NSW Help with Child Support Assessment Challenge?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by LostDad, 4 March 2019.

  1. LostDad

    LostDad Member

    Joined:
    4 March 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all

    Looking for some help from people with experience with child support payment assessment challenges.

    I've been paying child support for the last two years. I pay a lot of money each month ($1300) but have never refused payment or even questioned the amount, despite possibly having a viable claim to do so.

    My ex-wife has a second-weekend job that pays in cash. I firmly believe that she has declared some of the income to the ATO only so that she could then claim a mountain of deductions. The proof of her working can easily be shown through social media posts of her performing/reviews from customers, etc. What I can't do is prove how much she actually earns and worry that because she has declared "some", they won't look deeper into it

    Now the reason this has become a problem is that my ex likes to frequently make demands for additional money. She makes medical appointments without consulting me and makes the bookings during my time with my kids, claiming that she's "too busy" to do it during the week

    Recently I put my foot down and refused to give more money. I was then hit with a tirade of abuse over sms, including (what I believe to be) threats to alienate my children against me plus thinly veiled threats of AVO's and child support payment reviews (she believes I've somehow hidden income... I wish I had hidden money!)

    While I know 100% that I have been completely transparent in my financial disclosures, whenever I search for child support assessment reviews, I just hear horror story after horror story of guys being hit unfairly with massive ongoing bills because FACS / Centrelink ignored evidence and took the mother at her word

    I cannot afford this to happen. I already pay a MASSIVE amount of money to my ex monthly and any increase would see it nearly impossible for me to provide for my kids when I have them or provide for my new partner and her child

    So I guess I am curious... has anyone ever had a review triggered (or triggered it themselves) and actually came out better off for it? As I said, proving she has a second job is easy but proving the actual amount she earns isn't (I honestly believe she wouldn't even know how much extra she earns a year)

    I don't really want to go to the effort of collecting evidence (which would require somehow getting contact with someone who has access to her social media, as I've been blocked) for FACS to just turn around and ignore it... or even worse, side with her and say I need to pay more
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    6,221
    Likes Received:
    864
    Do you have a salary? Or in business for yourself?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. LostDad

    LostDad Member

    Joined:
    4 March 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Normal salary. Nothing to hide
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    Joined:
    27 May 2014
    Messages:
    6,221
    Likes Received:
    864
    Then you likely be safe from an unfair ruling.

    The horror stories I've heard about are from the self employed and business owners.

    Might be time to get your heels in, politely while firmly saying you are paying what you need to pay.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    516
    I'm a bloke, took it through to AAT and won.
    But - I reckon you're on a hiding to nothing. Get onto the CSA calculator. Play with some figures. I earn $90k as a school teacher. I have 3 kids living with me 90% of the time. My ex would have to have a declared income of about $35K before she'd have to pay. And then she would only have to pay about $10 a week... I worked out it just wasn't worth it.

    Ex went to Brazil and Germany last year... Declared income? $5000. She does mostly cash in hand work. So even if I won a change of assessment, she would still work cash in hand and enjoy telling me how she got away with it...

    Do you have court orders? What sort of child access do you have? If you have court orders then learn to play smart -
    Plan A - make some appointments for the kids on her time... See how she goes. She probably won't attend. Good she has set a precedent for you to do the same.
    Plan B - Contact the service provider for doctor's appointments - tell them you'll do the appointment but they will have to bill the ex.
    Plan C - seek a CSA review - but I don't really think you're on a winner here. You will only piss her off. Better to find strategies to minimise contact with her. Stress less - live longer.

    But if you don't have court orders you might want to think this through... A few hundred here or there vs having legal bills coming out of your arse and an increase in child support because she chooses to withold the kids and that will cause your care % to go down, hence paying more child support while not seeing the kids

    Mate - my kids spend 4 weeks with the ex over summer - Every summer I have CSA on the phone - She wants a change of assessment because she is primary carer FOR 1 MONTH and wants me to pay her child support for that month, based on the premise she has 100% care.... FFS. Sadly, sometimes the twits at child support side with her. Fortunately, this stunt has never worked, but it has caused some stress and I'm sure if she ever managed to convince them to garnish my wage I'd never see that $$$ again. Hence my advice, best trying to avoid them and to be honest, it sounds like this part time weekend gig is probably not gonna be a huge cash cow, so for the effort of the appeal process, you might find the end result not worth the stress.
     
  6. LostDad

    LostDad Member

    Joined:
    4 March 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    This honestly has been one of the things that's held me back from doing something about this in the last two years. She made (again thinly veiled) threats early on after separation that she has "many friends and family who would jump at the chance to back up any claims she makes". ie, suddenly there would be witnesses to imaginary abuses to prevent me from seeing my kids

    We have parenting orders in place and a binding financial agreement in regards to the settlement of the house we owned together, but not for child support

    Even triggering a change of assessment is not a permanent solution to this. I'd have to re-apply every few months or two years (depending on their ruling). I spoke with FACS about this yesterday afternoon and given the evidence I could provide of her earning cash in hand, I'd have a pretty good chance of getting the assessment to be positive on my side

    So I'm in a bit of a pickle now in weighing up the risks either way
     
  7. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    516
    Mate if u have court orders then follow them. Refuse to pay for appointments she schedules in your time.

    Have a good look at the CSA website. Call them while sitting at your computer so they can talk u thru the process. Just look at what adding a few grand to her income might do to payments. My thinking is $20 a week ain't worth it...$200? Different story...

    Sounds like you're dealing with a nutter. Mate, I would not worry about veiled threats but I would worry that she will quit a job or find some other way to seek vengeance for challenging her...Nutters
     
  8. Tremaine

    Tremaine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 February 2019
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    16
    It sounds like mum is threatening an application for special consideration on grounds of reason 8, which is that the child support assessment doesn’t accurately reflect a parent’s income, property, financial resources or earning capacity. If you’re just earning a salary and have no other sources of income, like an investment property, then it’s unlikely that grounds for special consideration under reason 8 will be made out. In our case, Child Support explained that our house and other assets wouldn’t change the assessment unless we were earning an income off it, but if my partner’s ex still wanted to go ahead with the application, she would have to disclose all of her finances just as we would be expected to disclose all of ours.

    There’s a bunch of other possible reasons for special consideration (see here: Changing your child support assessment in special circumstances - Australian Government Department of Human Services), but it doesn’t really sound like any of those are what your ex would be gunning for.

    What would I do? If you haven’t already, call Child Support and request that they collect child support and distribute to your ex, rather than doing private collect. That will mean any child support issues will need to be raised with Child Support, rather than with you.

    Next, I would ignore your ex’s threats. Until mum actually files some something, there’s no point worrying about it, and trust that if she does, you’ll have your chance to respond. I wouldn’t waste time trying to prove mum is earning more than she says she is, because you’re right, it’ll be nearly impossible to actually prove. Trying to get her income taken into account will also operate as a cross application, which tends to be a little more complex.

    And finally, don’t pay for anything outside of what child support assesses you to pay. Tell her if she’s got a problem with it, she can take it up with Child Support. I’ll bet beyond doubt that you’d be calling her bluff.
     
  9. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 September 2015
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    516
    Hey, I just re-read your first post...

    Do you only see the kids at the weekend? Or maybe 1 day during the week?
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...
gt;