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From the Child Support YouTube Channel:

When parents ignore court orders

When parents don’t lodge tax returns

50:50 shared care

“Extra Care” formula

1334 Responses

  1. Bella
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    I have 100% care and full parental responsibility for my 3 children. We have been in the court system for 4 years and have finally had final orders for parenting and financials. Since I applied for child support my ex husband (with 2 degrees and a masters) has chosen to not work and, more recently, open a business that is mostly cash in hand to avoid being assessed to pay me anything. This is part of his continued abuse (financial, the only one he has left).
    I have struggled immensely to pay for ALL the childrens needs as well as the court process. I have worked full time at a low paying job and juggled preschool, and before and after school care as well as supporting my children emotionally in the aftermath of our divorce. I am now studying and on the SPP.
    I am totally confused as to how my ex has been assessed to only pay $8 a week for 3 children?! If this is correct (which it is because I have already had it reviewed) then how can it be legal? Why is he not accruing a debt for the standard minimum (which i believe is around $50 per child per week?) until he has the funds to pay for it? His family are very wealthy but have also cut the children out so there will be nothing left for them in the will. He lives in a house with a pool by the beach while I am struggling to cope with all the demands of single parenting. I am fine with most of it because they are happier and safer without him, but I DO NOT understand how he can bring 3 children into this world and not be made to pay for them, either now or retrospectively. In our financial settlement I had to pay him to keep the family home, why did CSA not with hold money for payments to support his kids? When he inherits money he will be a millionaire so he is just going to sit and wait for that while i pay for everything. Is there an option to sue for back payments for child support at half the average yearly cost to raise a child from date of seperation, or even child support application to their turning 18? If so why not, and how do we change this so that all the mothers who are solely supporting their children are compensated for the costs regardless of when the other party has the money to do so? Why can this not be an automatic process? How can we change public policy around the parents that leave children to be raised by lesser skilled parents who suffer not only financially but struggle with it emotionally and mentally. I simply can not understand how this is fair and legal?!? Can you please try and explain? 🙁
    Thanks for this page, I needed to see there are others with issues too, whatever they may be.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You’re so keen on presenting your case as the “victim” that I’m not really sure what the question is. I presume you did will out of the divorce in terms of the asset split – you have the family home now for example. And I’m not sure how the future deceased estate of the grandparents comes into it. Honestly, this is not the place for sob stories. Everyone has challenges to endure and an individual attitude ultimately determines how a person fares.

  2. Richard Nichols
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    I have two daughters aged 14 and 17 and there are two separate instances of dishonesty for monetary gains by their mother.
    Firstly-
    I have had my now 14 year old daughter in my full time care for the past 3 years. During this time I did not receive any financial assistance from her mother, even though she (the mother)began a teaching position over 12 months ago. Now my daughter has gone back to live with her mother and I have been hit excessively from Child Support (please note in the years before I had my daughter in my care I never missed a child support payment and hold my head high in supporting my children). As we live in separate states her mother now has100% care, which puts me in the highest paying bracket and I am more than willing to accept this. Where I am failing to see the fairness is,the children’s mother has not declared that she is working and it states on the child support documentation that she only receives a single parent payment. So therefore she is not only getting the maximum from me, but unfairly claiming more government assistance than she is actually entitled to. The child support agency is able to garnishee my wage, yet any information regarding her dishonesty I must prove and they take her word regardless. This is one of numerous cases where the mother of our children has lied and gained money falsely and she seems to have the system worked out to her advantage regardless of how it impacts others lives.
    Our eldest daughter is 17 and has lived with her maternal grandmother for the past 14 months, the child support I was paying our children’s mother did not get passed on to my 17 yo daughter and she effectively went without. Once again child support believed her (the mother) when she claimed to be supporting our 17 yo despite the clear and obvious evidence I gave to show differently. Thankfully my 17 yo daughter is now claiming her own government money independently.
    Surely there could be some system to highlight the pattern of dishonesty? The moment money is required from me I am contacted and ordered to pay immediately, yet she is able to lie and there seems little that I can do or that is willing to be done. What is your advise here? Anything will be gratefully recurved.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Frankly, I think you need to let a lot of this go as there’s not much you can do. Child Support don’t keep a score on who is honest and who has been lying.

      The main way a parent can bring the other parent to account is by applying for a Change of Assessment. This may not work in your case. It’s an administrative process and Child Support would not be inclined to adjust someone’s income without clear evidence of how much income is going undeclared.

  3. Distressed
    | Reply

    Hi I’ve just realised that child support are making me pay more than 100% of the private school fees. Can they do this?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I believe they can charge for more than 100% of school fees if they made a Change of Assessment based on an estimate of the likely fees. COA decisions are locked in unless an appeal against the decision is made (in which case, the process is essentially repeated).

      • Distressed
        | Reply

        Hi Andrew. The in excess of the 100% fees relates to a back date already passed. They’ve decided that I had to pay the entire school fees and added on what my ex was in arrears on top of that.

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          I disagree with the decision they made but they have the power to do it. Child Support have wide powers on these matters. They can take into account the capacity of each parent to pay for things for example. Seems like anyone with money has little protection from their sticky fingers. Here, it looks like they consider the outstanding fees something you were meant to be paying for and which you have also the capacity to cover during the assessment period.

  4. Ashleigh
    | Reply

    Hello,
    My daughter recently started high school and I’m now paying school fees. How likely would I be to receive an increase in child support if I requested a new assessment? She attended a public primary school not private, I have no written proof her dad agreed for her to go to this school, he never signed anything saying he wanted it, nor did he sign the enrollment forms. He did come to the interview and orientation day to support her, but is that the same as agreeing to her going? Any advice here would be greatly appreciated as money is a very touchy subject and I don’t want to start anything if payments will most likely stay the same.
    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Personally, I think your case is weak, though Child Support may have a different take. Here’s what the website says:

      “Where a parent has not agreed to the child attending a private school they will not be liable to contribute to the fees unless there are reasons relating to the child’s welfare that mean that the child should attend a private school.”

      • Ashleigh
        | Reply

        That’s what I thought as well, I won’t bother. Thank you for your reply, it made my decision much easier.

  5. Anon
    | Reply

    I currently pay 1700 a month to my ex for one child. She moved in with her boyfriend a year ago and only pays for groceries, no rent or utilities (my child admitted this to me). She also earns rental income on her property as well as centrelink benefits. I know she hasn’t declared her rental income to either centrelink or CSA. I called CSA and advised them of this and they said that they cant do anything unless I submit a COA and she gets a full copy of that……to me this feels like a breach of privacy. Does my ex need to see it all? Also they advised they cannot force her to disclose her rental income, its totally upto her. I dont see how this is fair.

    I recieved a termination payment this year (which will not reflect my income next year). Will they make me back date payments with an increase since the termination? Will I need to submit a change of income immediately after lodging my tax return this year 20/21 as my income will be no where near as high as 19/20.

    It seems as though this system is bias toward the mother and I am struggling to see how CSA allow this to happen.

    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I can understand your frustrations. I would consider going ahead with the COA if you have the energy as you might get something out of it.

      You could submit evidence in your application that she owns the property. Use market information on the likely rental income given the location, property value and number of bedrooms (e.g. look up current “for rent” listings in the area). Submit a high estimate of rental income based on market evidence (to encourage her to respond). If she chooses not to cooperate, the info you provide will be all that Child Support have. If they find in your favour, they could possibly use your estimate. Make it simple as they tend to be lawyers rather than accountants.

      Yes – submit an income estimate next financial year ASAP. You need to claim an income drop of at least 15%. I’d try to do it on 2 July but you may have to do your tax return first to present a stronger case of reduced income.

  6. Anon
    | Reply

    Dear Child Support Australia: I have 38% care of my eight year old son. I have already cut down many of my expenses such as landline, home internet, Foxtel, gym membership and taking public transport vs car for long distance work journeys. I wish to downsize to save more. It is likely I would save approximately $200,000. Can the Child Support Agency come after this cash or tax it? My ex would infer that I had these savings due to the swap to a ‘poorer’ suburb. Thank you in anticipation.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Child Support is based on income and not assets. You should not be penalised for accumulating savings, including by selling your home and downsizing.

      Assets can be taken into account in a Change of Assessment review (if one parent applies for a COA) but, as already stated, the focus is more on income.

  7. Chris
    | Reply

    Hi, how can I find out if there is a child support order or letter? I believe my ex will put an old address and phone number (as she did similar stuff before) so I go into debt and I was not aware how much I needed to pay child support or anything that I’ve sent her in private so far It’s not going to be credited

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You would have to contact Child Support and ask if there is a case involving you. Be prepared for a long wait on the phone and you may have send them proof of identity. Document what financial support you are providing by sending emails to your ex outlining what each payment is for (preferably before each payment is made).

  8. Kim
    | Reply

    Sorry if this has already been answered. My ex has informed me that he is going to drop his hours and go part time and I should be prepared for a lot less child support. Can he just do this?
    Also 2 of our 3 children are in catholic primary schools and they were always going to move on to the catholic high school. He has now informed me that he no longer will agree for them to go to the catholic high school or sign papers for our 3 to go to the catholic primary school as he is not paying fees and wants them at the public school. I have a doc that we both signed that just states we will both pay 1/2 of the children’s school fees to the catholic education office. Can I sign them up to the catholic high school and use that doc he signed to get child support to doc his wage for the fees? Or will this become a court battle?
    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Child Support can intervene and help you out with both these things at the appropriate time. You apply for a Change of Assessment and they will review both his income and the issue of school fees (nominate multiple reasons when completing the application form). You are on firm ground. Maybe you could let him know that things will probably get messy and he will lose if he insists on dropping his income and bailing on fees.

  9. Drew
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    My ex is the primary carer (9 nights per fortnight), of our 3 children and recently switched from a part-time government job to full time. Her gross pay therefore has increased by about 40%, given she has gone from 3 days to 5 days per week.
    My question is whether she has any obligation to contact Child support to notify them of a change in her circumstances…ie now earning 40% more than last years assessment income ??
    I know as the payer I would be obligated to notify with such a significant jump if it was my income jumping up by 40%.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      My advice to everyone is don’t bother to tell Child Support when your income goes up (except perhaps if you have already provided an estimate for the current year). The income increase will flow into the assessment for the following financial year automatically. Never heard of penalties for simply not informing them of a pay rise.

  10. JC
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank god there are people like yourself giving good advice to a lot of us out here who are just confused and dumbfounded by the system. My situation is as follows. I currently have 42% care of my 3 kids (10, 8 and 4 year old). My ex (an NZ citizen on a temporary VISA) is now wanting to increase her percentage time and has subsequently reduced her hours (she is a nurse and has the ability to work how much she wants – they always need extra people and she has taken extra shifts numerous times). She recieved the house during the property settlement, although she must be recieving extra ‘income’ from somewhere to help pay the mortgage (i belive this could be money from her parents or NZ based assets – see below). I pay the required CS and also 60% of private school fees, sports registrations, etc. because i earn more than her (80,000 vs. 60,000 p.a.). She is trying to force me into giving her extra care, something that is seeing us go to mediation (i will be pushing for 50:50 care). She has multiple assests (property and shares) over in NZ, contained in a Trust of which she is a a director. The kids are the benefactors. She definitely does not declare this in her AU tax return. My questions are:

    Can the CSA force me to pay more CS (at 50:50), even if she has the ability to work and is choosing not to?

    Also, how do CSA view her NZ assests and dividends in the Trust? These might be supporting her but they are more than likely not disclosed on her AU tax return.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks..

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I’ve written before about COA reviews based on a parent voluntarily reducing their income without good reason and with likely partial intent to affect child support. You can apply for a Change of Assessment (Reason 8) to have her income set to its previous level for a period of time. Otherwise, you will simply have to pay more. Paperwork involved.

      Assets can be factored in during a COA review, though difficult to do – especially if you don’t supply Child Support with concrete info.

  11. Jason
    | Reply

    Hi,
    My ex currently cares for our 2 kids for 8 nights per fortnight (I have them for the other 6). She is also living in one our former rental property which has a mortgage on it under both our names. I’m living in our former main residence which has also has a mortgage on it under both our names. I am stuck paying for these mortgage payments (plus shire rates on both properties). She is not working and currently receiving Centrelink parenting payments and also the child support I’m paying (about $350 per fortnight). I have been advised I may be able to reduce my child support payments through a COA because I am paying her debts. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A Change of Assessment review may work. But you may be leaving yourself open to the whims of the review officer if you don’t have solid agreements in place over who is meant to be paying for what. Selling properties may be the best long term solution. Can’t comment further because don’t know the situation well enough.

  12. LM
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew. Do you know how commonly change of assessments are overturned during an Internal review through CSA? Ie does it occur very often?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      If someone in Child Support has made a decision, usually the decision will be upheld by the next person in a review. There’s some stats on this in some annual report somewhere. Decisions can be overturned though.

  13. Nerine Rogers
    | Reply

    GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM UNFAIR FOR PEOPLE NOT RECIEVING CHILD SUPPORT. My ex had not lodge a tax return for 3 years and owed $4000 in arrears of child support. He lodge a tax return in January and I received his tax return for outstanding child support payment…. YEAH FINALLY, NOT!!! Only to get a letter from centrelink dropping my family assistance payment because I recieved a lump sump payment. I have not claimed through centerlink that I was not getting child support as I didn’t want a debt when he payed… I have been told by child support their is a glitch in the system that centerlink does not see it as back payment, they see it as a lump sum… so for 3 years I busted my arse raising 4 kids without child support and when he finally pays my payments drop $160 a fortnight from centrelink… If he had payed on time my payments would not of dropped… so I loose out around $2000… A kick in the guys when you bust yourself to provide then get penalised for yout exs actions

  14. Regina
    | Reply

    Hi, I currently pay child support as my ex has the kids full time. However, when we first separated and I had the kids full time he refused to pay child support. Is there anything I can do?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Child support can only be collected from the time someone applies for it.

  15. BB
    | Reply

    I have just received letter saying I have to continue child support even though my daughter has turned 18 as she is doing year 12 (she stayed away from school when she should have been attending in previous years). I don’t have a problem with this however she is either home schooled or doing correspondence school (not going to regular school) & I don’t have any proof that she will even be studying. Her mother works full time so is not really home to supervise schooling. Child support said it was non of my business how she is doing her schooling – I am paying nearly $600 per fortnight. She also wants to do a cert at a private college (online) whilst doing year 12 and has asked for nearly $3000 for the course. Do I have any rights to ask for course details especially for year 12 and to monitor progress of her schooling? I am concerned that she may not pass this year (or just not do the work) and want to redo year 12 again next year and I will have to continue paying child support. The child support goes into my daughter’s account and not ex partner’s account (as requested by her mother).

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I believe child support only continues past 18 if the “child” is 17 at the beginning of the year and continues schooling. So, it will stop by the end of the school year.

      Child support services are there for transferring money, not to help one parent gain information about children or others.

  16. Hayle
    | Reply

    Hi. My 12 year old son is turning 13 in July, 2020. CS assessment has recently changed from $900 monthly to $36 monthly. Fortunately I have been receiving $80 – $120 per week unlike the latest CS assessment.
    I have no idea how he estimated his annual imcome like $20000 that is half of my own (I work 4 days a week) and my ex works on weekends occasionally. My son sometimes gets picked up by his partner and not being fed until his dad comes home.
    I’m afraid now that this current CS assessment affecting me to buy our secure unit. Do I have right to request new CS assessment?
    Thanks

  17. Phil
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    As a paying parent of two beautiful little girls (in 50/50 care) whose ex self admittedly ‘doesn’t want to work fulltime’ and is currently not working at all, I definitely agree with the ideas put forward by this website for a change to the formula as a extra care payment as a means to encourage productivity rather than laziness on part of the receiver, and not punishing a ‘high earner’. I am wondering though, without sounding too pessimistic, how much traction does this idea have amongst our parliamentarians? Is there anything being done, or that can be done other than subscribing to a YouTube channel? I think the current system definetely encourages a race to the bottom, I myself even briefly considered walking away from a relatively high income job as the cs payments were excessive and crushing me financially when added to the mortgage and loans that I was left to solely deal with upon relationship breakdown even with 50/50 care. Thankfully I saw the light on this and continues to earn and provide the best life I can for my kids, but the nature of the current system nearly sent me the other way.
    What is being done?
    What can be done?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I’m hopeful something will come out of the current Family Law Inquiry. Based on the first hearing, no-one in the bureaucracy seems aware of the potential for reform. But that could quickly be fixed with some leadership from the committee.

  18. Joe
    | Reply

    Hi, I am looking for information please. I have shared custody and parental responsibility of my daughter (50/50). I also pay a lot of maintenance to my child’s mother, as she chooses not to work… my daughter is almost 13, and is in high school. I have been notified by CSA that when my daughter turns 13, my maintenance will increase almost $200 more per month, as the cost of living for a teenager is more. This infuriates me… I care for my daughter the same amount of time, if not more, I pay for my half of private school fees, cover the private health, pay for sporting fees, paying a mortgage etc… and I can’t even convince the mother to cover half the costs of my daughters braces. Why do I need to cover my daughters mothers financial burdens to raise our daughter when I also have to cover mine? She has two other children, is re partnered and her other children are in day care. Can a person’s “ability to work” be taken into consideration when they are choosing not to work, I believe just to receive the top amount of maintenance from me. I also have reason to believe that she is claiming to be a single parent when it is for fact that she is not. My daughter asks her mother for simple things she requires… contact paper for school books for example and the mother responds by saying, I don’t have money, go ask your dad when your at his house.

    Advice would be appreciated.
    Thank-you
    Joe

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Our policy position that we have put to the Government is that no child support should be payable when care is shared 50:50. Your situation highlights just how ridiculous and unfair the current scheme is.

      “Ability to work” only comes into it if the parent was recently employed and chose to reduce their income.

  19. Michael
    | Reply

    Hello,

    After 1hr 4mins (I’m still on hold) waiting for someone to answer the phone at Centrelink I thought I would seek help online here.

    I currently have my son 4 nights a fortnight and this is increase to 5 in April, with further increases to come.

    My ex was a high income earner and has the capacity to earn a high income. I believe she was made redundant around July last year (2019) but may have recieved a package until about November.

    I have check my centrelink assessment today and noted that my assestment has increase 400% an listed her income as showing as zero.

    However she has capacity to earn and I don’t think she has made any effort to secure new employment.

    I have read extensively on the rules relating to capacity to earn. I believe she could easily find new employment.

    What I cannot find any information on is how long from ceasing employment can she list her income as zero before I can inquire with Child Support about why she is not choosing to work.

    I would appreciate any advice you could provide. This is all very stressful

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      There’s probably little you can do since she was made unemployed involuntarily. I wouldn’t bother with this quite frankly. It will not lead anywhere.

  20. CB
    | Reply

    I’ve been in hospital for 2 admissions a week apart for a week each. My ex husband over the last 5 years has requested 15-18 new assessments, in order to stop
    Payments. I have yet to receive this months payment. I’ve been on hold 3 time for over an hour with CSA to talk to an operator but the calls just drop. Im afraid my ex husband has just been allowed to request another new assessment. There’s been no change of care, he’s only had our daughter a few extra days, his wages are garnished however I still haven’t received the payment for last month, which Helps pay the rent and buys the food for this next fortnight. Shouldn’t CSA be contacting me when he requests a new assessment? As there has been no change of care. I’m extremely stressed about this. Thank you.

    • CB
      | Reply

      Also, just to add to my concerns, the myGov CSA website won’t load anything but the landing page.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Chasing up your ex is not your problem. You may have money worries but you should be focusing your energies elsewhere.

  21. Damien Cleary
    | Reply

    Hello,

    Ive been trying to call for several days and after 5 hours plus of being on hold and listening to music, please advise of another method of contact. Basically I have overpaid and need someone to tell me my options.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can put your phone on speaker while on hold and do other things. You can upload documents on my.gov.au

      Not sure if you have any options after overpaying. Child Support take the view that it’s already “gone to the child”. Depends on the form of overpayment. Always just pay the exact amount on the due date.

  22. MICHAEL G MCGOOKIN
    | Reply

    I’ve had 100% care of my daughter for over 12yrs. The mother has remarried and has 3 more kids under 7yrs old. Husband works and mother doesn’t. In the 12yrs, I have not recieved a single cent and currently I’m owed over $20,000. When I speak to CSA, I’m told that she has not lodged a tax return for at least 7yrs and they cant trace her because they dont know her address or phone number. I have supplied them with her centrelink reference number, bank account numbers, married and unmarried surnames but they then ask for her phone number and address which my daughter does know, but i dont think a child should be the one doing the CSA’s detective work.
    I have another child which I have always paid CS for, and just recently for the first time required centrelink. From my first payment, CSA has deducted money for this child without any form of contact or notification to me that this would be happening.
    If they can garnish my unemployment benefit, can they not do so to my daughters mother. Is there an ombudsman for CS or what steps do you recommend.
    Look forward to your reply.
    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      They clearly have double standards for mothers and fathers – mothers often left alone but fast measures to get money off fathers.

      Why not just give them the address and phone number if you have them? I would try to get them to cooperate by being nice on the phone, asking questions about the debt and offering to help in any way you can. Complaining may be a waste of time. It’s water off a duck’s back for Child Support.

  23. Lana
    | Reply

    My child’s father lives in the USA and is a citizen. He is the Vice President of his fathers multi million dollar company. He told me years ago he would lie about his income as to not pay me hardly anything. I have 100% care of our child. His father pays him through his salary so my ex only states he earns minimal. Is there a way I could challenge this? I tried years ago but was told the CSA can’t prove that?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You would need to get solid evidence yourself, which could be difficult or impossible.

    • Looking after children is more than financial
      | Reply

      This is clearly a men’s only site, coming from the perspective of a man only. Many facts are missing… probably as many missing as the billions of dollars Men owe in child support!

      • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
        | Reply

        It’s actually a site created for the benefit of children. Have you ever thought about the billions of dollars women receive? And how about the billions they don’t earn? The median income of a child support recipient is below the self-support amount. You see, all sorts of different perspectives are possible when you focus on helping children instead of bashing one gender.

  24. HM
    | Reply

    My ex has halved her income in Mar 2019 by changing jobs and now opening her own business. I am currently paying CS based on her estimated income due to the change (doubled the CS amount).She has not submitted her 2019 tax return.
    Can I complete a change of assessment form and ask for an income review on her ? She has much money and assets tied up in the business, such as buying the business and stock, will this be taken into consideration ? How long is she allowed to estimate her income for, eg why can it still be an estimate for the current year ? I also believe she is not declaring all the income through the business (ie cash work) to ensure her estimate stays low to benefit from CS payments.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – You can apply for a change of assessment. Fill in the form to do so. You’ll need to provide evidence to help the reviewer conclude that your ex’s decision to start a business was, at least in part, motivated by a desire to affect child support.

  25. P
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew, I have just separated from my husband and am trying to wrap my head around all the information on custody and child support. From my understanding, please correct me if I am wrong,
    1. the primary carer who takes care of the children more nights needs to pay more, including basic living expenses such as education, medical, dental, childcare, housing expenses, etc. But the person who don’t want to look after the children and only wants to see them once or twice a week pays near to nothing?

    I make more than my husband because I report my tax honestly (I am not a lawyer). He owns his own law firm yet reports an annual income of $42000. On this income the child support calculator is giving me an estimation of him paying me $18 a week for two kids. Meanwhile, I must work in order to support my children and put a roof over their head and supply everything they need because their father refuse to buy them anything. And in order for me to work, I must put them in childcare which will cost me at least $1600 a month. Is the system trying to punish the responsible parent??? I hardly see my children during the week because by the time I can pick them up from afterschool care, I get them home, fed, showered, read a book then its bed time. I get the most 2.5hrs with them every night only. And may be an hour in the morning before they head to before school care again.
    Why don’t I just let him have the kids during the week and he can deal with all the pick up/drop off/lunch packing/homework doing/school meetings and I’ll just have them for the weekend? Then not only I get to spend actual time with my children for two whole days, I only need to pay $18!!! Oh I forgot, he doesn’t want them and doesn’t have a place for them to live. They must sleep in his bedroom floor when they go over because he choose to live with his parents so he doesn’t have to pay rent.

    How is this fair?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      We’re hoping to fix these sorts of problems by getting the child support formula changed (see home page).

      Who actually pays for what is always up to the parents to work out. Suggest you send the kids round to his place with just the clothes on their back.

      Marrying a lawyer was a mistake. They get worse with age too.

  26. LM
    | Reply

    I recently had a call from child support about back pay for a change of assessment ( private school fees). The lady who called me suggested that I not pay my electricity bill to make the back payments. The change of assessment is currently under review. Is this normal behaviour? Will child support knowingly put me in a position where I can not pay for essential services to back pay the luxury of private schooling?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Yes – They will put you in a position where you cannot pay for essential services. They do it routinely, even to parents with significant care time.

  27. MR
    | Reply

    Hi,
    We have just found out the ex is disputing the care percentage. We may owe money, as we may have accidentally underpaid child support. We have no issue in paying if anything is owed. However we would like to know how far back will they potentially charge us for the change in care percentage ( It may be 12 – 18 months) or from when csa were notified ? Just trying to prepare ourselves in advance. Also what options will we have for paying the money as we don’t have the funds for an upfront lump sum or a significant increase in our fortnightly payments.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Any debt should only go as far back as when Child Support were notified of the change in care level. It is up to a parent to notify Child Support when their care level increases.

      If you have a sizeable debt with Child Support, you can normally negotiate with one of their debt collection people to pay it off over a period of time. They are inclined to waive fees and interest if the payer makes a genuine effort to pay debt off quickly.

  28. Jason
    | Reply

    My oldest son has just come to my care after his mother sent me an SMS saying she “cant handle him anymore” so for the second time I immediately agreed to take him in, of course, no hesitation. Only to find out 2 sickening things:
    1. My son is angry because he watched his mother spend almost $3000 of a $4000 lump sum child support payment be used for tattoos for his mother and her new partner and a $1000 piece of jewelry while he misses out on simple things. He’s 14 and not stupid. No wonder hes angry.
    2. Even though my son is living with me I was told by a child support representitive I would still be paying the full amount to their mother…no change.

    So, Im not only paying for her jewelry, tattoos and alcohol, Im paying her for our oldest son who is in my care. To add MORE insult to injury, she is also cheating centrelink, recieving thousands of dollars a fortnight for single parent, while clearly in a relationship with a partner who is working (they have two children of their own and live together).
    All this while I am working 50 hrs a week and can barely pay my rent and taking care of our 14 yr old son.

    I need help, I know there is no help. My life and the life of my two sons is being destroyed by a person who has no conscience, and an agency (CSA) that essentially supports male suicide.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I don’t see why you should be required to pay child support if your son is living with you. Inform Child Support of a change in care level as soon as possible. You can do this online at my.gov.au. I also recommend that you document the care change in a simple Word document and indicate that the change is ongoing. Then turn this into an affidavit by signing it in front of a Justice of the Peace (you might find one at your local police station). Child Support should recognise the care level change — either immediately or with a delay if there is a conflicting court order.

  29. Liza beth
    | Reply

    Hello, I need some advice.
    I am the paying parent.
    My exe owns his home but has had trouble with the tenants renting it who haven’t been paying him rent.
    He bought a house recently too not sure how.
    He has taken our son on holidays overseas. He has done earthworks on his property.
    He claims that he is borrowing the money for these things.
    His income estimate seems very low considering all these details.
    I’m considering a change of assessment process.
    My question is, is it enough for my ex to just say his income estimate is legitimately low but he just had family support to borrow money? Would his low estimate be recalculated given these factors?
    Thanks

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A lot of info here but not enough for me to understand the case properly. Holidays, loans from others, etc aren’t really relevant. There are specific, detailed criteria that you have to address when applying for a change of assessment. Any income estimate by a parent is only provisional until the tax return is completed for the particular financial year. Change of Assessments generally refer back to past earnings in cases where income has dropped and the drop is deemed to be illegitimate – i.e. current income is set to the higher historical level for the parent.

  30. Ted
    | Reply

    Hi,

    I have 50/50 court orders for shared custody of 2 kids. I have always been the primary carer of both children who have special needs. This is supported by letters from several doctors. Despite court orders, kids spend most of the time with me as they don’t want to be with their mother.

    My ex is leading a double life of pretending to be poor and claiming benefits while having substantial hidden assets overseas which bring her over $7K per month in rental return. She has not disclosed this to any government authorities but I have copies of some of her bank statements, title deeds and other materials.

    Currently, I am the one paying her child support as she has not disclosed her assets, despite kids living with me and me taking care of them. What is the best way to disclose her assets to Child Support Agency discreetly, as some latest bank statements have been brought to me my kids, from her place? I don’t want to be accused of doing something illegally.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Ted – You may be surprised to know that Child Support care about actual care arrangements rather than court orders (though we’re lobbying for this to be changed). Although you may have to wait a bit, the actual care arrangements will be recognised. You need to tell Child Support what the normal care arrangements are (and have some evidence to back that up given you are a male and Child Support normally believe females over males).

      Also, be aware that Child Support are not a detective agency. They won’t be responsive to claims of extra assets, earnings, etc. Ultimately, taxable income is what is plugged into the formula and they need a concrete assessment of that.

    • David
      | Reply

      If my ex-wife has finally gone to work (with final instistance by Centrelink) when our youngest was 8 years, and has then declared her income estimate as only $25,000 per year, then worked 2 consecutive years with this estimate in place, and then finally done her tax return for those 2 years, and it is revealed that she actually earned $45,000 (not $25,000) in those 2 years…will she owe me a debt of the overpaid amount through CS for my overpayments for 2 years, based on her halving her income estimate? Also, do i need to request this be reviewed by CSA?

      • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
        | Reply

        I believe that she should automatically be required to pay you back since it was her fault that the assessment was incorrect. If this doesn’t happen, follow up with Child Support and ask for a review if necessary.

  31. Mat
    | Reply

    I am a paying father of 3 kids 14,12 and 8. I have been paying my CS payments since my separation in Feb 2018. I have my kids one night per week for 2 or so hours and then every other weekend from Friday to Sunday nights. My ex has recently started working (since December 2019) and as far as I’m aware she’s working 5 days a week so I’d presume it’s full time as my kids are usually at a friends house or their grandparents house after school. I did ask her if she was reporting her income to Centrelink (got a pretty nasty “YES OF COURSE I AM”) response.

    I’m not sure if she has contacted CSA and told them though and due to my working schedule I’ve not yet been able to call CSA to ask. But I was wondering if I was supposed to notified or not if she had indeed told them or would I only know once Tax time comes around and if not what should I do to make sure that they know using the correct measures.

    I’d rather not ask her as this sort of question just makes her defensive and causes a situation I’d rather not have to deal with.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Mat – I don’t see a need for you to do anything here. It would work better for you if she told Child Support that her income has increased. But she’s not obliged to. And I don’t see how you getting involved would help in any way.

      Child support normally works with a one-year lag. Income changes in the current financial year affect next year’s assessment. When she submits her tax return for 2019-20, that will affect payments from 1 July 2020.

  32. Siya Aggarwal
    | Reply

    Hi,

    I 16 year old year 11 ATAR student living with my mother as she have my full custody. My father pays $1800 per month to my mother as CS payment through CSA. My mother doesn’t spend that money for my very basic need like school supplies, text books, calculator, laptop, uniform and most of the time it is very hard for me to even get other things from her. I don’t want to burden my father to cover my expenses after he is already paying my mother the CS. What options do I have? I don’t want my father to go to court once again as that will take more than 1 year probably to change anything as my mother won’t want to loose the CS money that she is getting. Also, my mother also works and share the rent so in total she does bring home around $1200 per week ($450 CS + $500 Pay + $200 Rent Share + $100 approx family Assistance from centre link) which is more than enough for her to survive and pay for my schooling. I have a younger brother who is 15 as well and we both go to a public school. Please advise.

    Siya

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      While you are living with your mother, she is entitled to receive child support and decide how it should be spent. Child Support aren’t responsible for forcing parents to make good spending decisions.

      The only way to direct the money away from your mother would to become more independent of her, such as by living with your father, living independently or providing for yourself through work.

  33. Johnno
    | Reply

    Hi there I have just received a phone call from my ex girlfriend of 17 years ago telling me she has a son and he is mine we now are getting DNA if positive am I expected to back pay 17 years child support

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Generally, you don’t have to worry about past years if you only just discovered you might have fathered a child. Calculations begin from when Child Support is first notified.

      Unless she told Child Support many years ago that you were the father and they’ve been trying to locate you ever since, you won’t have to cover past years.

      If someone else thought they were the father and has been paying child support, they could sue her in a civil case. A judge could decide that you are partly responsible for recompensing the man.

  34. Jenna
    | Reply

    My ex partner is currently paying child support for our son…. he works on a casual basis and over the Christmas period his work shut down for 2 weeks so he didn’t earn money for those 2 weeks….is there any way he doesn’t have to pay for those weeks he didn’t earn any money? I feel it’s a bit unfair that he has to pay for the weeks he makes no money. Is there anything that can be done when he is forced to not work he doesn’t have to pay child support?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      A parent can estimate a lower income for the financial year if their income drops by at least 15%. A 2-week temporary period off work is too small to qualify.

  35. CP
    | Reply

    Hi,

    I currently pay CS for my son (turning 18 this year). I haven’t seen my son since he was three years of age and his mother has made it extremely difficult. She is lodging an application under s.151C to extend CS until the end of the school year. He currently attends a private school although I am not currently assessed as contributing to his school fees due to her behaviour.

    I can find no detail about grounds for objecting under s.151C. All s.151C says is that if she applies before he turns 18 then he is treated as 17 until the last day of his school year.

    Are there any options or case law which I can use to argue against this? I have had no problem paying CS despite her behaviour about me seeing my son. Just don’t think it is reasonable given this behaviour after his 18th birthday.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The rules around child support continuing until the “child” finishes secondary education are administrative / procedural and enshrined in legislation. I don’t believe you have grounds for objecting.

  36. Brad
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    I am currently paying $200 per week in child support for my 2 children, my ex has 4 children at home and is single and on centrelink. I would take home just over $1100 per week so that brings it down to $930 after cs, my ex is earning what i should take home purely on centrelink and cs payment, this doesnt seem right

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      People are given way too much help in life for doing nothing. Works against them in the end because they become dependent on others.

  37. Tegan
    | Reply

    Hi, I share 50/50 custody or my three kids with my ex and he has always earned more so he has had to pay me child support.
    My new husband has two kids which he shared 50/50 custody with his ex but they don’t do child support as he doesn’t really earn enough for the 50% private school fees for them plus child support and still have money to survive after that. I have to take on most of the bills and house hold expenses as he doesn’t earn as much as me so I’m basically supporting his kids also.
    We recently had a newborn and because we can’t afford for me to take any unpaid leave or reduce hours I am having to go back to work full time this year in order to just scrape by and afford our mortgage, private school fees, child care and bills. Plus I am only a contract And don’t have permanency.
    My ex has just informed me that he is taking a year unpaid leave from his permanent job so he can help our kids settle into kindy and a new school. His partner earns more than my husband and works from home. She has one school aged child that she is supporting. So as a house hold they earn more and support less kids than us.
    My ex told me he was going to do relief work and not simple take time off.
    Yearly in the past he has made over $100 k which is still more than I will make full time this year, however I just received an updated childcare estimate and I am having to pay him $500 a month now because he has quoted that his estimated income for this year to be $18k. I know he worked the last 6 months of last year so even if he doesn’t work at all for the next 6 months this sum seems extremely doubtful considering I earned twice that in 6 months last year working part time.
    Can I do anything to not have to pay? We are barely scraping by, especially now with a newborn, let alone having to scrape together the money to pay him a month when he is choosing not to work.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      You can put in your own income estimate online. Make it $18,000 as well. A bit dodgy but will stop the payment requests. If asked about it later, say you thought your income would be about the same as his for the year.

      You also apply for a Change of Assessment (Reason 8 – earning capacity). You will have evidence that he immediately put in a lower (incorrect) income estimate, indicating child support was part of his motivation for stopping work. He also lacks a legitimate alternative reason.

      Note that child support don’t care about general life circumstances, such as what partners are earning.

      • Tegan
        | Reply

        Thank you Andrew.
        What happens if you severely underestimate you income after you do your tax? Are there any penalties? And what happens if he doesn’t complete his tax. He did go for a period of two years where I was working two days a week on a lesser wage tier and he was making $10k more than quoted and didn’t do his tax so it wasn’t paying the correct amount for two years. By the time he did his tax I was back working four days a week and had gone up a pay tier or two. Currently if working We are both full time he would be earning around $10 k more than me.
        I’m thinking that I might just have to try to get him to agree to cancel child support all together.

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          Child support payments are reconciled after tax returns are lodged. The drawback to underestimating income is that you suddenly get a large bill after you submit your tax return. Penalties may be applied and not waived if you don’t make good quickly.

  38. Sally
    | Reply

    I was the primary care of my son for 12 years (76/24), but have recently gone 50/50 custody with my ex.
    I have been single since our relationship ended (ie no one else to help pay household bills etc).
    Ex earns more than me, ex’s new spouse earns more than me. But they have a new baby, and so now I am required to pay them Child Support.
    Doesn’t seem fair to me

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I agree that it’s unfair. Wouldn’t happen if our recommendations to the Family Law Inquiry were accepted.

  39. KM
    | Reply

    Hi there,
    My parents split when I was 1 years old and i have now just turned 21. My dad unfortunately has a large amount of unpaid child support which has stopped him from being able to go overseas. My dads side of the family seem to think my mum is the one that can make some sort of agreement allow dad to pay it and therefore “lift” the ban. but when she called they have told her the debt has been moved to a new department which they couldn’t tell her which one and that it’s pretty much out of her hands at this stage. Its causing quite a problem in the family dynamic , I don’t think it’s my mums problem anymore as how much can my mum actually do in relation to the debt?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      There’s an area within Services Australia that is responsible for collecting child support debts, including making agreements for re-payments. It’s not the job of the receiving parent to manage debts.

      Your mother could possibly move the debt into some sort of private arrangement, away from Services Australia, but that could be both difficult and risky for her. I agree with you that it’s not her problem.

  40. Darren
    | Reply

    Hi,
    i pay child support currently for 3 children.
    My ex has remarried and had a child. he is employed as is she with very well paid jobs.
    however as a result of her additional family member my child support payments have increased. Struggling to see the logic on how that makes sense? appreciate any advice on whether this is worth pursuing or will be the usual waste of a phone call with CSA – thanks.

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Having a child can improve a parent’s assessment in at least 2 ways: (i) the self-support amount in the child support formula goes up because of having another dependent and (ii) it’s an excuse to stop working or reduce hours.

      We’ve proposed a system whereby child support wouldn’t be affected by a parent having another child. So, we also don’t see the logic in what’s happening at the moment. But that’s the current scheme.

  41. Craig Bennett
    | Reply

    Hi,
    I have 2 daughters that I currently pay CS to. 17 and 15.
    The 17 year old has told us on xmas day that she is pregnant. She had been living with her boy friends parents, which I told CS about. She has since moved back in with her mum. (The boyfriend too)
    Do I have to continue paying CS for her now she is pregnant? My grandchild will be born a few weeks before my daughters 18th birthday.
    Thanks for you advise

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Congratulations Craig (I think). Can’t say I’ve heard of a case like this before. But I can’t see how being pregnant would affect your child support, especially since she will become an adult close to the time of the birth anyway.

  42. Louise
    | Reply

    Hi there, my husbands ex wife moved 300 km away and we now have sole care of his children (ages 6,10) the care percentages are %73 %27 because she has the fortnightly weekends and half school holidays.
    We realise now this is to keep CS payments as low as she can as she isn’t actually there looking after them when she has them Anyway.

    The prior care arrangements (before she moved away and we changed to full time care of the children) was 50/50 but my husband had to supplement her income because she worked part time and he had a full time job.

    Not once did He miss a payment (Even though I find it ridiculous that they had equal amounts of care and yet he had to pay her because he chose to work more) but he always paid CS payments on time and up to date.

    Since the care Arrangements have changed, she hasn’t paid any CS to us and doesn’t contribute in anyway to the children’s well-being.

    My First question is – my husband has just been offered a promotion who includes a pay rise, this is great news to us, BUT because the care percentage is as it stands it looks like we may end up having to pay her money even though we technically have full care of the children and pay for all their living expenses and daily costs etc. This seems ludicrous and we can’t get our heads around how the system can be so unbalanced! Because she works casually and her income is less it seems like we could be paying her?

    She is driving around in a brand new car, works casually, has zero responsibilities and when she has the kids does all the “Disney mum” fun stuff, but as far as the actual day to day costs, schooling, sports, living expenses everything else is covered by us, and not a cent of CS ever. How can this be?

    It feels like we can’t get ahead in life because the money will go directly to her, which seems really unfair when she contributes nothing and hasn’t for the past year.

    Q. Are we able to cancel CS – we don’t receive any FTB B because our combined income is slightly too high. We don’t actually want her money; we just want to move on with our lives and be able to Better ourselves and the children’s lives.

    Q. Are we able to organise a private Collection arrangement? And basically agree that she pay’s for stuff the children need while in her care?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      I totally agree that the formula is unfair and that your husband is basically supporting the kids and the mother. But to say that she provides care but doesn’t have any expenses is ridiculous.

      I believe your husband would have 2 child support cases open: one as payer and one as receiver. You may be able to cancel the child support case where you receive money. But you can’t cancel the case where you pay.

      How money is spent is always a matter of negotiation between the parents. However, you don’t seem to have any leverage to get her to agree to anything.

      Frankly, you are wasting your time thinking about this stuff. It’s always concerning to see people complaining about how great the other party has it — seems inaccurate and/or like pointless jealousy.

    • Acg2
      | Reply

      I think it’s interesting that there are so many comments/questions from new wives on this forum….

  43. Pm
    | Reply

    My ex-partner gave his ex wife 100% of there assets, all of which owned outright.
    House, car ect ect…
    Together they have an 8 year old son.
    He has his son on average 2 nights a week and 1/2 school holidays.
    His ex wife earns the same fortnightly wage as him.
    We have a full mortgage to pay, cars ect. I also have a 12 year old living with us full time ( his dad and I agree that he only pays school fees. That I feel is fair)
    He pays the full 12% of his wage to her and now she has applied for special circumstances for him to pay extra for private schooling to which he does not agree to as we can not afford it.
    CSA has supported this regardless of the fact she owns everything outright. Nothing to pay and the fact he does not agree to private schooling.
    I would live there to be a royal commission into the CSA. There needs to be a fairer system in place. I find this absolutely outrageous.
    We were even told in writing by the CSA that if we cut back on our living expenses we could afford to pay his ex the extra money.

  44. Paul
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,
    We have 50/50 child care arrangement. $668 was intercepted from my tax assessment from the CSA despite her income being $90,784 and mine being $73,799 for FY 2018/19. The CSA officer said I payed the $688 because the other parent changed jobs and was out of work for 6 weeks and her income was therefore $0. There is no reconciliation because I have to pay for this month regardless of her earning $17,000 more in annual income. I am failing to see the logic in this; should not tax assessments be be based on annual incomes?

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Paul – You may notice how Child Support have discrete assessment periods that don’t necessarily correspond with financial years. This allows for separate assessments like, in your case, for a time when the other parent is unemployed or there are other unusual circumstances.

      There is logic to what they’re doing, mainly because many parents don’t have savings to be able to cope with sudden loss of income.

      You normally receive child support from the mother don’t you? Not much to complain about then really.

      • Paul
        | Reply

        No I don’t receive child support and you are missing the point, and there is a very good reason to see that this system is broken; its obvious . A parent can earn $326 per week more on average and can estimate a lower income due to there being no reconciliation at the end of the FY; explain to me how that make sense? The ATO and centerlink don’t do this . It is reconciled . The net result is I ended up paying child support for the year despite her making $17,000 more . Accountants are aware of this also.

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          Paul – It doesn’t help to repeat a point you’ve already made that I understood the first time. Maybe you could read the response and try to appreciate it.

          So, you’re saying when someone gets relief in relation to child support because they’re unemployed, they shouldn’t actually get relief? Instead, they should be building up debt in effect. And what happens if they’re unemployed for 6 months and already have debt problems when their account is reconciled?

          Fine – that’s one logic. But, there’s another logic that says we should distinguish between periods of employment and non-employment. It’s a conservative approach that’s meant to protect children and parents from potential hardship.

          Neither approach is perfect but a hybrid approach would most probably be too complex to work well in practical terms. Hence, I neither support nor oppose what Child Support is currently doing in this area.

  45. Sara Hardwick
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    My partner’s ex-wife has used her previous tax return from 18/19 at $17K p.a when she wasn’t working however is now as of July 2019 working full time and earning $55+K p.a. My question, will this be noted when she does her 19/20 tax return by CSA and our child support payments amended as an over payment for the year and credited/taken off her future payments or is there a way (we have her payslips via legal means) to submit her payslips to CSA for review to ensure she is being paid the correct amount and not overpaid? Thank You

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      Child support assessments are normally based on income in the previous financial year. So, income rises only affect child support with a 1-year lag, unless the parent is foolish and tells Child Support that their income has risen during the financial year.

      As far as I can tell, she is being paid the correct amount.

  46. AJ
    | Reply

    Hi Andrew,

    Slight background for context…. My husbands ex went to CSA and claimed that the private arrangement had fallen apart and she wanted to be paid via CSA and claimed 3mths backpay which created a CSA debt to the tune of $4700.

    My husband did not lodge his tax for 18/19 until just now. CSA has been using his previous tax return as an estimate to reach the weekly CSA payment and therefore the debt.

    His 18/19 tax has now been done and he has earned $80k less that the previous financial year. In his talks with CSA they have said that the debt will remain unchanged and not decrease with the accurate income being supplied.

    I am confused as to how this can be the case… If they based his weekly payments (and therefore debt) on a higher income figure how is it that the debt is not adjusted to reflect that?? His weekly contribution has now gone down from $220 to $56 but the debt remains unchanged?? Can you shed any light?

    Regards,
    AJ

    • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
      | Reply

      The Child Support people consider the payer to be responsible for not telling them about earning a lower income. So, they don’t reimburse. It comes in part from an attitude that you shouldn’t take money away from the child(ren).

      The debt would have been calculated to as far back as when the child support application was first made. Presumably, your husband was informed somewhere around that time of what was happening.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

      • Ekul
        | Reply

        Haha thats so funny. Theres always a way. Fix your system so the father is equally protected from lazy mothers who dont get jobs and make it a fair system and people wouldnt be doing this stuff. This is gold you can never stop that. Even if they do an investigation one could always artificially inflate cost of living. Child supports logic on having more kids means more CS is crazy. Each relationship should be an individual case with new ones seperate to the fact. I had a kid at 16 and havnt wanted more because i cant financially support it but my ex who lives with her parents and is difficult with visitation gets alot of gov benifits and can afford to go spreading her legs having more kids! Which i ultimately pay for because her capacity of self support goes up. Thats nonsense! Take some responsibilty for your life and financials and stop encouraging a welfare state. The whole work not owrking thing is ridiculus so what your partner isnt working atm the job market and future is all about people changing jobs and we need to cater for this. Mothers are way to well looked after. Seriusly young men need help and an audit needs to be done on the system. Ive contacted ministers in the past and no one does anything. Of course people will wrought the system when the system is a brick wall. What about location and actual cost of living? What about inflation? So a mother can afford to live in central sydney a father then might also not be able to afford rent and moves a bit further out of town but still within a reasonable commute time to see there child but mother doesnt drive and dad has to pay the tolls in each direction. This system is flawed, geared towards women, creates bad habbits and causes financial stress. I have been paying child support since i was 16 and in highschool doing my HSC, i had to apply for centrelink to pay the bill, centrelink didnt even want to help but ONE really nice lady determined that because i had a dependant i was defacto not a dependant of my parents and therefore able to get youth allowance. Its really not fair and goodluck trying to recouperate some cost for overpayment like they say can happen for mum with underpayments, it just doesnt happen so dad is always better off under estimating. This whole thing is a rant kind of but please take some consideration into what i am saying

      • Ekul
        | Reply

        I actually just posted a commment and did some googling. I found this link so i am hoping some of my concerns will be adressed because it does appear that people are aware.

        Can i please ask the date that this artical i am refering was published and when we can likely see these changes come into effect?

        https://childsupportaustralia.com/fairer-child-support-formula-australia/

        • Andrew Lancaster (admin)
          | Reply

          That article was published roughly 2 years ago. Am hoping to get the ball rolling on reform through the Family Law Inquiry. They don’t report until 7 October 2020 and it would take some time after that for reform to be worked through and legislated. Unfortunately, we have poor leadership in this area, especially from the dopes “working” on policy at the Department of Social Services.

  49. 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.

  50. 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

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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”.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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

  65. 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.

  66. 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”.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

    • Immi
      | Reply

      You need to speak to Centrelink about being paid family tax benefit on the disbursement method. Means you get paid FTB on the basis of the child support actually received, not on the basis of what is assessed.

      The key with this though is is when you do get extra money, not to spend it as you may end up with a FTB debt once it gets reconciled. You are still better off, but only if you can resist the temptation to spend the lump of money when it comes in.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

      • Brenden
        | Reply

        I did, but yes – he’s my beautiful boy

  82. 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

  83. 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

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

  96. 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.

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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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