NSW How can I fix this? % of care - incorrect guidance given by CSA

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Misled66

Member
26 March 2020
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0
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Guidance please?
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Facts:

- Orders state child has 54 nights care available to the father, with an extra 10 if he is in the area (we live interstate - about a 12 hour drive away).
- Child requested to live with father for a trial (ended up being approx 4 months - with Orders reversed)
- Child refused to go back to father due to allegations of abuse, so then the father made allegations of kidnapping through solicitor with threats of recovery orders.
- Agreed to take child to independent psychologist (usually works in the courts) for opinion. Opinion came back best interests for child to stay living with me (mother), and going back to old school etc.

- I told CSA that the care began with me the date of the child coming to visit (in school hols), Father gave a different date of around 6 weeks later (he states when HE gave me permission through his solicitor). CSA determined my date, father made an objection and said his date. CSA determination of objection went with the date the child would have returned to father at the end of the holidays. As part of this, CSA asked me the care going forward. I said I had no idea, but that I could only estimate it based on the court orders, because it went up and down. Court orders state 54 with a possible extra 10, so I said 65 to father, 300 to me. I said what happens when that care doesn't occur, I understood they advised that I would need to prove the last 12 months pattern of actual care, and call them back and change it accordingly.

- One year on, I contact CSA to tell them the Father had only 47 nights for the 12 month period. They said they couldn't and wouldn't change it, because it was connected to an objection decision. I asked what else I could do to change it, and they (objections officer and other departments) advised my only recourse was AAT application.

- I rang AAT and spoke to a case worker who said it would be an easy application, she took the details over the phone and submitted my application.

- I eventually get an AAT hearing.. where I have supplied ALL the evidence for the past 12 months, and evidence of estimates going forward. The AAT also requested files from CSA notes that were supplied to both parties.

- When it was eventually heard, with the father in attendance, the "Member" of AAT explained he didn't know why it was before him as he didn't have jurisdiction to change or review the % care arrangements. He simply was there to review the "objection decision" which he upheld as we agreed on the "compromised date" the child returned to me. He stated in his decision that I was ill informed (or words to that affect) and I had followed misguided advice from the CSA. He told me that the CSA should have dealt with it in the first place.

Then we go around and around.

I have been very unwell for the last 4 months since, in and out of hospital for surgeries.

- I finally have the energy to deal with this, and decide through researching, my best avenue would be making an official complaint to CSA, then asking the Commonwealth Ombudsman to review the inaccurate info I was given and make an over riding decision backdating the %care percentage to less than normal care, as proven in evidence. The CO Assessment Officer who looked at my online complaint sent a message back to me to say that he has decided not to review the case, as it had already been to AAT. The CSA complaints officer was somewhat useful and has adjusted the care % going forward (and backdating it 4 weeks), but is unable to assist going back 6-18 months (the two times I contacted CSA and made the request to change the % care). She agreed that perhaps the ombudsman would be the right avenue for complaint as they have different powers to the CSA.

It makes no sense at all.

I have written to my local Federal MP to ask for his advice. Any ideas? Money wise, it's about a $7500 loss to me over 18 months, less over the shorter term.

Appreciate all thoughts. Thank you.

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sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
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I'm confused. So the minor dispute when dad said child went back to you was a dispute about 6 weeks. A compromise of calling it 4 weeks is a win to u.

U contact csa 12 months later? Csa don't backdate. They will change the care % from the date of application. So no back pay for the past year. They will go off the orders 52 nights.

Moving forward make sure u provide access to dad so it isn't u keeping him below the 52 nights. U then have a chance to appeal and succeed
 

Misled66

Member
26 March 2020
3
0
1
Thank you for responding. I'm sorry I wasn't clear.

I contacted CSA 12 months after the care % was advised (October 2019) due to their advice to do so ("once the care pattern changes and you can prove it has happened for 12 months, we will change the pattern" which they refused to do and instead referred me to the AAT because there was an unrelated objection in place).

AAT member said that CSA should have changed the pattern when I asked them to in October 2019, rather than giving me the incorrect advice that I had to take it to AAT for appeal of the original objection (about the 6 weeks that the father objected to).

I provide access to the child per the orders. Have done so for 6 years now. It is he who decides to cancel on the child and have lesser nights of care.

I have been provided with the wrong information from CSA twice. Second time regarding the AAT is definitely recorded at CSA on my file. Do I not have any recourse with CSA for continually providing me with the wrong guidance and not doing what they are supposed to?
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
3,944
561
2,894
oh dear... So the problem you've got is CSA not dad?

CSA get their decisions wrong roughly 101% of the time. Their employees don't seem to understand their own stuff. JUST my opinion....

So CSA is a govt department. I'm sorry, I don't like my advice, but I think it is rock solid.... Effectively, you're taking on Scott Morrision. CSA - AAT - Federal court. that is the process to see this through. Sadly in my opinion, you are better off enjoying the time with the kid than fighting the system

Just so you know - I'm primary carer of the 3 kids. The ex spends a few weeks a year with them. The ex has a facebook page which they share with the kids to let the kids know what they're up to... It is nice. The kids like seeing what the other parent is doing. They like seeing their mum in Mexico and Spain in the one year. Her taxable income (which is what CSA base child support on) was $6000 last year... Suppose she couldn't earn all that much money because she was in Spain and Mexico and that stopped her from working so much, hence her income of $6000. I've taken CSA to task.... Nope - They can agree she has minimised her income because of being on holidays, but everyone needs a holiday right?.... But they can't agree that she is hiding money to save for these holidays. I have no idea what a holiday in Spain costs but I reckon $6000 would come close to them money. So if that is all my ex earns, how is she surviving when not in Spain?
 

Misled66

Member
26 March 2020
3
0
1
Interesting. I'm sorry you are having such issues. Perhaps lodge a COA re minimising her income, so it can be properly investigated? The kids will see through her sham when they get old enough. Karma comes a visiting. Best wishes.