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NSW Ex Lies about Income to Child Support Agency - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mary June, 14 October 2015.

  1. Mary June

    Mary June Member

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    Hello, I just have a question.

    My Ex husband has once again reduced his income so his child support payments are reduced, but the thing is, he has his own business, a successful one at that, he has a factory, he rents out of where he does his business, a couple of storage sheds, staff that work for him as well as his wife family members. He sites on facebook how well his company is doing and he has a Linkedin account that states his the owner/Director of the company.

    Now I was to the understand that when Child Support Agency started collecting for me that they had to know my job role was as they have employment guidelines to how much i should be earning in this role. So if someone who is the owner/director of a pretty successful business should be earning over $47,000 a year?

    I completely understand that the business is most likely in the wife's name and she most likely has quite a huge annual salary. How can this be justified if he has all the working tickets, like heights, confined spaces and abseiling tickets. How can Child Support Agency ignore this?

    He also tells me he cannot have his children cause he is always working, so it's actually been two years since he has had them. Now there is another baby on the way ,it will not be long till his Child Support Agency payments are reduced again.

    I am currently unemployed and for a few years i have been earning more than him. I have gone to child support about my issues and they always say, we will send you the paperwork and fill it out then your Ex husband will get a copy of it.

    Really how does that help any situation?

    He also goes on a few holidays a year and yes he does leave the country and it is all over his facebook page that my eldest son has to see. He lives in a pretty expensive house in Sydney, drives very nice cars and has a few vehicles that he owns for the business.

    Child Support Agency has told me on a few occasions that eventually it will catch up to him.It's been 6 years and while he is getting more and more successful with his business, his annual income is reducing!

    I understand having a business you can write a lot of things off on tax but how does it work getting finance if you don't have the income? When you do a search on how much he should earn in the job he does, it comes up over $200,000 PLUS a year he should be earning.

    Can you help me?

    Cheers
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    It's important to remember that a business is a separate legal entity to its owner. The two are therefore considered to have separate assets, liabilities and profits, meaning his income may not be at all influenced by the business's income.

    The Child Support Agency assesses payment amounts based on his personal taxable income, not the profitability of his business or how much other directors of other companies earn on average. With the business being a separate legal entity, it may be the case that the assets (the car, the house, etc.) may legally belong to the business, not to him, and he may pay also his wife a significantly larger wage than he pays himself.

    All of these actions are very likely perfectly legal under Australian law, as well.

    If you suspect there is some sort of fraud going on, however, you might try contacting the ATO for guidance.
     
  3. Mary June

    Mary June Member

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    Thank you. Yes I understand that the business is separate. So if they both claim to be owners and directors of the company, how can one receive more money than the other? Which will show on there annual tax returns?

    So basically the more children he has he can reduce his payments while she has the kids and has time off, she is still legally able to earn more than him. Even though they're both owners and directors of the same company? This is legal, isn't it? Which it is a clear case of his income being reduce so he doesn't have to pay too much child support! Seriously what is wrong with the system!
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    This is venturing into corporation and employment law, which I'm not really any kind of expert in, so I'm afraid I can't comment too much on the legality of differing wage frameworks within your ex's company, if that is even the case, but I do understand your frustration. Unfortunately, and from a legal stance, the only real direction I can give is to request that the Child Support Agency conduct an investigation to determine the accuracy of the father's income. Alternatively, if you suspect there is any form of fraud or tax evasion under way, it might be an idea to contact the ATO.

    In any case, though, the income of your former spouse's partner is not taken into consideration, except insofar as the birth of dependent children reduces his child support payments very slightly. Legally, a step-parent will only be liable to pay child support if ordered by the court to do so on grounds that neither of the parents are able to financially support the child. Otherwise, what they earn is excluded from the assessment.
     
  5. Lotus

    Lotus Member

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    The Child Support Agency can request forensic accounting investigations. I challenged my ex-husband's (IT consultant) alleged $20,000 a year salary, and they found evidence that he had a six digit income. However this was some time ago, and I'm not sure what happens now. If you get any child support I think you should consider yourself lucky.

    While this is no consolation here and now while you are struggling to make ends meet, he's not doing himself any favours in regard to his relationship with his children. I seriously wonder why he is having another child if he has no time or interest in the children he already has.
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ok so you can object based on earning capacity. Have a read
    2.6.14 Reason 8 - a Parent's Income, Property, Financial Resources, or Earning Capacity | Child Support Guide \

    If memory serves you're required to provide evidence... Stuff like Facebook pages that show holidays in Europe can contribute to showing a lifestyle that does not match the alleged income.... BUT..... In my opinion, you might just be causing yourself more grief.

    Trust me I understand. I have primary care of the kids. The ex sees them in the holidays and I have to provide clothes for them when they visit the other parent. Often, some or all the clothes do not get returned. My ex runs a business and does not pay a cent in child support. I've decided not to pursue it through child support. Just not worth the grief...
     
  7. melast

    melast Member

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    Hi

    I don't know if you have already filed an application for change of assessment, but I just wanted to share my recent experience to give you an idea of how it works.

    My child's father provided CSA with an estimate lower than his actual income and my payments were reduced.

    I filed an application under Reason 8 and you don't need to provide evidence, you just roughly give them a run down of the situation and why you think he is earning more than he claims, then someone will call you and you can go into more detail and they can then investigate deeper for you. They will let you know if they need physical evidence.

    Basically, I think that even if he is self-employed they will look at the "earning capacity" anyway and you might get an increase if they can find something to show what he makes or owns because they also look at assets.
    In my case, it was easier as he isn't self-employed so they got payslips from his employer and I was successful.

    I would apply if I were you as you have nothing to lose.
     
    Deee likes this.

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