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When parents ignore court orders

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2453 Responses

  1. Unfair
    | Reply

    Hi,
    I am wanting to make more parents aware and more importantly, I am wanting to help change this bullshit system. I am a mother of now 3 children. My 2nd child is 13 to whom I pay his father maintenance although we have a 50/50 care arrangement. I am currently on maternity leave from my full-time job at our local hospital. My ex husband (father of my 2nd child) found satisfaction in me paying him child support through my pregnancy and still now paying.. He purposely does NOT want to work although he is quite able to do so Because he receives enough from Centrelink AND my child support! I am so sick of paying for my ex husbands drug and alcohol habit! What an unfair- broken system 😤

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Correct. System rewards bad behaviour and punishes good. You should put in an income estimate ASAP if you expect your taxable income to be lower this financial year than last year (e.g. if you take some extra leave on half pay or something).

  2. Liz
    | Reply

    Hi, the father of my two children has outright refused to pay child support since he put intense pressure on me to have a “private arrangement.” he has not worked and doesn’t receive Centrelink however, oddly enough, the Child support assessment that I received two weeks ago shows his income to be well over $150 000 a year for 2020-2021. I am at a loss with it because I don’t know why they are sending this information to me now and what I can do about it as I have also gotten a debt from Centrelink as they think I have been receiving vast amounts of child support “income” and not declaring it! WTF! Aside from submitting an application to change from the private arrangement to an organised collection and requesting the backpay me what they can, I don’t feel like I have any way to sort this mess out- I am positive he does not have any income, and his family have confirmed this also. I am positive something sketchy is going on here, but according to Centrelink and the ATO, all income amounts are official, so what do I do?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You don’t have to manage your ex. Just control what you can.

      Until you learn otherwise, assume he came into a lot of money in 2020-21. That would have made him liable to pay large amounts during 2021-22 if he didn’t put in an income estimate for that year.

      The move to have Services Australia collect is a good one. If you also tell them that you’ve received nothing from him, they’ll probably accept that you haven’t received anything. He would need to prove otherwise. You could share bank records if they want evidence. Hopefully, they’ll adjust your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A assessment accordingly.

      For collecting unpaid amounts, they can go back 3 months normally or up to 9 months in exceptional circumstances (refer here: https://guides.dss.gov.au/child-support-guide/5/1/4#exceptionalcircs When were you alerted that he was meant to pay you a large amount? The timing could be important.

  3. Brodie
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    I am currently the payer and have been progressively been earning higher income year on year while the payee decided to go back to part time work after we separated.

    Our custody is 50/
    50 however the disparity in income is vast and growing.

    Each year I receive a new income support estimate from CSA and dread the increase I have to pay as I know it isn’t being spent on my daughter.

    One method I have looked at as a double edge sword is a pre-tax salary sacrificied charitable donation.

    Do you know if this pre tax deduction is excluded from your gross income when determining the child support payment?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – you can donate to charity, reduce your assessable income and thereby lower how much child support you’re required to pay. Services Australia don’t add charitable donations back to your adjusted income.

      It’s not complicated. You can simply make a donation to a registered charity, keep the receipt(s) and claim the deduction with your next tax return. See the tips here: https://childsupportaustralia.com/avoid-paying-legally/

      Salary sacrificing means you’ll have more disposable income after making the donation, as opposed to waiting to receive a refund after submitting your tax return.

  4. T
    | Reply

    Hi, I have a partner who has 2 children of his own with his previous partner of 7 years, he financially supported her and his children the whole time, after separation he received a letter of debt, his previous partner told child support they were never together and that he never paid, any help would be appreciated thank you kind regards

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      This seems like a matter of just providing appropriate evidence. Your partner needs to state in simple terms what the care and financial arrangements were and then provide evidence. An affidavit from a witness may be useful, along with emails, text messages, bills and any other relevant documents.

  5. Bonno
    | Reply

    Hi i ensure i lodge my tax and pay my CS monthly as required but i just received an assessment from CSA where it states from Oct 22 im paying 5 x the amount of CS i normally pay …no reason and the calculations dont make sense or add up as neither my nor my ex cicumstances have changed at all both have same income ect so i called CSA and unfortunately got lucifer to dpeak to and asked why they assessed me for 5 x the normal/required amount when neither my or the exs circumstances have changed and given this how they concluded i need to pay 5 x more CS? I also stated how the ex can get away with never having to put a tax return in and CSA are good with a provisional income amount/ info from her when i di all the right things required of me and you CSA harass me for nothing ..this is clearly discrimination and harassment is it not ..how can they lie to lure me into contacting them off the back of fraudulent information from them demand 5 x more money from me based on no reason at all

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Services Australia don’t make up stuff or do things for no reason. Not saying that they’re always fair and reasonable but there is normally some sort of logic behind what they do. I can’t answer this unless you provide more specific information.

  6. Anon
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    I’m in the process of separating and work part-time and my ex is retired and receives a superannuation income stream. He receives over $1000 more than me per fortnight, however, for the last financial year, the taxable element of the income stream is showing as about half of my taxable income. How is child support calculated in this instance? Is the untaxed element and tax free component of his income stream used as part of his annual income amount to calculate child support or just the taxable element? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I believe superannuation payments or drawdowns that don’t count as taxable income also don’t count as income for child support purposes.

      In the information about adjusted taxable income (here: https://guides.dss.gov.au/child-support-guide/2/4/4/10), there appears to be no mention of super payments received.

      The lack of attention to this issue may be for two reasons I can think of: (1) it’s fairly unusual for someone involved in child support to be retired and (2) super is something that you’ve already paid tax on, meaning you should be free to use it however one wants.

      Unsure how an application for a change of assessment would go in this case. Maybe you could ask that he contribute a little more outside of child support, though he may respond that his super has to last for the rest of his life.

  7. Ale
    | Reply

    Hi there,

    I’m currently working out a consent order for property settlement. I’m willing to support my ex partner through spousal maintenance paying half of her rent for a maximum period of 2 years. Would that be considered spousal maintenance?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Spousal maintenance doesn’t directly related to child support. So the question is a little of bounds. Instead of paying half her rent, why don’t you pay a certain cash amount each month and call it spousal maintenance payments? That would be simpler and clearer. You can say it relates to rent if you want but there’s no need for you to stay involved in her rental situation.

  8. David
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew
    I’ve emerged from a protracted and isolating separation from ex wife and 15year old child. I was ambushed a year ago when they decided I was worth 4 nights a YEAR and have been trying to re-establish a relationship with my daughter. Even now it seems to be on their terms.
    Now she is getting older additional items to BFA are popping up (16 year old parties, drivers learner permit and lessons,passports) with a proposal of 50:50 split of costs.
    I’m already paying substantial amounts and feel they want a relationship with my money and not me. I’m very inclined to say additional costs are shared per the level of care…hence 1% me and 99% them.
    Compromised…..

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Well, you don’t have to pay for anything. That’s the starting point. If the mother wants more money in this case, she’ll have to offer something in return.

  9. Baz
    | Reply

    Hi i got a question ?

    What happens to me when the mother of my son has another baby takes time off work. How does that affect my payments i feel i’m going to get screwed over cause she wasn’t working and will have to pay extra or does the income she would get from the other Parent come into it ?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Parents are free to reduce their work hours when new children arrive. And they face no penalty for continuing to do so after the children have started school.

  10. Anon
    | Reply

    A bit of an odd one – why is child support in Australia called child support?

    I’ve gone digging, but cannot for the life of me find out where it is stated that a receipient of child support is obligated to spend that money for the benefit of the child, or on anything at all.

    Is it a relic from some past era when the money was required to be spent for the child’s benefit?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      “Child support” sounds better than “other parent support”. The people who seem most confused about this are politicians and bureaucrats. They love making people pay more child support because they think they’re helping children by getting behind this cause. But the terribly low incomes of parents involved with the child support scheme prove otherwise. Child support tends to make children poorer.

  11. Censer
    | Reply

    Hi,
    I’m wondering if you can advise about late payment penalties.
    When any payment is made on a case with late payment penalties, does the payment first come off the child support debt (i.e. go to the payee) or go towards the LPP? e.g. $300 debt plus $50 LPP. If I pay $100, what does the account look like now? $200 debt plus $50 LPP or $250 debt plus $0 LPP? Or some other method? Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      LPP = Late payment penalty.

      These are payable to the Registrar, not the other parent. You can often have them removed if you do a deal with the debt collection people at the Dept of Social Services.

  12. Dan
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew I’m paying child support but only half of what I got assessed because I cannot afford it, my child is in Philippines and I’m planning to visit her this year. Would Child Support issue DPO even though my destination is the country where my child lives. Im paying monthly but still have arrears as I only send what I can afford.

  13. anon
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew thanks for your forum.

    I wanted to share something with everybody.

    this article appeared in the newspaper in April.

    Baby bust: Victoria’s birth rate hovers near its lowest in history

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/baby-bust-victoria-s-birth-rate-hovers-near-its-lowest-in-history-20220413-p5ad49.html

    The author of the article does not recognise that parents who are financially, emotionally, physically able to have children are not having children after their first child was stolen from them for example my case in point.

    The author is avoiding this issue – I’m not sure whether it is intentional or it was a genuine and innocent omission.

    But in my case after my child was stolen by the woman and by the enabling woke political class of Australia, I will not have anymore children nor will I take on another man’s seed. I’m avoiding being step daddy at all costs.

    I recommend to all men not to be step daddy’s under the current woke political and legal system.

    With due respect to the genuine traditional women and men out there – men, don’t become step daddy’s, until women themselves takedown the family court one brick at a time, abolish no fault divorce and change the legal system to make it patriarchal, as it has been for all of human history.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Being raised by a single mother is often damaging for children. That’s just a fact that numerous studies have shown. I also think you’re right that this phenomenon may contribute to lower birth rates overall. Men are too easily discarded and exploited these days. Comes down to a lack of respect for what men contribute, are capable of, and deserve in terms of equal rights.

  14. Jim
    | Reply

    HI Andrew
    Do you think the alternative calculation will ever be adopted by child support ?. Also I’m a health care worker who has worked many extra shifts because of staff shortages and covid a hospitals being at breaking point. My income for the last financial years includes quite a bit of overtime. Would this allow me to change of assessment for last financial year considering my income is higher because of the health crisis.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I’m actually waiting for super-intelligent AI to take over the government and introduce a new formula. I bet it will look a lot closer to what we’ve proposed than what’s there at the moment. In other words, I wouldn’t bank on reform happening any time soon.

  15. Anon
    | Reply

    I have been advised from a source my ex who I pay full child support to is doing cash in hands job so this won’t go on her tax return. I can’t get evidence so is there nothing I can do whatsoever? she looking around $100 a day 5 days a week

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Correct – there’s nothing you can do about her undeclared income.

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