cant see anywhere where assessed income adds back rental losses. Is this right
    D) my ex says she could drive a masarati and it wouldnt matter as DHS doesnt assess business car for person use. Surely this cant be.
    E) she works 3-4 days a week at the front desk of one of her businesses. Her mum and sister too. They all used to get paid (via distributions) for that work. Now she says she does it for free. How is that looked upon?
    F) any other tips.

    It sux that i feel broke yet i see her lunching, going on retreats, etc. Despite what im earning, this month for my investment properties my income was $900 short of my loan payment and im living at my mums 2 hours away from work and 3 hours away from the kids just so i have a roof over my head. Our matrimonial house in the country is up for sale and we are sharing it (7 days each a fortnight) as we cant afford to keep it and rent our own places.

  8. Jay
    | Reply

    Hi and firstly thank you for proving a place to make these types of inquiries.
    My situation isn’t as dire as some of the above, however I believe it may be relevant for this forum.
    My ex and I have only a verbal agreement for a set amount each week to which I pay on time each week. The frustration begins when I have my kids every second weekend and she will pass off the kids to whoever will take them on her weekends. My 5 yr old daughter complains there is never any food at mums.. you see the mum on social media out having dinner etc. I have now been told via mutual friend that the mum will ask for money so she can buy school lunches for the kids. She has a history of gambling and I am wondering about ways I can make sure that my kids are getting the money spent on them instead of her. She is behind in daycare fees for our son and claims full benefits from the government. Is there anything I can do?
    Thank you

  9. RR
    | Reply

    My husband has 2 children with his ex, we share 50/50 care yet he still pays her a lot monthly in child support. We both work hard, to pay for the children’s needs, plus after school care fees etc. That’s fine, but the ex refuses to work, the children are 11 and 8. So for 7 days she doesn’t have the kids she sits on her arse. She also has a rental property that she rents privately for cash!! Is there anything we can do? Change in circumstance form ? thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A Change of Assessment will only work if she cooperates by providing the information they ask for. Since that looks highly unlikely, I don’t think there’s much you can do.

      The core problem here is the formula. You wouldn’t have to pay child support and wouldn’t have to worry about what she is doing if our “50:50 care is fair” reform plan was implemented. Current scheme is really stupid!

  10. Yuki
    | Reply

    Hi, my ex has overdue child support about $5000 and he is not willing to pay. How can I get it from him?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Not your job to make him pay.

      • Matt
        | Reply

        What is the process to recover funds? The mother of my kids owes almost $5000, how long does it take to receive payment?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          Child Support have many powers to chase up debts (e.g. tax refund interception, taking money from bank accounts, threats of fines and penalties). Can be quick or slow – depends on the situation.

  11. Sharon C
    | Reply

    Hi. My ex is currently assessed by CSA at $8 per week.
    I have 100% care of our child and 100% care of my eldest to a previous relationship.
    The current assessment is based on his last tax return in 2017/18 when he was unemployed and on Newstart.
    For the last year and a bit, he’s been working at the same job and earns well over 100k a year! He is also about to sell a home for 1 million +.
    I earn 45k a year total. I haven’t done anything about it because I’m worried that he’ll obviously be assessed at a much higher rate but won’t actually pay it (like he doesn’t pay his $8 now!) and my Family Tax Benefit will be reduced accordingly based on the new assessment.
    What proof do I need to initiate a re-assessment? Is it worth me doing it?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      We hear many stories of parents providing evidence of the other parent’s work, income, etc to Child Support and nothing being done about it.

      The system is flawed because parents can get away with not submitting tax returns and not cooperating with child support officers. We have simple fixes for these things in our policy proposals to the government.

      Unsure if you should bother trying to bring the other parent to account. You should get the money eventually.

  12. Jenlea
    | Reply

    Hi, do extra payments by the father into his child’s bank account and are “exclusive” of child support amount calculated by CSA (verbal agreement), need to be advised to Child Support Agency? Now almost 12 months on Ex is claiming it can be considered hiding income, and that it would be in my best interest to seek advice because I may get a debt. The verbal agreement between us when he left was that any extra he paid would be “exclusive” of child support paid (he insisted on paying extra)and it would be used for school fees, extra curricular activities etc. This has only occurred after he was handed Consent Orders to sign. Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Having “side payments” of support might be considered as hiding income since may affect family payments. He’s right in the sense that “hidden payments” can’t really be included in consent orders. Would be simpler just for him to agree to pay for certain things. You want to avoid the messiness of transferring money around.

      • Jenlea
        | Reply

        Thank you Andrew. I have sought Legal advice and also phoned CSA and given them all the information relevant to our situation. They have documented everything and this has now been sorted out. Appreciate your comments.

  13. Anonymous
    | Reply

    Hi

    My partner had to reply to a change in assessment Special circumstances recently. We filled out all the forms and added our bank statements as we have a joint account. My partner contact child support and asked what we do as we have joint accounts and the lady he spoke to said that only the application form would be sent to her and no supporting documentation. We have found out yesterday that she has received copies of our bank statements and now she has shown the kids what we both earn and that we don’t want to help them which is not the case. We didn’t receive copies of her bank statements so I don’t understand why she would have received ours.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      As I understand it, all documents supplied by a party to a Change of Assessment review are normally provided to the other party. Maybe she didn’t supply bank statements.

      In a Change of Assessment process, I recommend only providing Child Support with relevant information that supports your case. You don’t have to provide everything they ask for. The reviewer can only base his/her decision on the information made available to them.

  14. Mick
    | Reply

    I’ve just gone through “Change of Assessment” and they have decided to add the value of income producing assets in as income, rather than the income those assets produce.
    This has resulted in an enormous increase in Child Support payable, of course, as it more than triples my actual income.
    I would love to know how I can receive the VALUE of my income producing assets as income, year after year, but somehow I doubt that the person who made this “assessment” could tell me. She certainly doesn’t appear to understand the difference between asset value and the income they produce 🙁

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can apply for a review of the COA decision. The decision seems ridiculous and you seem to have strong grounds for appealing (forms are mentioned in a recent reply from me). Child Support are staffed by lawyer-types who can’t do maths to save their lives. Suggest you keep things very simple for their benefit.

  15. Jason
    | Reply

    Payers need protection from parents that use alienation for financial and emotional gain.

    Why can’t we have just some protection as a payer. I’m constantly threatened with custody. It’s emotional abuse, but no one cares because it mainly affects men. Considering the male suicide rate, it’s clear no one cares about men in this country.

  16. Jason
    | Reply

    My ex works only 10 hours a week. I have the kids 3 nights a week 42%. She refuses to work extra. I pay $3,000 over the top of what I give her for child support for extra curricular activities (sport). Yet she’s always demanding more, meanwhile she has two vehicles and has taken the girls away 3 times in the last year. While I got stuck with the $10k in lawyers fees to write up an already agreed upon financial consent order.

    There needs to be some accountability for their ability to work and what they spend child support on. It’s unfair on me to work full time, have the kids almost 50% of the time and pay her child support when she has the capacity to work but refuses to.

    There needs to be protection for payers against deadbeat mums that abuse the system.
    If there is alienation, the custodial parent should get ZERO child support. Even in (especially) cases of domestic violence. That will help protect the children and the mother.

    There just needs to be some protection at all for payers. I mean, I was told I had to pay back dated child support for a period she still lived in the house I paid for. I was told just borrow the money from family and friends or take out a loan. They took her word for the custody arrangement, yet I had to prove my custody. It’s completely biased and unfair.

    CSA makes deadbeat parents, even better than family courts. Both contribute to male suicide, and ex-partner violence.

    PS Women commit DMV, and then get financially rewarded for it. I know from experience.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Jason – Seems like you’ve experienced many of the worst aspects of the system. Most of these problems would be fixed if our policy proposals were implemented. For example, we would (i) take the receiver’s income out of the formula and (ii) make payments only for the amount of extra care above 50% (i.e. for 8% of costs in your case).

  17. Kev
    | Reply

    Hi

    My ex partner claims new start and chooses not to work rather than getting a job. This has caused my CS payment to nearly triple!. Would CSA take into account that I shouldn’t pay so much if my ex dosent and won’t work?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      To combat your ex not working, you can apply for a Change of Assessment (Reason 8). But won’t succeed if she lacks a recent work history. Is meant for cases when a parent’s income drops without justification.

  18. Anon
    | Reply

    Thanks for taking this question re change of assessment form (CS1970) and objection form (CS1893), for example which should we apply for in the first instance?

    i.e. if a parent objects to CS assessment for the new financial year, which form should they use: 1893 or 1970?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      If the assessment was based on a Change of Assessment decision, you are objecting to Child Support’s decision and should use CS1893. Otherwise, you are probably asking for them to intervene when an automatic assessment is in place, in which case CS1970 applies.

  19. Damn exes.
    | Reply

    Hi
    for the part 7 year my ex and I have had a private arrangement for child support. Now my ex is reporting me for non payment of child support. But I have record of paying him over $15k in the past 2 years.
    Will this be taken into consideration Or will they just take his word on it.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Private payments can be taken into account. You need to provide Child Support with the necessary evidence.

  20. Summer
    | Reply

    Hi,

    I recently put in a child support claim that got assessed just today. I am on the receiving end. It has my annual income the same as last year ($25000). however my current financial year income should be around $55000. My question is, does it make any difference if my income for the current FY is different to the last year which is what i am being assessed against? I am worried that i might get over paid.

    Also, if my ex-partner declares less income than what he has declared last year when he does his tax return, does that mean I would have to pay back some of the amount i received?

    Thank you so much in advance. The whole process is really confusing.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Don’t worry. When child support is simply based on last year’s income, any pay rises don’t affect child support until the start of following financial year.

      If a parent’s income drops, it’s up to them to tell Child Support (by estimating a lower income for the current year). Reduced income will only be recognised from the time that Child Support are informed or a tax return is submitted.

      • AC2
        | Reply

        Hi Andrew,
        What happens when someone estimates their income at a lower rate (taxable income $65K to an estimated income of $25K) as soon as they submit a tax return (every year!) I’m experiencing this at the moment and can’t get my head around it…at what point does the $65K become relevant? Thanks!

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          If an estimate has been submitted for 2019-20 for example, that estimate is provisional until the tax return is submitted for 2019-20. In the second half of 2020 when the tax return is done, you would expect the estimate and actual figures to be reconciled by Child Support. If actual income for 2019-20 is higher than the parent-submitted estimate, the parent should be billed accordingly for underpaying / over-receiving during 2019-20. This all gets delayed if the parent is slow to do their taxes.

  21. Margaret
    | Reply

    Our son separated from his wife last year and intends to divorce. His wife and two children still live in the family home. He has continued to pay all the household bills and expenses including lease payments for her car, her fuel rego and insurance etc, her phone as well as all utility bills mortgage payments etc and has given his wife $550 each week towards living expense for her and the 2 children under 18 still at home. However his wife keeps demanding more money telling him he is not paying enough child support. He pays all the childrens medical. dental and school expenses. But he is at the limit of his income and cannot afford to give her anymore money as he now has to pay rent for himself. He is wondering what his best course of action should be, in the past few months his wife has refused to negotiate a parenting agreement or financial plan but now is insisting he pay more or she will get an order and have money taken from his wage before he gets it.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      He should keep good spending records in case she makes a claim for child support. He will be liable from the date she makes contact. She can’t get his pay garnished if he pays on time.

      He should do the maths and work out what is cheaper – paying child support or paying for everything else. This is relevant for negotiations. If he is paying too much, that gives him leverage. She will lose financially by claiming child support (see calculator on this site). But the risk is that she’ll try to dominate care to increase her payments.

      Really, they should attend mediation. If she refuses, then he can make an application to the court. That’s further leverage. She may want to avoid court hassles.

      Can’t comment much further as it’s a negotiation process and depends a great deal on the people involved, including what they want and how reasonable they are.

  22. Amanda
    | Reply

    Hi I like to know what else you.can do to get money out of a non paying parent. As the change of assessment I don’t have enough evidence for u to look into why someone goes from earning
    $130 thousand a year to $69 thousand a year and has not done his tax for 3 years but gets away yet I get a letter saying I haven’t done my last year tax
    Maybe the people who don’t pay Should be black listed just like people who don’t pay rent and bills but can still go on Hollidays and drive luxury cars. Maybe you should take money out of there super .
    Why can’t you u subpoena them to court and make them pay and do what is right
    Child support needs to change as according t9 centrelink I’m getting this money and I don’t then u tell them you get a lump sum and then you have been overlayed and the innocent ends up with a big want why the non payers that should pay get away with nothing
    This system and the procedures to collect is not good enough. It’s a weak systsm

  23. Sandra
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    My daughter who has been in my sole care for the past 10 years is now 17 and has decided to move in with her dad. He will be claiming child support from me which I have no issue with but was wondering if I am able to have a 7,200 dollar orthodontist bill that i am solely covering myself (paying off currently and for next couple of years) considered towards any child support assessment that will soon be put in place. I also had one more query. My daughter wants to move in dads house (5 minutes up the road) because he works in another state for 2 weeks a month. She gets the house to herself but i will be the parent checking in each day, attending her appointments, taking her to a doctor, ensuring she has food and toiletries and basically being the only parent in the state 2 weeks a month (we are in country towns, she is still at school) so does this count as her dad having 100 percent care if he is interstate? I am curious. Thanking you in advance for any guidance/view.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Payments towards the orthodontist bill could possibly be claimed through a Change of Assessment application. Factors they consider include whether both parents agreed to the treatment, whether the treatment was necessary, and the parents’ capacities to pay.

      I would have thought the overnight residence of the child would determine who is considered to be providing care. You could check the wording in the Act to try to verify.

  24. DL
    | Reply

    Hi, I currently have a 50/50 shared care arrangement for my 2 children.
    I pay child support, school fees, school books, laptops and 50% for uniforms, sports, dental, and any other major cost.
    I have also been asked to pay 50% for clothing and shoes etc. This all seems unreasonable to me but I don’t want my kids to go without. What is my right in this situation?
    A new system can’t come in quick enough!

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Just buy the kids some cheap clothes and ignore the money requests.

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