NSW Shared costs - parenting or property order?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by OptionalSettings, 24 February 2018.

  1. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    My separated wife and I have agreed in our parenting plan to split all payments for our children down the middle including day care, school fees, uniform, activities, medical etc.. This is working OK. We are in the process of filing consent orders and my wife want to include these payments under property orders. Is this the right place for this or should this be done under parenting orders?

    Also what is the position regarding child support payments. We agreed that we would split these costs instead of paying child support. Daycare alone is considerably more than what the child support payments would be. I am just paranoid that once my wife gets the consent orders she can then claim child support on top of the 50:50 payments. Is she entitled to do this or are my payments on daycare etc.. credited against child support. Can we put this in the orders that costs will be split instead of child support?
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Consent orders - child support should go in the children's matters section, not assets.

    so you want legal advice. Not punters on the web advice...Get this one wrong and it will cost you a fortune.
    So 3rd party payments can be considered child support as long as both parties agree... So you're gonna have to make sure the wording of the consent orders is unambiguous. Now child care payments are complex... You need to know so many rules. So I agreed (almost) to something similar. I would pay the ex $$XX for child care. She would pay the bill. So lets say the child care provider charged $100 a day. I pay $50... The ex pays $50. Except there are govt subsidies. She collects the subsidies. In effect she was paying about $20 a day.

    So the other problem is it gets messy. CSA have clear rules - Once you start working outside their system it can get messy. The biggest problem is that CSA will accept a situation where you pay more... They wont accept a situation where you pay less. So you have an agreement. 50/50 costs on everything instead of child support and 50/50 care of the kids... Nice... Easy. She then decides she doesn't want you to see the kids and applies to child support for a change of assessment. You wind up paying more child support.... And you have to pay a solicitor to help you get to court to get to see the kids.

    Short version - it can be done... But clearly you've got young kids... You have a long road ahead. So what happens when the kids start school. You no longer pay child care costs... What then? BTW what sort of access are you having with the kids?
     
  3. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    @sammy01 I currently get the kids 5 nights per fortnight, in our parenting plan this is supposed to increase to 6 half way through the year and then be equal time by the end of the year. My wife has already changed her mind and is objecting to this. If we have equal time, because she earns more than me, she would actually owe me money, so maybe this is why she never wants to agree to equal time. I was optimistically hoping by the time both children were at school we'd be on equal time and this wouldn't be an issue. My wife is refusing to include parenting orders with the property orders so I am suspicious of what she might do if they are not done together.
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    oh this is a mess... Ok so she can refuse to do parenting orders and only do property... And you can refuse to do assets and only do kids... But that ain't gonna help.

    Just a thought 5 a fortnight and half holidays? If yes, then offer to accept 6 a fortnight by consent with the additional night starting in 6 months... Mate 5 a fortnight is pretty good. You do know that once you get past 35% care you'll get some family tax benefit. 5 a fortnight is pretty good. In my experience the kids saw my house as the fun weekend away from mum... They also saw it unfair and blamed the ex... So how much $$$ do you throw at court for the sake of an extra night or two? And refuse to pay the child care.

    Isn't it funny - 50/50 shared care NO NO NO... You pay 50% of expenses YES YES YES.... Offer to pay 35% child care based on you having 35% care... Agree to 50% of child care if she agrees to 50% care.... Go on dare ya... Seems fair to me...
     
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  5. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    Could the consent orders list all the payments that both parties agree are to be considered child support? I have read that child support is dealt with under different legislation so not sure this would be enforceable.
     
  6. Flickery

    Flickery Active Member

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    Definitely sounds shifty her wanting to do property and parenting orders separately - what reasoning does she give for this?

    With you earning less than she does, you would be better off going the child support route. She can put a Change of Assessment application in to ensure the high cost of daycare fees are taken into account - this will be added on top of the base rate of child support.

    Circumstances continually change e.g. either of you may get a payrise or lose your job, the care pattern may change, kids start school, either one of you repartners or has another kid, govt rebates change etc. The child support system can account for all this and adjust the payments accordingly. Better than having a static plan where you need to rely on your ex to provide you with invoices.
     
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  7. OptionalSettings

    OptionalSettings Well-Known Member

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    @Flickery She has actually agreed to do the orders together but they would never allow equal shared time. I'd be better off going down the child care route but I'd prefer to make sure my kids get everything they need and day care is paid. I'm just trying to cover my bases.
     
  8. Flickery

    Flickery Active Member

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    Well you can still pay her extra $ on top of the assessed child support rate if you think it isn’t enough but that will be your choice.

    I’ve been in the child support system a few years now (as the receiving parent) and I find it pretty flexible and fair. I’ve had to make three Change of Assessment applications (e.g. kids moving from long daycare to school, another when my living costs significantly changed). And recently an application to change the care pattern when the ex took off to QLD for three months.

    My ex pays me the base rate (a standard calculation based on our respective income/nights of care) plus half of my out of pocket costs for childcare (which used to be long daycare for two kids but which is now before/after school/vacation care for two kids).

    I don’t get anything extra for uniforms, medical etc. But I see the base rate as his contribution to that, and the change of assessment part as his contribution to childcare. It’s just simpler than faffing about with individual receipts and invoices and the constant negotiation and interaction required for that.

    As sammy mentioned, there are a lot of govt benefits, rebates and family payments you won’t necessarily know your ex is getting so I think there’s a chance you could end up paying more than your fair share without going thru the child support agency.

    And life just keeps changing. There may be a time you can’t meet this deal you’re locking yourself into now. My ex repartnered and had another kid (his assessed rate went down). During the most recent application it emerged he’d gotten a 20K payrise 18 months ago (his assessed rate went up) etc.
     
  9. Flickery

    Flickery Active Member

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    Will just add, equal shared care isn’t ideal for young kids. Better for them to have one primary residence (whether that’s with her or you).

    Perhaps ask her to agree to orders starting at 5/9 and moving up to 6/8 once both kids are in school, then stepping up to 7/7 once they reach high school?
     
  10. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Change your thinking.... BTW - I reckon 5 a fortnight is ok... It is likely what you'd get in court, so while you might get a bit more in court, it is just as likely that you would not... So if you can stomach 5 a fortnight then I'd suggest you simply refuse any negotiations about child support... So I think you're doing the honourable thing, trying to make sure the kids don't miss out. But I think it is mis-guided... The end result? She is on a higher income, you pay her? she has lots of disposable income and you don't - all the more because you're paying her money. Cop 5 a fortnight and let the child support agency decide who should pay what.
     
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