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Binding Agreement

I'm not sure what to make out with the Binding/Non-Binding agreement and based on the 1hr discussion I had, as I suspect that CSA wants to lock me into paying a fixed amount for the next few years.

Hi,  I received a call today from CSA who suggested that as my COA is due to expiry,  (end of June), my new case officer had asked if I would go into a Binding or Non-Binding Agreement with my 'X' so to save on my X having to put in for another COA.

The background is that I am the Payer and come July, my CSA is reduced from $2500per month down to $2100 and come Nov2010,  it will be further decrease to $1500per month as the eldst child will turn 18.

I'm not sure what to make out with the Binding/Non-Binding agreement and based on the 1hr discussion I had,  as I suspect that CSA wants to lock me into paying a fixed amount for the next few years.  The Case Officer did say that based on the number of COA that my X has put in for over the years, he believe going into a Agreement would be ideal for me (payer).  Again, I think it all about locking me in and save on doing COA.

Has anyone been asked by CSA to go into a Agreement and what is your thoughts/experience regarding this.

Thank you.

Nicholas..
I must be missing something as the 'Ex' doesn't have to lodge a Change of Assessment at the expiry of an assessment period it is done automatically by CSA where the parties are not in any private arrangement. The letter of change will be in the post. You need to be carefull in a fixed agreement as cirumstances do change and it is a fluctuating employment market. Private agreements are generally where couples are co operating well.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Hello Sec_SPCA,   just to clarify this, I am paying an additional $400 per month due to a COA that my X rasied 2 years ago.  This COA will expiry in June as therefore, the X will submit another COA to retain getting as much money from me.  The COA is based on Medical cost (Bracelets) and schooling which I never agreed/signed to.

I do agree with your comment about amployment market an change in circumstances.  Lasty, my X and I do not communicate at all (only thru email) so I really can';t see getting into a fixed agreement working as how can we even discuss it.
I have just entered a private binding agreement with my x. We have not spoken for 8 years and have been in and out of court over this time. For me it has made it easier to know exactly how much I will get a month till the boy's are 18 and given there are private school fees involved I also know exactly how much I have to save etc..We have been through 6 COA and then each time to the SSAT and it all gets overturned and I end up back to nothing. He could not get out of paying for half of the school fees as there was a signed court agreement so that is what he pays in the binding agreement. For me it has saved a lot of my time and emotional up and downs. As long as you make it fair I cannot see how it can be a bad thing.
I would be a bit wary of this.  In the past 17 years we have never been approached once by the CSA to ask if we want a PA. It has been entirely our decision. I agree abou things changing,but, we have a clause that covers us if my husband becomes unemployed as obviously you could not keep paying CS when unemployed.  We currently pay over $1000 per month. This is basically a second mortgage for us.  You also dont have to get along with the ex to set up a PA. We did ours all by correspondence. Have you talked to a community legal centre or the child support unit of legal aid yet Nic35?
All,  just an update regarding this matter, CSA have called me again (today) encouaging me that I take up a Binding Agreement for 3 yrs as it will be to my advantage.  Thing is, I can't see how it will be to  my advantage and when I asked that question, CSA couldn't provide an answer other than there won't be any need to do COA for the next 3 years (so no really financial benefit that I can tell !!)
Can you ask CSA for a projection of figures for the next three years based on both scenarios so you can make an "informed decision".

I think you are right to be wary based on their inability to provide an answer based on facts over their opinion.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
My binding agreement has finally gone through. The only financial benefit to me is I know how much I will get every year and it cannot change without legal action until the children turn 18. I can also get a second job if necessary and it will not affect the csa amount in anyway. He too can get a second job or pay himself a wage rather then a 0 assessment every year. There should be no more fighting and he can pay what he thinks is fair. I end up with less but emotionally and my stress levels end up better. I also get half the school fees paid and that is a huge relief to me.
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