NSW Child Support Agency Included Financial Settlement to Income - AAT Hearing?

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Active Member
16 October 2015

I have a directions hearing coming up to appeal a decision to double my income by the Child Support Agency based purely on untested statements and adding a financial settlement in as income.

The case manager said "It appears you have sought legal advice and although that is within your rights it would have come at some cost to you so therefore I am adding this into your expenses". I was dumbfounded, I had not actually received legal advice but the case manager was adding an imaginary expense to prove my ability to pay was more than what my income, bank statements and tax returns were saying... insanity.

My ex and I both received cash in the financial settlement, I gave my ex more 70/30 split because I wanted the fighting to be over. They have included this money as income for me but not for the ex.

I wanted to get some help from anyone who has been through an AAT hearing or knows how it works. I am so concerned how I will meet the amount the Child Support Agency is requesting of me without potentially sending myself into financial ruin.

Are the AAT as lawless as the Child Support Agency? Is it based on emotion or do they look at the facts?

Can a financial settlement be included as income and if so can they truly only include it for the payee?

I am basically just hoping someone can tell me that I won't be dealing with the same rogue practices again and they will base it on facts and figures not on emotion or preferential treatment for the payee.



Well-Known Member
11 October 2015
Hi mc_bean,

My understanding is that AAT needs to follow the legislative instrument of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 and therefore should not be 'lawless'.

I am not sure if financial settlement would be included as income but there should be equal treatment of both parties - hopefully that becomes apparent at the AAT.


Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
Using the Child Support Guide | Child Support Guide
Have a read. So AAT can only make a decision based on whether or not the correct procedure was followed in making a decision.

Yep, I kind of understand your feelings around CSA. I was a respondent at an AAT hearing. In short the ex appealed to CSA to get more money, and she won. I appealed, then she lost. She appealed to AAT and she chose to withdraw once she was told that the tribunal MIGHT agree to uphold the original decision but interpret it differently. The end result would have cost the ex money....

Look I found the AAT ok. but I knew my stuff because I'd read the relevant section of the CSA guide that related to my case. In my case, it was relatively simple. The dispute was just about how the time we spend with kids should be calculated...She wanted it done in hours per year. In short, it was crazy and the rules are pretty clear....

In your case, I think the relevant section is 4.1.2 Decisions Made under the CSA Act to Which a Parent May Object | Child Support Guide and it is heaps more complicated... So get your head around that and realise that your job is to show that CSA did not follow their own rules....