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VIC Child Under 18 Not at School - Adjust Child Support?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Leonie, 12 July 2015.

  1. Leonie

    Leonie Member

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    My partner is at his wit's end. His 15 year old son has decided, with his mother's support, not to go back to school this year. Legally he is required to attend school until he is 17.

    The mother has no interest in getting the child to go back to school and my partner has got the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Victoria) involved, along with the boy's school in trying to encourage him to go back. He has to repeat the last half of Year 9 before being permitted into Year 10 next year and the child does not want to go.

    All that aside, can my partner ask for a reduction in child support under 2 reasons:
    1. That the mother's expenses for the child are reduced if he is not going to school; and/or
    2. That a reduction in child support might force the mother's hand in making the boy return to school, whereby the full amount of child support would be resumed?

    I have looked through the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988 to see if there is anything regarding this specific situation but without success:

    * Child under 18
    * Child not at school
    * Reduction in payments to encourage child to be returned to school

    We want the best for this child but my partner seems to be running out of options for anyone to give him any support or encouragement from either the law or the Education Department because he is not the primary parent and the primary parent does not seem to care. We acknowledge we may need to go to a solicitor for advice, but I was hoping there would be someone here who could point us in the right direction regarding obligations of both parties for the education and care of the boy and the receipt of child support.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. We do not want this boy to be lost to future opportunities because no-one seemed to be on his side when he needed it (but is resisting it, with support) the most.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Leonie,

    I understand this must be extremely frustrating for you. Where you're coming from is absolutely relatable. You're correct in contacting the Department of Education and other government authorities in Victoria.

    Is the child support amount mandated by court? If so, you will need to apply to court for a variation of the order. However, I do not believe the court will accept your reasons. This is because child support is to support the children. Not the mother's expenses. Nor should it be a bargaining tool to negotiate with the mother. Whilst it may force the mother's hand, it also hurts the child. Your aim is to get the child back into school, which will not be helped if the support for school expenses are cut.

    In additional to pressure from government authorities, family mediation may help. Understanding why the child does not wish to continue with school and explaining to him (and the mother) of the benefits of school until he reaches 17 will fare better than bickering over child support.
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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