VIC Getting a Stay Order in Relation to Child Support Payments?

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kimbapuppy

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17 January 2016
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My ex objected to my reduction in income due to the extensive time I had to take unpaid leave to prepare and attend court proceedings (including providing bank statements from 2010!). Child Support Agency ruled in her favour and inflated my income by an additional $100k.

I objected to this assessed income and provided payslip to justify that my original income estimates are indeed accurate. The review of this objection is still pending.

This decision triggered a substantial arrears payment due on 7 Feb 18 and an increase in monthly repayment by $1000. I am unemployed as of 1 Mar 18 and am struggling to pay legal fees ($20k owing), court ordered counselling fees ($1,500 todate), $12k in tax bills/credit card bills and court ordered cash settlement of $20k to the ex.

The payment hardship application was rejected by Child Support Agency (without reviewing the evidences submitted) and the debt recovery people has been unleased as of yesterday that they will take money out of my bank accounts. I have yet to pay for the children's school fees - hence, will cause other issues.

I was told that I could get a "Stay Order" so that the arrears payments can be put on hold.
How do I go about to obtain this stay order, where is the form to lodge, which court, how much to lodge and what is the time between lodgement and until the stay order is issued?

P.S. The ex has $50k in savings and transferred $80k into her deceased sister's account 1 week prior to settlement so the children's care under the ex would not be affected adversely if the arrears payment is put on hold until my objection is reviewed.
 

AllForHer

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23 July 2014
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Information here: http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov....-ca8eef24-bf99-46f6-ae4d-76e7fe2a78c3-lZWoGnZ

Application form here: http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov....-b8f04eb9-e582-4061-9156-0ebf9e6e1f6f-lZTKhzf

You would be filing this application for a stay order with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, and it will require an affidavit, which should include information about your current financial circumstances, annexed with appropriate bank statements, etc. I can't comment on times between lodgement and stay order being issued, though, because it depends on the registry and the case itself.
 
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Rob Legat - SBPL

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You need to consider going to the AAT first. They’re the appropriate venue after running out of options with CSA.

You need to apply for a review of their decision and, at the same time, put in a request for a stay of the decision. If CSA opposes that (which it appears they may) a hearing will be set to consider the issue. You may get the stay disallowed, allowed, or allowed with conditions (which could include a time frame).
 
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AllForHer

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Agree with the above. Don't go applying for Court until you've followed the proper steps through CSA and the AAT. That's explained in the information sheet about CS applications, as well.
 
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kimbapuppy

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17 January 2016
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Agree, there's less paperwork via AAT.

Thanks for all your responses - I finally get the process to get the Stay Order.
 

Rod

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I'm unclear whether the AAT or court is likely to give a better result. Keep in mind if you are unhappy with the AAT decision your ability to appeal the AAT decision is limited to matters of law.

Needs someone with AAT experience to comment.
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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The AAT is generally considered 'better' for initial reviews. They're not adversarial, having a somewhat inquisitorial role. In plain speak, that means they can make their own inquiries - whereas a court relies on the parties to present the case to them.

The Tribunal is also not bound by the rules of evidence. This makes it much easier for self-representing parties to negotiate.

You'll also find that CSA do not appear at hearings. In child support matters it's the Tribunal Member, you and the other parent party.

The Tribunal will usually make their own decision which will substitute for CSA's, rather than referring it back to CSA to consider.

Whether it's actually better is another thing. Rod is correct in that the right of appeal to a court is limited to a question of law. That means you can't contest the Tribunal's findings of fact. Without the rules of evidence, the Tribunal can consider a wider scope of things (a double edged sword). Like going to court, it can come down to the Member who you get overseeing the matter - except that in the Tribunal you're not guaranteed (or perhaps even likely) to get a judicially qualified person.