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Calculation for child support needs amending

The system did not encourage the 'caring parent' to get a career and earn wages and have a bit of super behind for their later years. FIFO employees are paying more than they should. The payment for 1 child over the age of 13 is a joke.

The current calculation for child support payments were brought about before the cost of living blew out of control and the average income was around $30k to $40k per annum.  

They system did not encourage the 'caring parent' to get a career and earn wages and have a bit of super behind for their later years. FIFO employees are paying more than they should.  The payment for 1 child over the age of 13 is a joke.  

Surely the CSA could come up with a system where there is an amount required to support A child.  Surely both parents should be going 50/50 on these costs.  I completely understand why some men are pushed over the edge.  I am not a male paying child support in fact I have been on the receiving end and it was almost impossible to get any money out of my ex husband and he went off to have 3 more kids with another woman.

I got of my ass and got a career happening.  My children have always known me to work full time and it taught them to do the same.  All I can say is "thank goodness the 'child' turns 18 and it comes to an end".  These women receiving huge amounts of child support must spend a fair amount of time washing their dirty undies when these payments cease.
ENUFISENUF said
The current calculation for child support payments were brought about before the cost of living blew out of control and the average income was around $30k to $40k per annum.
I don't believe that this principle holds any real weight. The cost of children (rather than the cost of living) results in a percentage of the child support income being classed as being for child support.

The real argument is that the cost of children is based upon what are ridiculous amounts. That is they are based upon a child costing over $500,000 to raise at a time when the average income was below $50,000. Considering average factors, the average family simply could not afford such payments. Furthermore an adjustment was made to cater for one piece of evidence along the lines of "Some research suggests that it costs more to raise children of separation". Certainly the word suggest appears. It most certainly does not state shows.

I do not believe there are any additional costs for a child support child, rather than the fact is that there is a reduced amount available for parents of separated children due to the benefit of economies of scale being removed, which is due to in general, two households needing to be supported rather than the previous one.

Furthermore a more recent study took a different slant on calculating the costs of children. This study, instead of accumulating a whole list of theoretical costs as per the research(sic) used for the current cost of children, looked at the difference of the disposable income of families with and without children. This therefore was based upon actual rather than theoretical and contrived evidence. The findings were basically that the cost of children is inflated by a factor of at least 10. My own experience, moving from a liable parent to a recipient, funnily enough shows that the factor of 10 was a realistic figure.

ENUFISENUF said
Surely the CSA could come up with a system where there is an amount required to support A child.
The CSA's job is to administer the legislation. I's the legislator's job. The CSA, when allowed to interfere with the legislation, which I believe that they did with the 2010 spring changes. Will only consider a one real factor; how they can look good.

In the Spring 2010 changes a surreptitious amendment was introduced that allowed the CSA to reduce their effort when dealing with care to disputes, by allowing a lives with parent to deny access even contrary to court orders and have the extra CS applied. This was not documented in the descriptions of the changes that were issued.

With regard to cost of children I believe that if the legislation were to fully consider parental financial responsibility and thus not only step in for the collection/transfer but also to ensure that monies are properly spent on the children, then the result would be collection of data that more accurately reflected the cost of children. Obviously such measures would also protect children against the abuses that they suffer due to abuse of the monies collected or transferred for those children.

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Can anyone please explain what the CSA mean by 'self support' amount that they use in their calculation.  The amount at present is $19,618.
If a child earns approx. the same, then does this mean that the child no longer requires support?
What is 'self support' ?
The Self-Support Amount (SSA), is the amount that is deemed necessary to provide support for a parent. It is applied to both parents by subtracting it from their adjusted taxable income (ATI). If a child's income (excepting CS payments) were as high as this amount then a Reason 4 Change of Assessment (COA or legal term a departure from administrative assessment) could be applied for. The reason 4 can be applied for for the child's income that exceeds $11666.20 per annum (note this amount is indexed annually).

The SSA is fairer then the pre-2008 system when the self-support amount of the liable parent was much lower than the the self-support amount of the recipient (something like $18,000 v $42,000).
From conversations I've had with the CSA, they tell me that the payer will still have to support the child even if their income is as high as $20k to $30k.  I will keep pushing the change of assessment 'Reason 4'.
At the moment I have objected to their decision to decline my application for a change.  The child earns $19032 per annum plus overtime and other allowances e.g. early start allowance.  I am currently paying $319 per week (yes per week). It's ridiculous.
ENUFISENUF said
From conversations I've had with the CSA, they tell me that the payer will still have to support the child even if their income is as high as $20k to $30k.  I will keep pushing the change of assessment 'Reason 4'.

According to the legislation, you would still have to pay support. However, it should be at a reduced rate and it's hard to say by how much. The legislation is very much at fault here. There are 10 ways that an assessment can be changed but the legislation does not specify which of the 10 ways should be applied in particular cases. So in theory the relevant dependent child amount could be changed, even though there is no relevant dependent child. I believe this omission is purposeful so that the CSA can manipulate the reasons to apply an unjust an inequitable outcome of an inflated amount of CS. One of the proposals put forward is that specific orders are made in specific applications and that such applications are transparent rather than obfuscated as they currently are.

In theory, in the scenario of a child's income, this should affect a reduction in the cost of that child by the amount above the Youth Allowance (an amount a child could get and if so when FTB payments for the child would reduce or cease (I'm not sure if they stop entirely, especially with the reforms that will pay for a child to remain at school until they are 18)).
In my opinion, if a child working full time with take home pay above $300, then 75% of this money should be given to the caring parent to help with the everyday household expenses.  It is unfair that the working child has all this 'pocket money' when most of us do not have this amount left over for weekly entertainment.  There is something very wrong with this system.  I am tempted to get in touch with the team from 'Today Tonight' and raise this issue.  The current system needs reform and it needs to set some clear guidelines.  Many children leave school before they reach the age of 18.
MikeT said
ENUFISENUF said
From conversations I've had with the CSA, they tell me that the payer will still have to support the child even if their income is as high as $20k to $30k.  I will keep pushing the change of assessment 'Reason 4'.

According to the legislation, you would still have to pay support. However, it should be at a reduced rate and it's hard to say by how much. The legislation is very much at fault here. There are 10 ways that an assessment can be changed but the legislation does not specify which of the 10 ways should be applied in particular cases. So in theory the relevant dependent child amount could be changed, even though there is no relevant dependent child.
We should start to look to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and Legislative Instruments Act 2003 for some better guidance. Unfortunately the CSA and SSAT do not appear to consider the Acts and application in the same way that the courts would.

These apply :

   Any definitions or guidance in the legislation
   The ordinary meaning
   A Commonsense approach
   Definitions or guidance in the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 (both subject to explicit contrary intention)

Acts Interpretation Act 1901
Applies to:
   All Commonwealth Acts (s 2(1) Acts Interpretation Act)
   Regulations and other instruments (s 13(1) Legislative Instruments Act)
   Other instruments (s 46(1)(a) Acts Interpretation Act)

Provides:
   Specific Definitions of words and references
   Guidance on interpretation of specific references or topic areas
   General machinery provisions

Legislative Instruments Act 2003
Applies to:
   All Commonwealth legislative instruments (defined in section 5) Provides:
   "[A] comprehensive regime for the management of Commonwealth legislative instruments" (s 3)
   Some guidance on interpretation of specific references or topic areas
   General machinery provisions



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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