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NSW Ex has Tax Haven but will not Pay Child Support

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by peta campbell, 22 May 2015.

  1. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    My Ex, who left us 11 years ago, has several companies in a tax haven in Ireland, 3 properties and bank accounts in France. Recently he was ordered to pay me child support. He immediately halved his projected income, lodging an objection, claiming I earned much more than he when I have just the one income in Australia. The Child Support Agency (CSA) accepted his estimations but demanded to see my every detail.

    I have majority care of the children and I was just ordered to pay $1,200 a month based on what he told the CSA he thinks I earn. I have been battling this man's incredible attempts at evading child support and trying to make me pay him for 11 years, even though he is on over $150,000 a year, has hundreds of thousands of dollars in a foreign trading account in Ireland and has assets, has never paid child support (or spousal maintenance as we were de facto and the law didn't apply to de facto then).

    This is now the second time I've been ordered to pay him. I don't know how to prove his assets in France and Ireland since the CSA is entirely dependent on Austrac, and I am really dealing with an extraordinarily conniving man that I cannot compete against. I am caught in an administrative Kafkaesque nightmare which is driving me into the grave and preventing me from working or living a semi normal life.

    I am being legally defrauded. People who have income in a tax haven do so to evade tax.

    How can the CSA keep believing a man who is evading paying tax? I don't know where to go or what to do anymore. I don't understand why there isn't a default set on people with foreign assets and known to have accounts in a tax haven.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Peta,

    Sorry, this is probably a silly question, but have you made Child Support Services aware of your husbands foreign assets? Do you have any evidence of the fact that he has foreign assets and investments? If he has offshore accounts and income that he is not declaring, he is doing something illegal, and the ATO is cracking down on tax evasion through offshore accounts. I understand the ATO does have ways of obtaining information about offshore accounts through Australian banks. Perhaps alerting the ATO to his activities may at least get his offshore assets out in th open and give you some evidence to work with when trying to prove your case for child support.
     
  3. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    HI Sophea. Not a silly question. :) Thank-you for responding. I did make the CSA aware. Even though Ive been to the 3 properties and gave them one of the addresses in France, they wrote "they had no evidence of his foreign assets". I made them aware of his companies in Ireland. I found one through SoloCheck (I came across the company by accident as he had transferred money straight from that account to our 17 yr old daughter bank account so it didn't go through his account - he said she worked for him and they believed it. I've just found money he is putting in cash into my son's account not transferring it - he's very clever in explaining himself away) But he has shown them a statement of some sort that shows he lost money last year, so they just allowed him to suddenly halve his income assessment after, for the first time in 11 year, he was ordered to pay 1,200 a month child support. I haven't seen any documents at all, and this was supposed to be a transparent discovery process, and he has more than one company. He lied twice this year about level of care and I had to disprove him and they changed the level of care according to my evidence, and even though he has methodically lied to them in a deliberate effort to defraud me, they are still believing him . The Case officer wrote that he hadn't transferred any money to his account since November 2014 ( coinciding with the objection to his order) I am putting in an objection, but Im in such a state of disbelief , anger and distress, that Im my own worst enemy. Recently I had a demos removed and was diagnosed with pre cancerous metaphase in my stomach and this stress and the injustice of it is driving me to the grave.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Peta,

    I understand this is a frustrating situation for you and that you want the best for you child growing up. Know that a company and a person's individual income are two different things. A company is considered a "separated legal person" at law. This means, your ex may not necessarily own 100% of the company, or its assets. Rather, it's his shares in the company, and any dividends he receives from these shares, that are counted toward his personal wealth. Do you know what your ex's beneficial interest in the company is?

    Further, is your ex an Australian resident for tax purposes or a non-resident? His tax position will differ (and hence, disclosure obligations to the ATO will differ) depending on whether he is an Australian resident (he must declare all income in any jurisdiction, inside Australia and overseas) or a non-resident (he only needs to declare income from Australian sources, e.g. he will not need to declare any income or capital gains from his French properties). While companies set up in tax haven areas (e.g. BVI or Cayman Islands) are in part to avoid tax, it is not necessarily illegal. Company assets cannot be confused with personal assets.

    This may also affect his disclosure obligation to the Family Court in relation to his financial position (though, I am not too familiar with this point, so may be wise to call up the Family Court or read "duty of disclosure"). If your ex is found to have breached his duty of disclosure, then any agreement reached may be invalidated based on incorrect/incomplete information.

    Finally, which type of CSA agreement is it? There are two types, one binding, the other not. Also, a CSA agreement is not necessarily the same as a child support arrangement mandated by court. You may want to read "how to get ex to pay child support".
     
  5. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    Hi Sarah,

    Many thanks Sarah. My ex has three foreign currency trading companies in the International Financial Services Centre in Ireland. I understand the difference between the two. He is both director and shareholder of them all. He certainly hasn't disclosed all his interests. It was pure luck I stumbled across one which he had not declared to the CSA. We don't have an agreement. He was ordered to pay me child support last year having declared 105,000 in taxable income to the ATO last year. As soon as he was ordered to pay he suddenly lowered his estimation to 52,000 and they have just believed that, then wrongly estimated my income, even though I gave them a copy of my one and only contract, and ordered me to pay him. Its a unreal situation. I have majority care, and there is no way he earns only 52,000. I know its not illegal to run a business in a tax haven - what it does do, is point to character and believability when he can say whatever he likes - unless I dig the information up, the CSA will never find it. He is trading currency so he has margin accounts and trading accounts. I don't even know what documents he showed the CSA - they are supposed to disclose them but didn't. He is an extremely dishonest man: he actually put in a objection to pay child support on the basis that he has to raise Step Children. I nearly fell over backwards. Not only because of the claim but if the CSA cannot get their facts straight to start with on the children involved, how can they take 1,200 a month off me? He has no step children. He has one new biological child with a new partner. The CSA spoke of "stepchildren" in plural he had to look after. The facts are wrong all over the place. I just lost 4 days writing an objection. Ill lose more again putting the evidence together. I was told that regardless of my tax return, this decision will stick. I just have the one income in Australia and I am the one not being believed. it is Kavkaesque. I just feel that there should be a presumption that people running businesses and bank accounts overseas most probably have more than they declare since Australian authorities can't possibly verify and there should be like a PAR given to the Australian :-9
     
  6. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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  7. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    Thanks Sarah. I've drafted an objection. Is it worth passing it by a lawyer? Can I have a lawyer represent me at CSA? I don't seem to be able to argue my case successfully. I'm flabbergasted at the shoddy work these case officers do and they make decisions of such consequence over peoples lives. For example , the case officer who just made a decision, wrote about my ex having to look after Step Children. There are no step children! I was unemployed for much of 2013 because I just couldn't find a job. She wrote I couldn't find a job because I said I had cancer, but am better now and am working.
     
  8. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    I hadnt finished that thread. But that just wasn't the case ( cancer had nothing to do with anything). After I was ordered to pay my ex child support back in 2006 - I was considered having a higher income earning ability than him when he was in the Supreme Court claiming to be a multi millionaire trader who supported me all my life (with an affidavit that was fraud for the most part, e.g he tabled all the money he transferred to my account over the years and claimed it was to support me when it was refunding my credit card for all the artwork he bought from auction houses in his name. He didn't have a credit card then, so he bought on my card and then repaid me. Likewise with a sum of money he returned to me which I had lent him after I sold property so he could trade currency on his own account, and become what is known as a "local". He gave it back then pretended it was his deposit on a property I subsequently bought which he was now claiming on. That sort of raw fraud) So at the very same time in one jurisdiction (CSA) he is crying poor, and in the other (Supreme Court) he was claiming he supported me and hence deserved my assets and income ( almost all of it too).

    The CSA said our matter was too complex and sent it to the Family Court. My ex deferred the matter for two years before we finally had a hearing. The Family Court had bought in outside and about to retire judges to get a backlog out of the way the week before Xmas, and our matter was one of them. I was self represented and the Judge just said he didn't have to make any judgement on the decision the CSA had made, and that was it. Meanwhile the payments were being taken out of my parenting payments which was all I was living on at the time. It was surreal. I've never gotten over how unfair that was and how lazy the CSA had been. In the case of my ex, his behaviour is not very normal. He comes from a special family. His brother is a famous con artist jigalo who forged a will to inherit a 21 million dollar estate. He succeeded too at first and was actually granted probate in London . He spent time in jail for suspected murder of his gay husband who's will he claimed on, just two weeks after they married and is waiting instruction from the Chief Justice as to whether or not he goes to trial for the murder in France. Several documentaries and reports have been made about it, books are being written about him, notably by a well known author. My ex has the same deep ability to lie, cheat, charm and manipulate people with his charming French accent and controlled manner, and he wins every time because Im emotional and get angry and upset in disbelief. I'm an ex journalist with a few science Masters. You would think I could cut through the crap, but I can't. Ive filed an objection today. I literally just lost a job today too, and suffered reputational injury because I didn't meet the deadline. I needed to spend all this week and last working on the modules I was supposed to write, but instead I was writing my objection, finding evidence etc. So my contract was annulled. This is what has happened the past 10 years. Its like a form of institutional abuse and I cannot get on with just living and being with children in their final child years. My ex was a severe verbal and emotional abuser. This constant battle is to me just an extension of that. I have asked for a private arrangement, I don't want his child support ( he was nonetheless ordered to pay for a free years the smallest amount one an pay, but he let it accumulate into a debt, refusing to) but he wants to keep milking the system.
     
  9. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Peta,

    Your background is definitely a complicated one from what you've outlined. I'm a bit lost as to what exactly you're asking from the forum. The two questions I gather from your above posts are:

    Is it worth passing it by a lawyer?

    Yes. It seems like you have not had much success self-representing before the Family Court. A lawyer can present your version of events in the best possible light, to what is relevant, and what the judge needs to hear at the time. Sometimes, important information can be lost amidst facts that you think are relevant, but really not that relevant and may actually hinder your case. For this reason, a lawyer is a good idea in this case. Especially, if you are bringing up serious allegations of fraud by your ex. These need to proved to the required standard. A lawyer will help you with this.

    Your ex alleging one financial position in the Supreme Court and one before the CSA

    It comes down to what evidence is submitted, and the credibility (and relevance) of this evidence. Whilst your ex may be making all these statements, they may be unsubstantiated by evidence, or the evidence is not credible. Therefore, the CSA may not necessarily have taken everything your ex said into account. If your ex is making conflicting submissions between the Supreme Court and CSA/Family Court, you may be able to bring up the Supreme Court case and certain evidence before the CSA/Family Court to show that your ex is being misleading/untruthful. Again, best to see a lawyer about the best way to present your facts and gather evidence.
     
  10. peta campbell

    peta campbell Active Member

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    Hi Sarah,

    I think I accidentally deleted a post that asked me what do I want from this forum? I suppose I was trying to get across what was happening so as to help me get to my questions of law and possibilities:

    1. I want out of the CSA. I have repeatedly asked my ex but he refuses to ( even though for a couple of years he was ordered to pay a nominal amount). I want to know why he doesn't want out of the system? I want to know how can I get out of it? Is there a legal argument that can help me be free of this abusive man?

    2. Is there any legal argument that could help the CSA make a nil nil order ?( I know he earns 3-5 times more than me but I prefer to be free of this debilitating process than constantly having to refute, object, apply. I am losing my sanity literally, and its really destroying our chidlrens childhood, whats left of it) His behaviour is just making it impossible for me to work and he doesn't even see the logic. When I lose my job like I just have, he will have to pay me. Which is why I think this is just about control and abuse and jealousy. Can a lawyer argue at the CSA tribunal that this situation of extreme conflict - which they have noted themselves in their Decision is unhealthy for everyone ( 13 years after separation!), and they need to take drastic measures to protect me and the children from him? Under for example the CSA requirement to be fair to the individuals and to society?

    My kids are supposed to come to me tomorrow but my near 17year old told me he had to stay at his fathers for 2 more days because his father is paying for his braces and is just forcing him by bribing him with his braces. He told me his father has told him HE has to pay ME child support and my son wonders why he should pay me when he is paying for his braces. My son doesn't want to see the CSA order that I have to pay his father because his father has so manipulated him into thinking he is the paying parent, and he so badly wants his braces, so he doesn't want to know the reality. In the same breath he said "Dad earns a lot more money than you". All my children know this, but the CSA. Today my poor child said he can't stand this anymore, he just wants to leave home. I don't know what I can do. My ex simply will not agree to have a private agreement that no-one pays no-one. Its heartbreaking. On Friday I was basically retrenched which is a catastrophe for me and being a contractor it was effective immediately, no notice. My son text me and said they prefer it when I am working - even if they have to stay at their fathers because I had to work in QLD - and not having to rent of rooms in our house, and see me struggling to pay bills. It was the most devastating thing I ever heard from my children. Can a lawyer maybe broker an agreement with him and the CSA?

    3.
    If I can't prove all his assets because they're hidden, what is the legal argument for me to have his income put back to at least where he had it before he did get an order to pay me in the name of fairness before suddenly estimating his income at half of what it was? What do you argue when someone has their business and assets abroad which can't be easily found?

    The last month I photographed - place and date stamped- my kids sleeping everyday at my house as my ex claimed that they were not with me 9 days and with him 5 days. I called Centrelink to tell them I now have this evidence and they told me it wasn't enough , I have to get a letter from someone saying my kids are with me 9 days and with him 5 days, because my ex got a third party person to write that my one of my sons was living with him most of the time. Now that is just impossible because I have photographic evidence to the contrary, as well as that son with me two nights of my ex's five because he prefers to be, yet the CSA say he has a letter. From who? It can only be his partner who is lying as she will benefit, or from a third party who is writing what my ex has told them - hence here-say. Centrelink told me I can make a claim of fraud, but I still need to get a letter to support my claim that my children are with me as per court orders. This is surreal beyond belief. How can date and place stamped photos not be the ultimate evidence over someone who writes something like "its my understanding the son is living with his father?", or the girlfriend he is supporting ? Centrelink won't tell me who wrote the letter. If that letter is being used to defraud me, Centrelink and the CSA, is there any legal mechanism for me to finds out who, so I can refute it?

    When I started on this forum I was desperate to hear from someone who can see the insanity and unfairness of this situation. But I also need to know what my legal remedies are when dealing with very clever con artists and manipulators. Am I just condemned to fighting this man's offensive until my last child turns 18?
     

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