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From the Child Support YouTube Channel:

Child Support Recommendations

Family Law Inquiry: Interim Report

When parents ignore court orders

When parents don’t lodge tax returns

50:50 shared care

“Extra Care” formula

1861 Responses

  1. megan jaimes
    | Reply

    hi, my ex and i split when i was 5.5 months pregnant due to violence issues. i dont want him on birth cert or dont want him to see the baby. how can i do this but still receive payments from clink?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The stats overwhelmingly demonstrate that children, on average, do much better when they have their biological father in their life. That’s all I have to say about this.

  2. Daniel Hanggi
    | Reply

    What is the process for lodging a complaint with CSA?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A complaint about what? If it’s a complaint about them or one of their officers, I wouldn’t normally bother as it won’t lead anywhere.

  3. Angie Russell
    | Reply

    I have been divorced since 2010. My ex has never paid any child support for our 4 children. I have rang CSA on numerous occasions to inform them of different places he is working. I have never received a cent, due to the fact he has never done a tax return

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You wouldn’t have this problem if our reform proposals were implemented. Parents should be put at an automatic income level if they do things like failing to lodge tax returns over many years.

  4. P
    | Reply

    I am struggling with my ex not regularly paying child support and that he has had it lowered significantly, while I still pay for full private school fees, full private health insurance and 100% care of the kids (who have just started seeing him for short periods during the day as visits. What are my rights in getting assistance with school fees and private health (especially considering that I am currently paying for him to be on the health care also!). (not to mention that he isn’t allowing financial settlement to occur for our separation also). Thanks.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Private school fee costs can be shared if both parents agreed to the children attending a private school. For example, both parents signing the enrolment form can be used as evidence that the costs should be shared. If the other parent is not contributing, you can apply for a change of assessment (reason 3). The normal cost split is 50/50, though it can be adjusted based on income.

      See here for further details: https://guides.dss.gov.au/child-support-guide/2/6/9

      I believe private health insurance would be considered a choice made by you, meaning you are up for the costs. Stop paying or remove him from the policy if you don’t like it.

  5. Amelia watkins
    | Reply

    Andrew

    Any advice to change csa act so it is fair and equitable where ex is working for family company eating 168,000 with taxable income of just 19,000. He is claiming child support from me. I pay everything for our daughters and have done so for past 10 yrs. I have done coA but told csa are not forensic accountants. The csa system allows financial abuse to continue. Amelia

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      This isn’t an issue Child Support can help you with. You need to get him paying for more things somehow. Isn’t he ashamed not to buy things for his kids?

  6. Lucy
    | Reply

    Hi, what can I do if I’m aware the ex-husband has purposely declared a lower annual tax so he can pay minimal? He has a business and a sharp broker who had always shifted figures. Basically his lifestyle doesn’t match his salary. How can I get this looked at further?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Nothing you can do really. Child Support largely have to accept ATO figures. If you applied for a Change of Assessment, he is unlikely to cooperate enough for them to make a decision in your favour.

  7. Wendy
    | Reply

    Hi
    My ex husband didn’t report that we are 50/50 care and he mention that he is full care.I’m pay more child support and frustrated about that.how I’m going to do?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Just change your care level. You can do that online at my.gov.au. Attach evidence if the matter is disputed.

  8. Mika
    | Reply

    Hi, we have 2 kids age 4 and 6. We have decided one child will stay with dad and the other one will stay with mum. In a case like this, do either of the parents need to pay child support?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – the higher earner will have to pay child support unless (a) no-one contacts Child Support or (b) you make a binding child support agreement that involves no payment.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j79NjB5c9H8

  9. craig moyle
    | Reply

    need some advice
    I have a partner(ex-wife) who has restricted my access to my children to not allowing me to see them at all. She has got them to send me messages that they no longer want to have any contact with me. I have found this extremely disturbing due to two reasons firstly making the kids send me messages to the effect which must be very hard for the kids to deal with and the second being they live in Sydney and I in North Queensland. I have had limited contact with them due to Covid restrictions and to now have that opertunity to see them taken away for no other reason than its a concern to her financially. I am currently having to make payments which I have never missed but now she has sent child services after me to get more money. This will add additional financial stress and make it so much harder for me to afford to get to Sydney to see them.There has been no concideration that I allowed them to move away as she no longer wanted to live up here and I now have no opertunity to have any involvement in being in in their lives. So how do I get access to my kids if the financial burden is to much for me to afford the travel and accommodation in Sydney.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can apply for a Change of Assessment (Reason 1) if your travel costs are more than 5% of your adjusted taxable income.

      The fact that you allowed the mother and kids to move far away could have the kids feeling abandoned by you in some sense. That is something you may want to address quickly.

  10. Michelle
    | Reply

    My husbands ex did not put him on the birth certificate and won’t allow him to see their child. He does not currently pay child support but I am worried that she will try and claim it at a later stage. My question is – can the ex claim child support at any time if she decides to do so?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yep – A parent can apply for child support at any time. Calculations begin from when the claim is first put in.

  11. Michael
    | Reply

    Hi there

    I work as a sole trader doing contract work with my income changing unpredictably each week and tax year. What happens when tax time comes around and my income for the year ends up being less/more than the previous years income meaning that too little/too much child support has been paid? Will I then be in debt and owing child support for the previous year because I earnt more? Will my ex be required to pay back any overpayments if I’ve made less than the previous year meaning I’ve overpaid child support?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      (A) The assessment for the current financial year is based on your tax return for the previous financial year. End of story, except for Part B.

      (B) At any time, you can put in an estimate for the current financial year. The estimate takes effect from when it’s made. Once you’ve done an estimate, the tax return for the previous year is forgotten. Then, if your income turns out to be higher than the estimate, you will be hit with a bill. If it’s lower, too bad, so sad.

      Strategy: Do nothing unless you think your income for the current financial year will be less than last year. In this case, put in a low estimate as early as possible. Save some money for the bill if and when your income comes in higher than the estimate.

  12. Trisha
    | Reply

    Did you name your article on “How To Avoid Child Support Legally” to get a rise out of a bunch of people? What a ridiculous name for it. Although you may somewhat be explaining the facts, why can’t you rename it “What affects your rate of child support?” Or the like? I am the least triggered person out there and even this got my goat. If you’re going to be giving advice to already bitter, angry, emotional, hurt and depressed parents, how about you do it in a non biased way so that it doesn’t sound like you’re trying to get out of something that they contributed to.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      To be honest, avoiding triggering or offending people rates low on my priority list. Thanks for the feedback though.

  13. Elizabeth B
    | Reply

    Hello,
    I am a single full time working mum. My son’s Dad work in the car industry which imvolves every weekend.
    Basically with his base wage and commissions combined he earns nearly double me. He instists that I have our son attend a good school, which I totally agree and adhere to.
    Because if his work circumstances he only has our son one night a week. He picks him up after work on the Saturday night and I drive nearly an hour to then pick him up on Sunday mornings in order for his dad to work.
    He is not able to have him hand the school holidays but rather 5 days for each term and ten days at Christmas.
    Despite earning nearly double my wages I only find myself receiving a little over a hundred a week from him for child support.
    I’m drowning under a the endless school fees, extra curriculum activities, medications, uniforms and everything else. I have moved to a cheaper area and can barely make ends meet. I don’t mean to sound awful but he buys designer label clothes, just bought a new car and eats at restaurants every night where he lives in the city. During covid whilst he was in job keeper I received no payment for literally months. He does lodge his tax returns on time . Am I not seeing something or doing something wrong ?
    I can’t work any harder and really don’t understand the imbalance or how to improve my situation

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The child support formula has a care threshold cliff at 1 day per week. Below this level of care, a payer pays the maximum amount. Above, and payments reduce significantly (and stay the same until you start getting closer to 50/50).

      If he’s right on the threshold, he pays relatively little considering that you provide nearly all the care. That might explain what is going on. You could get him below the threshold. But it would be better for your son if his Dad took on more care (and more of the spending).

      I assume you’re going halves in the school fees.

      This is just one reason why the formula should be fixed.

  14. Jack
    | Reply

    Hi there
    As others and I have mentioned – thank you for the assistance you provide.
    My query is this where one’s income has been set via a CoA process (objection process, run) and advised that any further review / objection would be via AAT – when one submits their income tax return and there is (as can be expected) a variance from the income determined through the CoA process can the Registrar iniatiate an ammendment to the income level they determined. For example if through the CoA process they set one’s income at say 70k and actual income earnt in the period where income was set for CS purposes is say 100k – can s75 be used to initiate a review of the assesment. I note the CSS guide indicates that

    If the Registrar caused the error or substantially contributed to it, the Registrar is more likely to use CSA Act section 75 to correct the assessment rather than the objection process

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      To be honest, I don’t think they would notice the income discrepancy or particularly care. You are now back to automated assessments, with a COA decision locked in and formula assessment after that.

      They could change their decision – as your research indicates – but it is probably unlikely and perhaps they would only be prompted to do so if the other party alerts them.

  15. Anon
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew.

    Happy Easter.

    What time frame must CSA provide a decision for a Change of Assessment in special circumstances application?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Happy Easter to you.

      The legislation only mentions “as quickly as possible” for the timing of when a COA decision must be made.

      They may put in a time period in correspondence. It probably depends on the complexity of the case. Most decisions should be made within about 4 weeks of all information being received.

  16. Nic
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    First, thanks to you and your team for the past help you have given me – you have answered impartially and factually.

    It is awesome that you are able to assess the current system based on science and merits, rather than getting caught up in the sub-human intelligence of the creators, and champions, of the current cockroach-level-brain infested CSA system – It’s just a form of begging by free-loading commies from the higher earners.

    Sad to ask this, but the CSA system is creating ingenious circumventing actions: My question relates to renting a property within the zone of the child’s school in the future – If I rent out my current property to pay for the rent of that future property, is there a way I can avoid the rent received from leasing out my current property from entering the calculations for taxable income?

    I think you are providing a very generous service.
    I am happy to pay a subscription to you if it helps or to contribute to your upkeep of this service.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Thanks Nic. It just makes sense to answer these questions since it can fairly quickly save people time and stress.

      In answer to your question, child support is based on taxable income. If you are earning rental income, that adds to your taxable income. The fact that you also pay rent on another property doesn’t enter the equation.

  17. Mr White.
    | Reply

    Who are you? And what qualifies you to run this particular forum Andrew Lancaster? One would presume that you at least have a degree in law or social sciences.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Ha ha. If was a graduate of law or the writing-based social sciences, I should probably disqualify myself. You need to be solid at maths to do this, and some of the worst examples of dodgy maths have been produced by lawyers and judges. Law is a world unto itself and lawyers and judges seem to think they can make up their own rules, including where they break accounting principles. The law and social science graduates who populate CSA and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal are just as bad.

  18. Ben Hartley
    | Reply

    Seeking advice

    Im curious are assessments meant to change frequently? Since December 2020 My actual required payable amount keeps going over the “Current Assessment” Amount. I do keep paying it however it seems a little backhanded to say that an amount is whats actually payable changes. It makes it very hard to consistently budget. Thx, any advice appreciated.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Assessments can change often. They adjust every time a tax return is submitted, the care % is updated or a Change of Assessment starts or ends. You would have to look at the info provided to see exactly what is going on. You might want to check on my.gov.au that all the info is correct and up to date.

  19. Andrew
    | Reply

    Hi there my new partner has a child to her ex that he doesn’t pay a cent towards a single thing we pay everything and she has a good paying job he works for himself now to lower what he had to pay her but when the calculations where done it turned she was to pay him $45 a week !! I’m not sure how child support could honestly think that Is fair when he doesn’t pay towards anything for his daughter we have her 60% he has her 40%

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yep – ridiculous that your partner should be paying child support. The fact is that the current scheme has parents supporting their ex’s. It’s an “income shares” formula that was unfortunately copied from some US states.

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