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When parents ignore court orders

When parents don’t lodge tax returns

50:50 shared care

“Extra Care” formula

874 Responses

  1. Breakfast
    | Reply

    My ex has realised that he has to pay more child support since our child turned 13. After checking with me that this has increased he has called child support and reduced his income by 20,000$ and now going to be paying less than what he’s been paying when the child was below 13y. Is there anyway child support can check if the income is correct or is there anything I can do about it ? Thanks in advance .

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      His estimate for the current year is only provisional. It will be trumped if, when he submits his tax return for 2019-20, his actual taxable income turns out to be higher than the estimate. They would calculate how much he owes based on the correct, revised figure. So, you should be paid the correct amount eventually.

      • Breakfast
        | Reply

        Dear Andrew
        Thank you so much for your reply. Last 18/19 year too he estimated 46000 but earned 70000, however the child support amount only changed after tax return . So the correct amount only started to apply since the lodgement and not back dated. Then the child turned 13 and he quickly changed it again in a few months. So should I assume that this will never be back dated and he can just keep doing this each time and get away with it ?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          I’m surprised by this. Suggest you ask Child Support to look into it. Doesn’t seem right. Please let me know how you go.

  2. Ash
    | Reply

    I am currently faced with a scenario that I am seeking some advice/input for.
    CS is collected via CSA. The payer being my sons father miraculously took a $70,000 pay cut last year when the new assessment came through. This was despite working his normal hours. It has discreetly come to my knowledge that he (childs father) has began a side business specialising in Engineering. He also has permanent full time engineering commitments with another company. The problem I am faced with is the new business is recorded in his de facto name. My suspicion tells me that the business is what pays his “wage” on paper as he is technically employed by his partner yet is making more by charging his fulltime company as a sub contractor. By this, his side business can pay him a much lower hourly rate than his agreement with the company he has been contracted with. In return the money is still accessed by him and his partner but in the eyes of taxation he is just an employee to his partner. Is there anything that can be done about this or have they found a loophole?

    Thanks for listening!

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can apply for a Change of Assessment (Reason 8 – Earning Capacity). They will ask for financial info from both parties. They may be inclined to set his income to its former level for a defined period of up to a few years.

  3. WR
    | Reply

    Hi again Andrew.

    I have a 17 year older I am paying child support for. Her mother allowed her to drop out of school at the end of year 10. She is now working a full time casual role. Do the normal rules still apply in this situation as the child is now able to financially support themselves To an extent and lives at home rent free (and I also was not consulted about leaving school).

    I feel like all I’m doing now is just contributing to the mortgage as she is now self sufficient.

  4. Nikki
    | Reply

    Hi. I have a query re child support. My ex is paying child support through the CSA which is obviously based on our taxable incomes. He has a trust fund worth millions in New Zealand, which he can obtain money from although it is not under his control at the moment. I have copies of the trust documents but I have no proof that he is getting money from the trust at this stage add he doesn’t lodge a tax return in New Zealand. Can the CSA determine if he had this income and will this affect his support payments to me? Does anyone know? Thanks

  5. Kay
    | Reply

    My stepdaughter has been living with us full time for the past two years with the exception of 3 months at the end of 2018 when she was back with her mother. Her mother has serious mental hell issues and was twice committed to a psychiatric word for a few months at a time, child services have insisted we have her full time and she has no contact with her mother. CSA will not believe my husband that his daughter has been with us for this length of time as her mother is denying it and my husband is being chased for unpaid child support. Not sure what we can do when it’s her word against his.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I would have thought the solution was obvious: produce documented evidence. At the very least, you could draft a brief statutory declaration and swear / affirm it in the presence of a Justice of the Peace.

  6. Kym
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    How are you? I just found out that I have an almost 17 yo son, his mother had another man down on the birth certificate and I was not aware that this was a possibility, I did a paternity and it came back that he is infact my son, will I be expected to pay child support for the past 17 years even though i was unaware of his existance? I woukd like to form a relationship with him but my wife is about to give birth to what i beleived was my first child and this would certainly ruin me financially…. Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Hi Kym. You are only liable to pay child support from the date an application is made for a child support assessment that includes you as a parent. May be wise to check whether it’s possible for the parent who paid child support instead of you (if that happened) to make a claim against you.

  7. James
    | Reply

    Hello,
    Few questions I need guidance with.
    1. I’m being made redundant in March. What portion of the redundancy payment do I include in the update of my assessed income for the FY19/20 year, just the taxable portion? I am already paying at the highest rate due to my income.
    2. Do I change my income to Zero from April onwards until I find a new position?
    3. Do I asses my income for FY20/21 as zero until I find a new position
    4. My 17 year old who lives with his mother is working as an apprentice earning $40k per year. I still pay $1,750 per month in child support for him since he is not yet 18. Is it reasonable to ask for a change in assessment, reason 4, Income of the child? I would prefer to support him directly rather than pay child support to my ex.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Hi James. Child Support work off the taxable income in each financial year. Put in an estimate as early as possible if your expected taxable income across the current financial year is less than what is being used in child support calculations. The only downside to putting in an estimate is that, if your income for the year turns out to be much higher, you will be hit up for the extra money all at once.

      Yes – Have a look at doing a COA given the earnings of your son.

  8. Jon
    | Reply

    My son is working full time hours on a casual basis of $26.50 per hour (more than myself) cash in the hand. My ex-wife is still claiming child support and lies to CSA about his working. How can I stop this..

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Can’t see a solution here given neither your son nor ex would want to help.

  9. WR
    | Reply

    Hi there.
    My son and my ex are soon to be relocating pretty much interstate due to her taking a new job offer. She is now in the process of putting together a list of things that I should contribute to when we work towards a proper parental plan. Is she within her rights to ask for more money ontop of what I am paying via Child Support for school stuff, shoes, uniforms, etc and if she wants to put him into put of school stuff, I will be asked to chip in aswell. I also have to pay child support for another child to my previous marriage. So
    CSA have determined what I should pay, which I do no problem. She earns almost double what I do. But I make it work. Am I obliged to have to pay for all these extra things or am I within my rights to say that is what child support is for, it’s up to her how to budget it etc? I’m also concerned I’ll be asked to pay for half for flights back to see me even though it was her who decided to relocate where once they were only 5 minutes away.

    I look forward to your advice and am extremely grateful for your time.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A parenting plan is a process of negotiation and compromise.

      The leverage you have is that you don’t have to pay for stuff that she wants for your son. She is effectively credited with covering most or all costs. The child support formula assumes that a parent with 85% or more care is covering 100% of costs out of their own pocket.

      The leverage she has is that she could refuse to help pay for trips.

      I can’t give detailed advice on how to negotiate with her. The main thing is to ensure good contact with your child — without getting ripped off. But you can tell her that you aren’t obliged to pay for anything. So she needs to compromise.

      • WR
        | Reply

        Thanks for the feedback Andrew. If I do make payments outside of what CSA advises me to pay, can I log that with them as making a non agency payment? Would she get that extra money if I pay that on top of what I’m meant to direct through CSA? Or does that just credit the account or something?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          There is such a thing as prescribed non agency payments, where you get credit for paying for certain things such as school fees. Generally, though, the best policy is to stick to paying child support as well as paying for things you want to purchase or have agreed to pay for. You normally get no credit with Child Support for handing over money to the other parent for purchases.

  10. Hannah
    | Reply

    Currently applying to extend child support past 18 for my daughter. There is a current child support agreement in place via the CSA. Father has no contact with her.

    I have been told if he disputes the claim, he will be given her school address (he currently does not know what school she attends). We have our reasons for not wanting this information to be released to him.

    Will the CSA release the school details or do they need my permission to do so? He is not registered as a parent at the school.

    Many thanks.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You’ll have to take this up with Child Support. Both parents have rights.

  11. Rachael and Adam
    | Reply

    My partners ex wife is having a baby to her new partner, our question is, as she will no longer be working, her income will drop. As this drop in income is due to her having a baby will this now affect the child support currently paid by my partner?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – your partner will have to pay more child support if his ex’s income is above the self-support amount and then drops.

  12. Victor
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew. CSA rang me to garnish 100% child support from my salary. I have difficulties in paying child support now. I am paying 2 mortgages as ex put a caveat on my investment. I am not getting rental income nor can i sell. Removing it will take months. I’m also forced to pay supervised visit up to $400 per week (false allegations of dvo). My priority is ensuring that i continue to build meaningful relationship with my child.

    My.monthly cashflow is in negative and my savings are depleted from legal fees.

    I told CSA officer basically told me nothing i can do. Apply for hardship with bank or let them take my properties if i dont pay up.

    Can i get reduced payment from CSA legally? Until my financials are in better position? Unable to find info online

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Victor,

      The first option is to work out a repayment plan with Child Support. If they won’t accept that because of a poor payment history, it looks like the only process option is to apply to court for a hardship order. Beyond that, you may need to borrow from someone.

  13. tania
    | Reply

    I am a single mother of 3 kids and was married to my ex for 15 years we both worked in that time until the babies where born.
    We had our own business that was very successful . now declares he earns nothing and has not lodged a tax return as he still owns the business.i have all the kids 100% .I barely make ends meat and at times cant even feed the kids properly but always make sure they have something. i work full time and my eldest daughter just finished year 12 at a good school. we go no where but work,school and stay at home as the budget wont extend for sports or any activities for the kids to have fun. family walks and arts and craft out of stuff we find. it makes me wild that he can sit in a big house go on constant holidays with his new wife and have all the finest things life has to offer while his kids suffer.He earns over 90 grand a year while i earn 34 grand a year and have studied my ass of just to get in to this job . He pays me nothing and child support wont do anything till he lodges a tax return .he just brought a brand new car and heavy duty trailers but still his kids suffer and travelled around Queensland.Because he has said zero income i received a bill from child support for 2000 dollars. As they said i was overpaid on my income of 34 grand a year and he hadn’t even paid me any money for 2 years.confused .

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Unsure what is going on here as well. In dealing with Child Support, it is easier if you stick to the relevant facts about incomes and care amounts. The statements you receive should show what has been happening.

  14. Sera
    | Reply

    Hi , I have 3 kids and my last child is turning 18 years next month. My ex is owning $25000 in childsupprt fees. If my child turns 18 years next month, what happens to the debt. Can childsupprt garnish his super ?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The debt remains until it is paid. Haven’t heard of Child Support “garnishing super”.

  15. Chris
    | Reply

    I am in a 50/50 arrangement where my ex is employed, and I am self employed and have been paying myself a constant 80k a year since starting the business 3 years ago. The Pty Ltd business runs at a slight loss at the moment with 2 fulltime and 1 part time(partner for bookkeeeping) staff. I have a mortgage with minor equity, and 2 motorcycles, one financed as assets. Everything else is in my business, 2 vehicles, a truck and associated equipment.
    My ex has just raised her wage and had her other dependent turn 18 and now has to pay a small amount of CS my way for the first time. All financials/tax/BAS are up to date and on time.
    The main part of my question is CSA have contacted me for all financials relating to myself and the business after being advised I have a higher capacity to pay than set. Do I have to supply anything in this case or are CSA trying to bluff me into overstepping their reach?
    Thank you.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I don’t believe you are compelled to supply information. It is risky to do so as well since Child Support are notorious for ignoring normal accounting practices and crediting payers with income they don’t actually earn (e.g. using business income legitimately going to their spouse or family member). You could provide high-level statements to be seen to be cooperating.

  16. Louise
    | Reply

    Hi my partner has 50/50 care of his 11 year old son, it has been this way since he was four years old. Recently the child’s mother told CSA that care had changed to 21/79%, this is untrue but they won’t listen to us or follow the court orders, and have dramatically increased the weekly CS he pays. We also purchased the laptop required by his new high school, $800.00 and submitted the receipts along with the book list provided by the school. CSA phoned her and she denied it, so it cannot be deducted from our increased child support, even though she had verbally agreed with us. What can we do, nothing has changed except CSA is taking her word that it has changed.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You need evidence of 50:50 care. I would try to talk to Child Support and ask what they would accept. Just doing a simple statutory declaration where you swear / affirm that you continue to provide 50:50 care may be enough since, presumably, the mother hasn’t provided any actual evidence.

  17. Joel
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    I have a few queries
    (a) Why is a termination payment considered income and not abnormal (inflated) payment?

    (b) If the receiving parent is on an income of 70k or so and looking to purchase a house of 700k it should indicate that they have access to other funds and a change of assessment should be undertaken?

    (c) where children are ‘split’ between homes why should one parent pay child support just because of income differences ? this effectively takes away capacity to be able to buy anything for both the resident and non resident child

    (d) once a case is closed can csa apply any action (either for / against) in retrospect ?

    (e) when a change of assessment is submitted when is the actual effective date of that assessment if found in favour of the applicant? ie can it be back dated to some arbitrary date ?

    (f) can you object to the person handling your case; if they are a contractor calls are not recorded ?

    (g) where one works through a company and a change of assessment is being undertaken what is the csa looking for ? to what extent can they request information

    (h) if one returns to full time study to complete post graduate education (and work casually) can the csa make an assessment on prior years earning capacity ?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      More questions than I would normally answer but there are some good ones in there.

      (a) Child Support just use taxable income in a mechanical way. But you can counter a one-off high income by putting in a lower income estimate as soon as the next financial year begins.

      (b) Assets can be taken into account in a Change of Assessment but, generally speaking, Child Support are only interested in taxable income.

      (c) You’re right: child support shouldn’t be payable when care is 50:50. That is a policy proposal we are putting to the Family Law Inquiry.

      (d) The purpose of closing a case is to end the matter. Don’t know what avenues exist to re-open a case in exceptional circumstances.

      (e) Change of Assessments can be backdated as far back as when the COA was submitted.

      (f) Child Support are not interested in people objecting to their case managers. Probably happens a lot and just makes the person objecting look bad.

      (g) In a COA, Child Support try to get hold of any relevant financial information and are especially interested in looking for evidence of hidden income or earning capacity.

      (h) Yes – Studying is not an excuse for earning less income under COA rules.

  18. Nick (can I remain anonymous please)
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    Any advice here would be great, a girl I was seeing back in the day told CCA that I was the father of the child, I paid child support as a responsible father would. However it had come to light that the child may not be mine, the child and I have agreed to a DNA test, would I be entitled to the money I paid back? How is it that the CCA can force a man to pay without evidence (although in this case I sort of said the child was mine…. long story). The mother and I never had a relationship it was a one night thing back in the 90’s. As I said any help before I seek legal representation. (As the source of the child not being mine is 100% reliable, unfortunately).
    Thank you Kindly
    Anonymous

  19. David
    | Reply

    David.
    I pay my child support as well as day care fees on top, as she said that she would of pulled the kids out of school if i didn’t.
    What is starting to bother me is that she could be working more to help out. We have 50/50 custoday. The day i have the kids and even the change over days she could be working, she is qualified and her work offers various shifts to accomadate her working. She just chooses not to..
    Is there anything I have to help me in regards to my child support to reflect that she chooses not to work to contibute her fair share, this would only help myself to provide better for my children on my care

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can only object to a parent not working through a Change of Assessment if they were working recently and then stopped without good reason.

  20. Anonymous
    | Reply

    People need to understand that this is an independent website unaffiliated with the CSA department. The answers you receive here from Andrew Lancaster hold no weight to truth and he is free to respond in whatever tone he likes as webmaster.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Truth is what this site is about. There’s too much of it for some people.

    • Gerry
      | Reply

      It should also be noted that the CSA *specifically directs* people to this site when advice about specifics is sought, as the CSA “does not provide advice”.

  21. MCL
    | Reply

    I currently have a COA in process since my ex quit his job. As there has been no child support paid since his resignation and I have 100% care of the kids, will the assessment be back dated to application date? How long is a new assessment usually in place for?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – the COA decision can be backdated as far back as the application date. The new assessment will be set for a defined period chosen by the decision maker. Around 1-3 years seems to be about the norm.

  22. Tim
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew – appreciate what you do!
    If my income drops from 120k to 105k in a single financial year, because I have changed jobs and did not get a bonus is it reasonable for my ex to trigger a change of assessment under reason 8? What stance will CSA take on this request? I assume there is a reasonable threshold or do I just need to earn the same or more every year? I don’t mind paying reasonable support, but want to work a job that I enjoy.. even for a little less money. Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      For CSA to decide to fiddle with your income in a Change of Assessment review, they would need to be convinced that affecting child support was part of your motivation for changing jobs. Any solid evidence or arguments to counter this would be helpful. Never say you are willing to earn less.

  23. Ella Otton
    | Reply

    Hi there I have a question please
    I have 4 children with my ex partner they are 12 , 10 , 9 , 8
    My 10 year old has downs syndrome
    My ex partner owns his own business has alot of assets house etc but many of it is in his girlfriends name
    He has told child support she is his boss
    And pays him a wage
    He pays us 20 dollars a week through CSA
    My son is starting high school and I asked for help with uniforms …like everything else it wasn’t worth asking for help as he won’t
    Help
    They just purchased a new boat together after I asked for help
    I’ve sent evidence to CSA but have not got anywhere with this
    What do I do

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The Change of Assessment process is available for this. All you can do is apply and present relevant evidence.

    • Ray
      | Reply

      I’m currently in the exam same situation. My ex has vehicles and homes in other people’s name, not declaring the right income which results in my child support being 36 a month for my 2 girls. CSA is hopeless as I’ve called and complained so many times and no one listens to me. I think it’s time we voice our opinion elsewhere

  24. Legal advice
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    Hoping you, or anyone else on here might be able to provide me with some suggestions regarding solicitors that deal with child support change of assessments and will be able to help me understand my legal rights and the injustice that has just been served to me through the once again flawed system.

    Much appreciated,
    Colin

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Personally, I wouldn’t waste money on a lawyer. The issues – grounds of appeal and evidence – should normally be fairly simple. It’s an admin process rather than an adversarial legal process. Don’t have any suggestions.

  25. Grace
    | Reply

    I USUALLY receive weekly payment, or rather, 2 split payments on mondays and thursdays which annoys me already. I have not received any money for the last 2 weeks and my CS app says the next payment is $0 and it’s been like that for 2 weeks. why is this happening? and having no live chat help is ridiculous, there are people with social anxiety which makes phoning difficult!

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Keep your eye on your CS app to see when the money drops. Just keep watching it. Payday isn’t too far away. You deserve that cash.

      By the way, I’m being sarcastic. This forum is for people with legitimate issues.

  26. Paul.
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    I am Divorced with 3 children (1 with 0% care and 2 with 50% care). I have just got a new job which pays around $115k a year which is up from $45k last year. I have also remarried, who has applied for permanent residency and lives with me here in NSW along with her 9 year old son (who I both support). She is weeks away from delivering our baby (my 4th and her 2nd). As I just updated my income with CSA I now have to pay in excess of $14k a year plus private school fees (which we entered into when we were together). I was told I do not get any allowance to support my current wife and her son. Is this right or can I fight this assessment? Paying close to $20k a year from my net pay will cripple us going forward. I feel I am better off quiting this new job and going back to factory work as I used to do and that way I pay minimal child support and obtain FTB A+B plus rent assistance. My ex still has over $300k in her account.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Actually, you shouldn’t have updated your income for this financial year. General rule for payers: put in an estimate if income has dropped, otherwise do nothing.

      I hope you estimated income for across the whole financial year, so the estimate should be a lot less than $115k. Put in the correct estimate for this financial year and then stop providing estimates.

      You are open to an application for a Change of Assessment if you go back to lower paying work.

      $115k is the sort of income where the formula fails terribly. You are being charged way too much.

      As I understand it, you can’t get an allowance for your wife and her child. Child support is set up to be about a child’s parents being providers, and not other people.

      But your assessment will improve somewhat after the baby comes along. And you are still better off financially by earning more money.

      As you’ve observed, you’re being given every incentive not to earn a good income. That’s the way the Australian system works (or doesn’t).

    • emma
      | Reply

      try a special circumstances form cs1970 reason 9 or 10 responsibility for another child or adult

      • Paul
        | Reply

        Thanks Emma,

        No luck and in fact, CSA are now proceeding to deduct the support payment directly from my employer. I will be left with $23 per f/n in savings. I am better off leaving my job and dong casual work and obtaining FTB A+B and rent assistance and pay minimal child support.

        • Chloe
          | Reply

          Apply for a COA under Reason 3 – There are extra costs in caring for, educating or training the child(ren) in the way both parents intended. You will need to obtain the signed enrollment form from the school to support this. Or else withdraw the kids from private school.

          Please remember that your children from previous marriage shouldn’t suffer because your family circumstances have changed. I know you have a lot of mouths to feed now. The pressure is huge. but reverting to a minimum wage job to lower your financial obligation to your older kids could appear unkind.

  27. Andy
    | Reply

    Hi ,
    I have 50/50 shared care of my teenage daughters my ex has just had a baby with new partner and has quit work so my Child Support Payments have doubled and she is declaring $0 income. So I’m in effect paying for her new child. Under caring responsibilities would care of a child not part of the assessement count for capacity to earn ? She also recived the family home mortgage free in divorce and new partner is well off so no need to return to work particularliy if I’m paying increased child support. Do you think Reason 8a or 8b would work?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Child Support consider that having a young child justifies a woman staying at home. So she is free to do what she likes.

  28. Luke Miller
    | Reply

    Hi. I’m recently divorced and went through the Federal Court Circuit. My ex wife made an application that our children remain at private school ( Prep and grade 3).
    I objected at court ( as we can’t afford it ) however an interim order was granted that they remain at the private school provided she pay the school fees.
    A final order was made where the interim order that they remain was discharged. Her application was dismissed.

    CSA have since ordered that I pay private school fees post court. Is this legal?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Doesn’t sound like you should have to pay. If the decision to attend private school was solely hers, then you shouldn’t have an obligation to pay. You need to provide relevant evidence if you haven’t already and ask for a review of the decision.

  29. Extra payments
    | Reply

    My ex has just asked me for an additional $3500 (half cost) for our sons school trip next month. I’ve paid her $7800 in child support over the last 18 month which easily covers this cost. I legally have the right to say no to paying her don’t I?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Can’t answer this with such limited info. It depends on your care percentage, what agreements are in place and whether the decision to go ahead with the trip was made by one parent or jointly. Normally, parents can’t demand that the other parent pays for things. Often, some cooperation is needed to ensure kids don’t miss out on things.

  30. Nicole K
    | Reply

    Morning. I have a question. My ex partner has a child support debt owed to me of approx $60,000.00. He refuses to pay until CSA catches up with him and after months/ years (when the find him) garnishees his wages, then he leaves his employment and the chase starts once again. I have received maybe $8k in 19 years ($6k was garnisheed from July 19 – October 19, then he disappeared again). Our daughter is now 19 He hasn’t lodged a tax return since 2007, so his estimates are all ‘provisional’. When he does those tax returns and the CSA provide me with a new estimate of my FTB (for those 12 years) I could potentially end up paying back an overpayment by CSA due to FTB. With him refusing to pay child support and the very low chance of his debt ever being recovered how can I remedy this with CSA? This is a ‘loophole’ that they must address. This has the potential to cause me irreparable and irrecoverable financial damage.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Your question seems to be about Family Tax Benefit rather than child support. I’m not sure how far back the govt would go in regard to FTB re-calculations. But child support debts always remain until they are paid. I would be a little more optimistic about how things will turn out.

  31. May
    | Reply

    Hello,
    I am having an underpaying issue. I have 100% care of my daughter, she only sees her father once per 4-6 weeks. He has underreported his income for the last few years, He does do tax returns, so is currently in arrears $5000 for last year (and will owe $6000+) for this year with the gap between what he owes and what he pays.
    He has just brought a house, and lives very well. He claims he is always broke, but clearly isn’t. He feels it unfair that he has to pay child support so has decided to underpay by $550 per month. He does pay $92.50 (no idea where that number came from) per week, so pays about 45% of what he is supposed to. The issue is that as a student with sporadic part time work, my family tax benefit is heavily impacted by what he ‘should’ be paying rather than what he actually does. I know that the money will one day supposedly be paid, but when? At what stage will the child support agency step up? I have them collecting the payments, so they can see what he owes and how he underpays. Has he found a loophole in underpaying, keeping them happy because he pays something? I feel like the loser here. He pays less, my family tax benefit is lowered, so although I am already on a tight budget and he is able to buy a home, somehow I get the double whammy of less child support as well as less family tax benefit. Is there some way I can either be assessed for family tax benefits on what he pays rather than when he earns or is there a way to enforce him to pay?
    Thanks.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      On a list of problems that people involved with child support encounter, yours is pretty close to the bottom in terms of hurt and pain. On top are people left bankrupt and who never get to see their children. Maybe your ex has a lot to be aggrieved about.

      You’re being given many thousands of dollars for being a parent. I know you want all the money right now, but you may have to wait. Too bad, so sad.

      • May
        | Reply

        I had the luck to have the help of a wonderful community agency earlier in the year when my daughter and I were facing homelessness, They helped us find accomodation we were facing the street. My ex recently brought a luxury home, drives a luxury car, holidays internationally. I scape to afford cheese. You might be dismissive of my issue, but his high income has whittled any assistance I receive right down to nothing. I’m being paid to parent? What choice did I have? My ex refused to help with raising her. We were together 10 years before having her, and 5 years after- I wasn’t expecting to do this on my own. But I have, because he wouldn’t commit to even picking her up from school. I have never been unpleasant towards him, because he is aggressive and can be violent and intimidating. But yeah, the fact that his income went up again, and thus any assistance we receive went down, all while he pays less than half is fine right? My daughter and I are so far under the poverty line that homelessness became an issue- but shut up because people are bankrupt?

      • Cameron
        | Reply

        Shouldn’t you be treating people’s questions with a little more respect? Why are you trying to be the Kyle Sandilands of child support advice?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          Not all behaviour deserves respect. I’m not imitating anyone.

  32. Leah
    | Reply

    Hi I’m a single mum of 3 children and struggling so much financially. I have 65% care where my ex has 35% care. I’ve been the primary carer since they were all born and since our separation. I used to be paid $300 per month child support for all 3 children but my ex who has his own business and own house (almost paid off) said that he hasn’t gotten much work over the last year or so and so his wages dropped to nearly as much as my parenting payment each year. I started back at work part time as a casual earlier this year but I’m still not getting ahead with more than half of my Centrelink benefits going to my rent and with the bare minimum left for bills which gets on top op me very regularly and it’s very stressful but my children are fed every day, taken to school, healthy and loved! Since I started working and I recently updated my estimate wages for the financial year I will now earn approx $12K more than my ex and have no become the parent who has to pay the parent with 35% care child support each month. It’s not a huge amount at $47 per month but already living from pay check to pay check with not a cent left I now have to dig that money out from somewhere too. I pay for 5 days and nights a week for my children plus rent to keep a roof over their heads where my ex is a great dad and all but has his own almost paid off house, I know he makes 3-4 times more a day in wages than I do and even though I’m planning to go back to work full time in February once my youngest starts school, I will then have before and after school care to pay for as well and by making more money again and my ex still on low wages (house is almost paid off so don’t have to work as much), I’m only going to have to pay him even more money each month while being the primary carer. How does that work? How is that fair? I don’t mind working hard and I will do anything and everything to provide for my children but don’t find CSA’s calculations very fair that I have to pay CS when I need that money because I have the children in my care more and struggling to keep my head above water. Thank you.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You’re right Leah. It’s completely unfair that you have to pay child support when you provide so much care. It’s just one of the countless examples of how the current scheme and formula get things wrong. It wouldn’t happen of course if our proposed reforms were implemented.

      Hope your ex’s earnings improve so that he can make a contribution and you get some relief.

  33. Adam
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew, my kids live with my wife and for the last 2 years there has been no contact from them, regarding any matter (ie Court Ordered items such as health updates, schooling etc). I just received the first call in 2 years that my daughter needs a surgery and that my ex wants me to pay for it. I have paid $3,700 per month for many years now, and they have benefited from extensive overseas travel etc. I also gave $10k extra in the settlement to cover the top HBA private health cover that they now dont have. Do I have any rights here? Many thanks.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Adam. That’s a huge amount of child support you are paying.

      This sort of thing can get complicated and you should be careful in how you proceed.

      Point 1: You technically don’t have to pay anything.

      She could, however, effectively force you to pay by applying for a Change of Assessment due to special circumstances. The case would then be reviewed by Child Support and a decision made about whether the Costs of Children should be set higher.

      Another option is to have her agree that any payments you make towards the surgery count towards child support. If you spread these “non-agency payments” out (avoid a large single transfer), they would reduce your child support payments.

  34. Greg
    | Reply

    I commend the advocacy work that you have been doing, and I hope that you will achieve reform, but I am pessimistic given the number of people that are rorting the current system and using their children to generate a comfortable lifestyle.
    Maybe you could publish the child support related policies for each political party? The politicians only care about votes, and if people keep voting for the status quo then nothing changes.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Thanks Greg. But I am quite optimistic. No-one is willing or able to defend the current formula. Some of the current practices (e.g. ignoring court orders) are also essentially indefensible.

      The policies proposed on this site would be simpler, fairer and better for children and the wider community. They would clearly improve on the current situation.

      As far as I can tell, no political party has a substantial policy on child support.

      Politicians are hesitant to get involved in battles between different groups. They just see potential lost votes. But, surely, everybody should be unified on the issue of producing better outcomes for children. Have yet to see any opposition to what’s being proposed. And any opposition would not have strong grounds anyway. How do you defend policies that lead to children being pushed into poverty and losing contact with parents? And why would one want to maintain such a system? I believe, the current scheme is more a product of stupidity than social calculation.

  35. Brenden
    | Reply

    My school aged son lives with his mother and three other siblings, from two other fathers.

    I was never in a defacto or live-in relationship with his mother.

    After he was born, when I refused to let her live with me because she was stalking me, she made a vexatious application for a domestic violence order with encouragement and coaching from an overzealous Legal Aid solicitor.

    I was prohibited from seeing my infant son for 6 months and the CSA garnisheed 100% of his child rearing costs during that time. I had no rights to him whatsoever.

    Fortunately I kept a diary/texts/photos of her harassment which belied her claims, and a high-school girlfriend paid a barrister friend of hers to contest the application and make a counter-application.

    His mother finally withdrew the application in court at the last moment saying afterwards she “just needed time to get over” me.

    I now have him ~20% of the year without a court order.

    The assessments of the other two fathers are so negligible that she doesn’t bother to collect them.

    She receives full single parent welfare while not declaring her significant cash income breeding purebred dogs and buying/selling secondhand furniture, as well as the relationship status with the father of her youngest child with whom she has cohabited continuously for 5 years.

    She steadfastly refuses to contribute to the intercity co-parental driving each fortnight.

    My child support subsidises the lives of the five other people who live with him. I don’t understand how my son is deemed more expensive to raise than his siblings.

    I cannot afford to litigate while paying child support into a household that I’ve never lived in.

    The CSA should never be able to garnishee 100% of a child’s rearing costs on the mother’s word alone, with no onus of proof.

    I believe your “50% care is fair” proposal would go a long way to creating a fairer system.

    Should I dob her in? I’ve hovered over that page so many times! But I also wonder if that would be in his best interest.

    • Irena
      | Reply

      Do you know for sure if the child is yours?? First question I’d be asking, especially since she has other children from various other fathers.

  36. Tom
    | Reply

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    If a payee:

    1) never provides an Estimate of their income

    2) all assessments are based on the payee’s previous year’s tax return

    3) the payee then lodges their latest tax return and their income is 25% higher than the amount used for the previous period’s assessment

    is this higher income reconciled, and is the payer then reimbursed for any overpayment?

    All I can find in the Act is reconciliation when someone has provided an Estimate. But nothing about people who never provide and Estimate and, it seems, can earn as much as they want without fear of reconciliation and repaying overpayments.

    Is that accurate?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Everything happens with a one-year lag. Higher income affects the assessment in the following year (unless income drops and they put in a current estimate).

      • Tom
        | Reply

        HI Andrew,

        Thanks for your reply.

        So if the payee does in fact put in an estimate for a lower amount (which they will, becuse they made a super withdrawal last fin.year wich artificially increased their income, that presumably won’t happen again), does that mean overpayment in the previous period not get reimbursed to the payer ever?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          Correct. There’s a loophole there.

        • Emma
          | Reply

          You can submit a special circumstances assessment form to have the previous years income reviewed

  37. Kal
    | Reply

    Hi,
    We are from another country (say SL) and got Citizenship in Australia. We are separated since 2015 and now divorced. I am paying child support to my ex-wife. I have mentioned on my previous applications to CSA that I believe my ex-wife misuse my child support money and sending to her brother who is living in SL. Few weeks ago I got a trustworthy news from my Sister-in-Law who is living in SL and she said that my ex-wife is sending lots of money to her brother.
    I don’t want my child support money to misuse. I want those money exactly to go towards my kids.
    1. So, is there any way to check my money spend on my kids or not?
    2. Is there any organisation that I can complaint about this?
    3. What is the evidence that they need if any organisation can investigate this?
    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Sorry- Nothing you can do. Child Support do not monitor how child support payments are used.

    • fairyenuff
      | Reply

      Your X has a certain amount of $$. Obviously more $$ than you supply her with. So how can you say it is specifically the $$ you give her that she is sending to SL?? Do you put your initials on them and provide a list of approved expenditure?

      Your request is narcissistic and controlling. If you children are homeless, hungry and barefoot then you have a point but otherwise it seems you are an X for a reason. you think you can make decisions for her

  38. Kylie
    | Reply

    My ex had his wages garnished for years as he refused to pay child support for his eldest child. About six months ago I received a letter saying he had elected to pay child support himself and they had approved this, I let this go as he had a child support amount of $0 per month due to him reporting his income as being extremely low and child support could not prove otherwise. He has now done his tax return and has to pay back pay which is good but he has told me he wont be paying any further payment until he is forced due because I cut contact with him after death threats were made and waited for a court order to let them resume and as such He said that I don’t deserve child support, His child support assessment not only reduces my family tax benefit but also increases my rent. Is there anything I can do to convince csa to garnish his wages as he was already being garnished when the child support assessment for my eldest child he has never defaulted a payment to me, and the child he was initially garnished for an away from home at 14 interstate to get away from the abuse from both her parents he no longer pays child support in that case

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Ultimately, no-one has a choice about whether they pay their child support debts. They never go away. You need to speak to Child Support about whether garnishing his wage is do-able and appropriate. Garnishing just means they take the money directly from his pay rather than waiting for him to pay voluntarily.

  39. Jessica R
    | Reply

    Can my husband be made to pay for private schooling on top of his legal CSA payments? The school requires him to sign the form to enrol the child but he does not agree to pay for this especially since he pays $650 a fortnight in CSA, leaving his current family quite short on money.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – He can be made to pay for 50% of private school fees. I would have thought that signing to enrol indicates agreement for private schooling to happen. He would need written confirmation, before signing the form and possibly with a legal witness, that the other parent is assuming responsibility for fees.

  40. Mary -Anne
    | Reply

    Morning my son lives overseas in USA since 2016 wasn’t working for a year I was supporting him 100% from australia and now has arrears and late penalty payments of $17k to DHS dating back to this time frame, x decided to register it with DHS to collect despite the fact that payments have been made direct to x for a year, theres no record of payments with DHS, so at great time cost my son will now have to produce evidence of same and his 2016/17 tax return says he earned zero income and stuff all in 2017, now he has a new family and a house cars bills etc, getting run around from DHS they say to me he can only claim for his American biologicial 2 year old child and not his step child who he gets no support from the step childs father … how unfair is thatnot to include that in his assessable income??? and if a reason 10, CS4565 form?? was submitted would it be sufficient to reassess. seems x wifes have the power to abandon dhs collecting to go private, but getting that happening is like herding cats, ……………..now here’s the question, I know USA is a reciprocal country , there is no limited or binding child support agreement or parenting order through the courts here, can this assessment be transferred to his resident state in USA and a new order be made over there(their laws are savage) what powers do the resident courts in USA have to enforce this and how long does this take?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I’m doing this voluntarily. Maybe have some consideration and present the facts simply. I’m not an expert on overseas arrangements anyway.

  41. Jaime
    | Reply

    Hi,

    My ex is not currently paying the required child support and is acfruing a debt – what actions are available to ensure this is collected?

    Thanks,

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The debt will be paid eventually. Child Support can do many things, though it depends on what information they have about the parent. For example, they can garnish wages via an employer and even raid bank accounts.

  42. Jason
    | Reply

    Overall I think the proposed system changes you are suggesting are great. It should also assume that costs for parents to maintain a relationship with the children is shared.

    In my case, my ex lives 3000 km away, and is making a good cash income working for her wealthy parents, who also supply her with a house. I have no problem with that, except that she claims she has no income and pays a high level of rent.

    The courts have given interim orders where I must pay virtually all travel and accomodation costs, and must accompany the children every school holidays to visit me (even though they are old enough to travel unaccompanied on airlines). This means I pay 8 airfares each school holidays.

    I travel every month to spend a week with them as well, and must pay airfares, an extra car, storage costs and accomodation.

    My ex even flew through the airport 2 days prior to handover day with the children and insisted that I pay to fly up to collect them 2 days later, rather than making more sensible arrangements.

    She is now wanting to move interstate where it will be even more difficult and expensive for me to visit them, meaning that I will no longer afford to be able visit them as often. This will further increase my child support payable, and I’m already paying over $2300 per month.

    She will not do disclosure to the family court for property settlement, and the case has dragged out for 3 years so far, she has lied to the ATO, and she continues to ignore orders. Because she lives in a rural area, she does not come down to court, but can afford a lawyer to represent her, and want to enrol the children in private schools at $40,000 per year, despite apparently earning less than $5000 per year.

    I have provided payroll reconcilliations demonstrating that she works, but get’s paid in kind (spends money on the company credit card, instead of getting paid wages), but she claims that I made them up, so child support and the AAT have dismissed them as evidence.

    I have been left with 100% of the marital debt, and have banks chasing me for a shortfall in the sale of the marital home.

    If she lived in the same city, I would welcome 50:50 care of the children (I now have about 35:65), but if she really is struggling (which she claims she is), would care for them full time.

    She prevented me from seeing the children for 9 months until I got court orders and threatened to have them enforced by the police.

    The system is broken, and rewards those not doing the right thing.

    In cases where there are high costs of contact with the children, your policy should ensure that there is equal contribution to the contact somehow. The high costs can still be used as a tool to manipulate care percentages as it stands.

  43. Molly
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew

    My partner is now divorced and the child with his (ex) is now 6, he has had no contact whatsoever during this time as they separated before she announced her pregnancy.
    He is having his wages garnished to the tune of $500 per week which means we cannot afford to save or think about a house.
    She wants to legally get 100% sole custody of the child but will that stop child support? Can she actually stop it? He went to mediation and got the certificate to attempt to make contact etc and now she is asking to get solicitors involved so that they can agree legally on him relinquishing his rights as a parent and not have any future contact yet she is happily taking the money each week.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Hi Molly,

      Legal custody, etc doesn’t normally affect child support. Payments just depend on the percentage of nights of care provided by each parent.

      With sole custody, however, there is a danger that the custodial parent makes choices such as private schooling and the payer has no choice but to contribute to that as well (on top of normal payments).

      Child support amounts can be agreed between parents. You need legal sign-off for it to be binding.

  44. Ripped Off
    | Reply

    I have 100% care of the children in our CSA assessment, my ex has a debt of almost $30000, he clearly doesn’t pay 🤦‍♀️
    He grossly underestimated his income in the previous financial year so, as advised by CSA, I applied for a change of assessment. CSA raised his assessment to $45000. He has recently completed his tax return, income of $97000, however CSA claim they can’t back date because they actually made the assessment. They will project forward, however the 2018/2019 financial year is based on an income of $52000 less. One of my children is turning 18 during the next financial year so she drops off CSA and his support also drops. Is there any way that CSA can backdate their poor decision?
    It’s just paperwork anyway, I don’t see any support, the ATO takes any refund for his unpaid taxes, the decision just doesn’t seem right when CSA themselves also grossly underestimated his earning capacity even though I told them what it would be.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The issue here is about paying debts rather than income estimates, or at least it was.

      Underestimating income offers no advantage to a payer when their tax return comes in with a higher amount. So you shouldn’t have applied for a Change of Assessment in the first place.

      Change of Assessments are locked in for a prescribed amount of time, as defined in the decision. But you can appeal against them.

      • Tom
        | Reply

        What about her question: is it true they can’t back date (reconcile), because he did not provide an ESTIMATE of his income rather the assessment was based on a provsional/notional assessment?

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          They won’t revise the income level when the income has been set after everyone has been through a Change of Assessment (COA) process. The COA normally produces a decision that the income level is X amount over a certain period.

  45. Shea Moran
    | Reply

    Hi there.
    I pay child support to my ex for our 16 year old son who decided to go live with Dad 2 years ago. An area of particular angst for me is that the CSA fail to take into account when Dad artificially reduces his income by taking leave without pay for extended European holidays and I wind up effectively paying for it. There should be some rule about unpaid leave for both persons making or in receipt of CSA payments. It’s immoral and very unfair. This year he has decided to only work 4 days a week. He can afford to as his mother left him lots of money in her Will. So even more CSA for me to pay. Capacity to pay or receive should be taken into account, not just taxable income.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      We would go a step further and take receiver income out of the equation altogether. See the “Extra Care Formula” video above.

  46. Matt
    | Reply

    Hi
    Last year my ex gained extra money for holiday care when it was proven even in the information she provided that it doesn’t exist to the extent that she claims .
    She claims they are in it at minimum 4 weeks a year and it was proven that they had only been in care 3 days yet child support still granted it to her .
    She is trying it again this year if they grant it to her again is there anyway I can take it higher as I’ve proven again that it’s completely false claims

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Suggest you try a positive approach. Get in early with a simple statement about the care levels. Include any relevant evidence.

  47. Steve
    | Reply

    Hi, I have been in a private collection agreement, all payments advised by CSA had been adhered to in terms of information they had. Issue is they had me down as a regular care category when it should have been shared , incomes taxes have now all been submitted and adjustments have been made so I am left with an outstanding $940 debt which I am happy to pay but have been given a request of payment for $18k. Orders state shared care, child has been living under those arrangements with evidence… what am I liable to pay ? The fairness of $1k or the $18k claim which is based on wrong care arrangements … what are my rights

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I can’t comment in detail because this depends on case evidence. Child Support may have provisions that require you to notify them if the care level they are using is incorrect. You may be in a tough spot if they advised you of the care level some time ago and you didn’t tell them that it was incorrect until recently. Suggest you gather the evidence (especially correspondence with Child Support) and present your case succinctly to them. You can formally ask for a review (which they will do internally in the first instance) if you believe you have been wronged. Further appeal processes are available, including Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

  48. Leanne
    | Reply

    Hello,

    A friend of mine has separated over a year ago. Not divorced yet. Her ex has recently decided to go on 6 months leave without pay.

    Will that affect the child support amount his has to pay??

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes. Child support is based on taxable income in the previous financial year. So it will eventually have an impact if nothing is done.

  49. Janelle
    | Reply

    I was left with $0 financially from Ex husband finance broker. He does not lodge a tax return. Was assessed at $114 per month. I lodged a change of assessment to enquire about his income. I provided a lot of details to CS. They did not investigate in great detail. The woman told me she couldn’t find anything. So many lies in his statement.
    * He claimed he received no pension – I have evidence in a bank statement – he did – I even have the number.
    *He claimed he received no trust monies – I have bank statement – He did
    * He claimed he could not provide income – He is advertising five years of financial records available to the public on gumtree because he is selling his business.
    *when questioned by CS he offered $1000 per month. After two years he was assessed as yet again a low income earner and back to paying $114 per month. He offered to pay $1000 but CS said no as he doesn’t declare he earns this. I have text message from him threatening me – if I raise an enquiry he’ll ensure my daughter gets nothing. I have alot more to add but don’t want to take up your whole page.
    Bottom line is that income is allowed to be hidden. Must cost the government $$$ – Must be a well-utilised loophole. No point investigating again as it has probably all been moved.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Unfortunate. Child Support seem to be willing to do one Change of Assessment (COA). After the COA expires and, if they have no new income information, they seem to just forget about it.

  50. Max
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you for the information.

    My ex has stopped working as he got a redundancy payout from his previous work. He has now claimed he can’t get another job as the market is bad and has lodged that with CSA so he has stopped paying me immediately. I know his redundancy was around 150k – is there anything I can do? Will CSA look at this or because it is not a regular income there is nothing I can do and I just have to wait for him to return to work (if he ever does).

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Hi Max,

      Your assessment of the situation looks right to me. A large redundancy payout indicates his unemployment was involuntary. That would mean CSA can’t put him on a higher income for child support purposes. And he can stay on his low income indefinitely without child support repercussions.

  51. Danni
    | Reply

    Hi,
    My friend is the main carer of his child. The mother left him and the child and moved away. She only has the child every second weekend (if that) and sometimes upto 1 week in school holidays.
    She is claiming child support from my friend (the main carer of the child) How is this possible??? Shouldn’t he be claiming as he is the main carer and he pays for everything for the child???
    How can I help him to rectify this. The mother doesn’t work so I assume she won’t have to pay child support but why should my friend have to pay when he is the main carer and pays for everything for the child??

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Parents with low care levels (4 or less nights per fortnight) have to pay child support, even if they have a low income. Your friend needs to provide Child Support with evidence of the amounts of care provided.

  52. Kristin
    | Reply

    My Australian husband lived with me and our son, and worked in the USA for the past 15 years. He was earning $5700US per month. I am unable to work due to breast cancer treatment. My husband gave one day’s notice and abandoned us to return to Oz. He quit his job in the US and is back living with his mum in Oz and is not working, claiming he has to care for his mum, who is 93. He is not sending any support at all. How will his child support be assessed?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      This seems like a US matter since that’s where the child lives. It depends on state law.

  53. ML
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    CSA should be between the parents and child children involved not a new child in one parents relationship who’s is being support my the other parent.
    My husband’s ex moved state, doesn’t declare her true income and because she has a child it reduces her income and in turn the payer has to pay for a child that has nothing to do with them.
    Why can’t child support have support by cost to raise a child per year.
    It has nothing to do with income.
    So if the average cost is $6000 per year according to the age,this is adjusted with care arrangements.
    Care should be calculated at 50 /50 as we did not chose for the receiving parent to move or have more children.
    The paying parent always has to chase by way of change of Assesment shouldn’t there be penalties for falsifying income as the payer is paying more than required and never gets the money back.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  54. Graham
    | Reply

    Hi,
    Ex is asking for 50% childcare fees ($855) per month on top of maintenance payments.
    Do I have to pay this if there has been no discussion prior to break up?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Childcare fees should normally be paid by the parent who is putting the child into care during their time as the responsible parent. If the child wasn’t in care, which parent would they be with? That is the person who should pay.

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