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NSW Ex Not Paying Private School Fees - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Exhausted, 24 August 2016.

  1. Exhausted

    Exhausted Member

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    I have been billed half of private schooling fees for two kids by Child Support Agency and the money supposedly goes to my ex for paying half of the private school fees for the children.

    Based on CSA's assessment, my ex and I should pay 50/50 of the school fees. Child Support Agency charges me the half and my ex is responsible for pay the full fees to the school. The school contacted me lately and advised that the children's school fees are in arrears as my ex is not paying.

    I have suggested to the school that I have paid my half to my ex via CSA. The school's answer is they do not care of the arrangement between the parents, they just want to recover the fees.

    I have tried to contact Child Support Agency and they have told me there's nothing they can do.

    If my ex doesn't pay her half of the school fees or don't even pay any school fees with the money I paid for kids' education, what can I do? (The school is threatening to take legal action on me).

    My income is much higher than my ex's, but I'm paying maximum child support for two kids plus a decent amount of spousal maintenance for the ex, with other liabilities. The bills all together have put a heavy weight on me.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    How much longer do you have spousal maintenance?

    Do you have court orders? What do they say? Maybe you can pay the school directly. I'd also consider appealing to CSA you'll lose, but then take it to administrative appeals tribunal. You're likely to get a fair hearing out of them. You could ask for a reduction in child support and for you to pay the school directly until the arrears are sorted, and all of that can be done without solicitors, so no expense to you.

    The other less fun option is to withdraw the kids from school and send them to a public school. But there are huge problems with this and the kids will likely hate you for it.

    Book in for mediation is another option.

    Final option is to go back to court and request the orders get changed but this is gonna be expensive, it will take a long time and doesn't sound like much fun
     
    Sophea likes this.
  3. Exhausted

    Exhausted Member

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    Hi Sammy01,

    Thank you for getting back to me so promptly.

    We did have court orders. The court orders are pending on appeal at the moment as the orders are full of obvious errors made by the trial judge, if I accept the order, I will bankrupt or be on massive debts.The order regards to outstanding school fees - The court did order each to pay 50%. I believe the result of the appeal is going to be delivered very soon.

    As the school is expecting the parents to pay full tuition fees, I'm not sure if they will accept that the half of the tuition fees if I am to pay them directly. I will ask the schools if it's possible.

    I have been paying my half of the school fees via CSA. I have done the right thing. What is going to happen if I ignore the school's pursuit ? (As they really should chase my ex instead of me. The child support assessment has made it very clear that the wife is responsible to pay the full tuition fees since the husband has given half of the money to her).

    We both signed the enrollment when sending the two children to private school before separation. Can I remove them from the private school and send them to public? I didn't want to do this but if I lose the appeal and I won't be able to afford to send them to private school in the future. If the tuition fees owning to the school become large, will the school remove our children?

    She refuses settle and takes anyone who suggests her to settle as the enemy so I see no hope on mediation.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    Does your maximum Child Support payment/assessment equate to half of the cost of the private school fees?
     
  5. Exhausted

    Exhausted Member

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    Hi Matthew,

    Yes. The maximum Child Support Payment I'm paying at the moment equate to the half of the cost of the private school fees. I also pay spousal maintenance to the mother which equate to the full of the private school fees.

    Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Mate, you're stuck between the family law system and probably contract law with the school. They want their money and they are going to come after the person most likely to have the funds... You.

    I'd suggest you look at the administrative appeal tribunal and request that they grant you permission to pay all the fees to the school and pay reduced child support as a result.
     
  7. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    As your maximum CS assessment equates to half the school fees then CS cannot reduce your CS payable on the basis you pay the her half of the school fees. So the CS cannot help you.

    You need to file a Contravention Application to force the mother to comply with the Family / FCC Interim Orders that require her to contribute half of the school fees.
     
  8. Tina028

    Tina028 Active Member

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    I would suggest getting in contact with the school and ask them to send you both a bill for half the fees each and you both pay directly to the school. This option can be done or some schools can allow either of you to set up s direct debit so you can pay a bit each week/fortnight or month.
     

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