VIC Child Support - Childcare costs, insurance, and medical bill

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Muxaul, 7 May 2019.

  1. Muxaul

    Muxaul Well-Known Member

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    Hi All. I have been paying child support in accordance to on CSA's assessment based on current percentage of care. Child's mother and I are currently in family court for parenting matter. I want parenting arrangement in line with what family report recommends. She's contesting the recommendation with no good reason. Recently child's mother raise an application to change assessment to CSA asking for more money. Her claims are:


    1. She unilaterally decided to put child into a child care for 5 days a week because she works on full time, then claim to CSA that the childcare cost is too high (out of pocket cost is more than 5% of her taxable annual income). She also gets family tax benefit and all the money she can get from the government, on top of my child support. But she applied to CSA to have me pay more.

    2. She unilaterally decided to buy a single parent health insurance policy (child + her) with many extras that only she needs but not the child. This is one policy, one price that covers two people. I do not agree with this policy and suggested an alternative policy that covers the child better and offered to share the cost on the child part of the insurance cost should we agree. She then refused my proposal and applied to CSA wanting to increase my child support because of this insurance that she decided to get.

    3. Long story short, there was a period of time she withheld the child and I was completed denied access, until I initiated family court proceeding. After I got access to the child I discovered that she did not provide proper care to the child and he needed an one off major dental surgery to fix his teeth. My heart was broken after knowing this, to me it was a child neglect issue. But she sees it as a money issue. Initially she agreed to pay for this medical cost. But after surgery is complete, she changed her mind, not only did she deny her wrong doing, she also asked CSA to have me pay for the cost of the surgery citing "special need of the child.". Of course she omitted the fact that she was solely responsible to the damage, as I had no access to the child at all.

    Question 1, are her claim 1 and 2 legitimate under family law or CSA policy?

    As for her claim 3, in order not to let the child suffer, I will agree to pay half the cost, despite my own financial situation is worse then hers. But Question 2, Was I even responsible for this cost to begin with?
     
    #1 Muxaul, 7 May 2019
    Last edited: 7 May 2019
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    1 - child care costs. Maybe... But probably not. here is the link to the csa guide 2.6.9 Reason 3 - High Costs of Caring for, Educating or Training the Child in the Manner Expected by the Parents | Child Support Guide
    So given the ex will beneifit from the income derived from working while the child is in care and it is her choice, then I reckon she is on a hiding to nothing.
    2 - health fund. HELL NO
    3 - dental bills, maybe.... Probably not. Here is the link for csa that uses dental as a reason to change the assessment. 2.6.8 Reason 2 - the Special Needs of the Child | Child Support Guide

    As you're probably aware CSA often fail to apply their own rules correctly. So yes can make an application, but that doesn't mean they'll accept it. So get back to us after CSA have made a determination.
     
  3. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    I agree... Carefully read the link Sammy01 has provided.. This bit from grounds to apply

    A party can apply to change their child support assessment if they consider that the cost of meeting the parents' expectations significantly affects the costs of maintaining the child.

    The party applying for a change to their assessment has to show that there are additional costs involved in maintaining the child because of an agreement between the parents about how the child will be maintained. The ordinary costs incurred in raising a child will not be considered under this reason as those costs do not set a particular case apart from other cases in a way that establishes special circumstances.


    A unilateral decision is not an agreement. Also I think it can be argued that these days child care falls under the heading of ordinary costs incurred, especially given she is enjoying the sole benefit...
     
    #3 Atticus, 8 May 2019
    Last edited: 8 May 2019
  4. Muxaul

    Muxaul Well-Known Member

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  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    ok so the 5% higher than annual income. However, her annual income is going to increase substantially if she is working full time. So the income she is assessed at is not an accurate reflection of her actual income. REad the link I sent again, you've mentioned she gets Family tax benefit, CSA recognise this. So while her income may mean that child care costs are higher than 5% of her annual income, she does get additional $$$ through family tax benefit.

    Mate I honestly think the only thing she MIGHT??? have is dental, and since you're prepared to pay that, we don't have to care....

    In my experience - when it becomes evident to the assessor that the applicant is grasping at straws and the health fund one is indicative of grasping at straws.... The rest of her case starts to look pretty weak.
     
  6. Muxaul

    Muxaul Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sammy. I’ll post the outcome back here afterwards.
     
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