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QLD Backpaying Child Support Debt - How is it Calculated?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Hendrix, 13 August 2017.

  1. Hendrix

    Hendrix Member

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    Hi,

    The CSA has managed the child support arrangements between myself and my ex-wife for over 10 years. My youngest is turning 18 in a few month's time and I will no longer be required to pay child support to my ex-wife.

    However, I will still owe my ex-wife a residual debt of unpaid child support. I understand that I am bound to repay this "post-18" debt. (Unless my ex-wife informs the CSA that she no longer wants them to pursue the repayment and it is very unlikely this will happen).

    While there are clearly legislated terms and conditions about how the child support payment is calculated before the child is 18 years of age, I have been unable to locate any information about the terms and conditions CSA applies to the collection of child support debts outstanding after the child's 18th Birthday (i.e., when then become an adult).

    I have received two separate notices of assessment regarding the "post 18" repayment from CSA and the fortnightly amount they are seeking differs significantly in both instances. At the same time, I have not advised CSA of any change in my circumstances that would normally trigger such a change in payment (the first assessment was automated in response to my youngest turning 18 and the second assessment was triggered by my ex-wife seeking payment until the end of the school year).

    Can someone in the forum please assist me to understand how these "post 18" repayments are calculated by the CSA and how much room for negotiation I have in settling the repayment schedule with the CSA?

    Humble thanks for considering my question and I look forward to receiving your response.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Get on the scales...Your pound of flesh is yet to be fully withdrawn... I thought I liked CSA. Anything to lose a pound of weight... Oh okay just joking...

    18 or until the kids finishes school, which ever happens last. There is your answer... kinda? But keep us updated please... I'don't like to know when school actually ends... last day of term? After the heck exams if you're in NSW? After the yr 12 formal? 1st January? Beginning of the next school yr?
     
  3. Hendrix

    Hendrix Member

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    Hi Sammy01

    CSA has a tough job to do and I respect that.

    My concern is when their decisions are discretionary rather than when the formal calculations are applied. As the non-custodial parent, you're often on the back foot because of what seems to be an innate bias towards the custodial parent in any negotiation.

    CSA seems to have chosen a date when my youngest will be (technically) able to enter into full-time employment, which is after the exams are completed.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    It would seem to me that their decision is fair...

    Mate CSA is a loopy lot... I have been on both sides... Kinda... been the payer... but when the kids came to live with me, I became the payee. But I never got paid one of life's little mysteries.
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    So, my understanding from your post isn't that you're paying child support after the child turns 18. What you're paying is a child support debt that was accumulated at some point before the child turned 18. Is that right? Because those are two very different circumstances, and it's important that they're not being confused.
     
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  6. Hendrix

    Hendrix Member

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    Yes - this is correct.

    As I have stated, I am looking for information about how the debt repayment is recalculated. :)
     
  7. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so this is really just a carry-over of child support assessed from before the child was 18, so it's determined in accordance with the assessment and the child support rules that were in place when the debt was initially incurred. How it's repaid and at what rate should come down to a discussion between you and the Child Support department, but my understanding is that they calculate a repayment rate initially that reflects your income so it aligns with your ability to pay.
     
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  8. Hendrix

    Hendrix Member

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    Thanks for your response. Yes - I would be assuming what you have suggested too.

    I guess I'm interested in how they make that assessment. As I said in the original post - from all Ive been able to find, CSA is explicit on how much child support is paid and not at all clear about debt repayments.

    The two assessments I have been given are different and the change was a couple of extra payments at the same rate as currently paid and not to my income (I.e. what is claimed to be my ability to repay).
     
  9. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Have you actually asked Child Support, or is a third-party forum on the Internet your first choice for information about child support?
     
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  10. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    CSA's preferred option on debt repayment is to have it all paid immediately. They can, and will, rip amounts out of your bank directly if they think you have the funds. You will get notification, but it is after the event.

    If they aren't able to do that, you can make a payment arrangement. They have a fairly wide discretion on how that is done, which is why you won't find any clear statements. It all depends on your circumstances, or at least how they perceive them. It could, for example, be based on their understanding of your income after applying their annual indexation rate as at midnight 30 June (if you haven't lodged your tax return). Their correspondence is generally very poor at communicating their reasons for decisions.

    As AllForHer intimated, you should call them and find out.
     
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