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50/50 shared care child support issue

I have an almost 6 year old daughter that I have shared care of with her father (50/50) week on and week off arrangement.

Her father hasnt worked for the last 3 years, and lives with his girlfriend - his girlfriend works fulltime.

I have to pay him CS eventhough he isnt working and its not because he has a disability although sometimes I think his laziness could be.

In December 2008 (before our daughter started Big School) he enrolled to study Internet Studies online so is getting FTB payments and Austudy payments.

I have complained to the CSA but they have said that yes its unfair that I work fulltime and pay him CS and he doesnt work but that its all about whats in the best interests of the child - not the parent.

So basically, they are saying that its tuff cookies for me that I have to pay my ex CS eventhough he chooses not to work!!!!

Do you think I should see a family lawyer about this or do you know of anyone that has been in the same situation?  I realise I cant force my ex to work at all but surely there is something that can be done??

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any  use to oneself."

Supermum this is an all too common predicament, although you are luckier than many, as many don't have care/contact and many others have very little care or contact and therefore not only don't get to see their children, but also pay a great deal more e.g. for someone earning what you do, the amount would be doubled, although the amount received overall would reduce by half the difference due to FTB clawback.

As you have found there is little that you can do, that is other than try to fight for the system to be a lot fairer.

I take great exception to CS , as it is or as it was, being in the best interest of the children, as CS and it's unfairness makes it very easy for the children to be indoctrinated with what is a very unsocial attitude, that being the expectation that others pay (e.g. Chrystie's recent comment "Why should I pay for my child to see her Grandparents"). There is also the issue of children being used as the pawn, exploited for monetary gain, against the humane right of the child.

What I believe is really needed is not a Government controlled system, and therefore heartless machine, but for society to expect parents to do right for their child or children and for that to drive parents to do their bit. Very likely "pie in the sky" though.

Last edit: by MikeT

In the cases where the other parent has lost their job through no fault of their own then thats different but to be unemployed for the last few years simply because you havent had your 'dream' job handed to you on a silver platter is just unacceptable and it should also be unacceptable to the government.

All I ask/want is for her father to step up to the plate and get ANY job to help support his child!

Lots of parents work AND study, its not impossible!!!

And yes I am better off than a lot of parents out and their situations also make me angry!!

Im thinking of writing to my local MP about shared care and CS.  

I know nothing will come of it but at least I will know that Ive given it a good shot!

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any  use to oneself."

You have the misfortune of being on the wrong end of the stick.

I would suggest that for every mother in your predicament there would be 10 fathers in the same predicament, ie separated mum decides she has a 'right' to stay at home with the kids, so therefore the 'deadbeat' dad gest to pay for her leisure time!.

But you are right, the system sucks… big time.
I can sympathise with you SuperMum as I too have an ex who "chose" not to work to his full capacity so as to not only avoid paying CA but to ensure that I had to then pay him.

It is frustrating to feel like you are propping up his lifestyle however and I personally would like to see changes that allow CS paid to go directly on expenses incurred by the child during their time with the other parent (i.e. a trust fund managed by CS where expenses are paid on production of a receipt etc. rather than just a cash handout) in cases where it is apparent a parent is using the system to benefit themselves at the expense of the child. How to prove that of course is a whole other issue.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Except my daughter goes to school and he only has her one week out of every fortnight so there isnt really any excuse to not work except being too lazy IMO, but yes I agree that there is a lot wrong with the current system and a lot of parents suffering because of it.

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any  use to oneself."


I like your idea and believe me I am not trying to discourage your thinking but there is only a small flaw -  in that there are alot of things my ex would spend the money on that I give in CS that would not have a receipt for every time.  The CS i give helps with the rent, the electricity bill, the phone bill (to call me), washing of clothes (do we put a monetry amount on every load like the ATO does for deductions).  How about petrol in the car to take the kids to child care or to school, lunch made at home a receipt would not be available for that.

Hey I have no doubt that from time to time she may have use some of this money for herself.

Again I am not knocking the idea if it could be refined in a way to assist the Payer and Payee to understand what is going on. Yes I am lucky I am amicable (at this point anyway) with my ex, seh jsut informed of an interesting situation.  Over the past three months I have paid extra into my CS account so as to minimise how much I had to pay when I went away on a holiday( ie more money for spending whilst away).  BUT little did I know that CS reduced the amount actually given to her the next month by the over payment, so she got 600 month 1 and then got 550 month 2 from me but month 3 she only got 350 as she had been paid the extra in the two preceding months. In some respects I see that as being unfair to her as she was not fully conversant with how CSA works.

Could have been worse I could have paid the full CS from my tax return and then not pay her cent for the rest of the year.
I agree dcell, but I am talking about cases where some sort of intervention is required, not those where the system is working.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
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