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Can CSA be avoided by agreement between "shared parents"

Wish to formalise current arrangement of "carer pays"

My Wife (Seperated) and I do not wish to further complicate matters by involving the CSA in our finannces. We are essentially undertaking informal "shared parenting" and have a "he / she who is providing care at given time pays" policy in place.

Is anybody aware of a process that would allow us to formalise this arrangement as we wish to protect eachother and our Child from CSA BS, pain and suffering should things go pear shaped down the track.

Am I naive to think that as this is in our child's best interests there will be a process to meet our needs.

Neither party wishes to involve the CSA at this point.
I imagine the best option is to see a solicitor and have it drawn up legally.  

If you are both in agreement then it shouldn't be a problem to keep the interfering CSA out of it.  But i know from experience it only takes a small issue for things to go pear shaped.  
The only way CSA will get involved is if either party involves them OR if either party is getting single parenting benefits. So if both you and your ex are earning enough to not get benefits then you are fine to do as you please.

If on the other hand either of you is able to get benefits you can then elect to privatly collect from CSA. It is my experience that if parents can work it out themselves CSA are happy to keep out as long as they have confirmation from BOTH parents.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
You need to get a parenting agreement, including your agreement to cover child costs for the time the child is with you, written up, preferrably by a lawyer. I guess this would form a binding financial agreement also, in addition to a parenting plan.

I believe from previou posts, that the child is young. As the child attends school, costs increase. There will be uniforms, school camps/excursions, books and possibly health needs, dental etc. You need to document how you will deal with this. For example, 50/50 on all costs after private health care has been used (if either of you have health cover). A good private agreement should have some indexing for CPI for the capital city nearest you, so it increases 3-4% yearly.

You do not need to have CSA involved if:
you have a private agreement, and
your partner is not getting full centrelink benefits.

If she is getting full centrelink benefits, centrelink will not allow her to enter a private agreement.

If she has partial benefits, she can enter a private agreement. (bewildering, isn't it).

NOW, the thing about private agreements is, they are only binding as long as both parties agree. If at any point your ex gets nasty, short on money, or both, she can approach CSA for an assessment and break from the private agreement if she choses. The good news is, the new assessment only applies from this date. You will then be approached to make private collection (ie, you put money in her bank account).

If you refuse this, CSA can garnisheer your wages (ie, remove money before it hits your bank account, via your employer).

So, yes, Private Agreements are a good idea, but they don't always hold up.


Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I was informed that the only way to collect arrears of privately agreed child support is if it is registered with the CSA, otherwise no chance.

So if two loving parents agree to keep the CSA out their affairs and one reneges, the only way to rectify it is to go the CSA. And it only applies from that although you can apply to have it backdated 3 months but have to jump through hoops.

Also the CSA like to know who is paying what to whom and love to delve into your private affairs, and then can't wait to offload you onto a private collect arrangement if they think they can free up people in the organisation (but they still have your details registered… very tricky).
 I was informed that the only way to collect arrears of privately agreed child support is if it is registered with the CSA, otherwise no chance.

This is correct and can simply be done by both parents phoning CSA, which minimises delving into private affairs.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
As I understand it a Parental Agreement can be associated with Consent Orders that can be agreed to under the Family Law Act.
The value of having such orders is that it formalises your reality and gives certainty.
CSA as written above are a dispute resolution instrument which is dynamically adjusted as circumstances change. It is loaded with social values as applied by Parliament.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
Verdad offers sage advice.

To prevent future misunderstandings it is best to have all agreements documented and lodged with the court and a copy given to CSA. This will prevent/reduce argument over days and monies.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Who's offering sage advice

Artemis said
Verdad offers sage advice.
I thought Sage was offering sage advice ?  :lol:
verdad said
As I understand it a Parental Agreement can be associated with Consent Orders that can be agreed to under the Family Law Act.
The value of having such orders is that it formalises your reality and gives certainty.

 
Does anyone know anything about this?

We attempted to get consent orders to cut the CSA out of the equation and were told that child support cannot be done by consent orders, only a child support agreement which still has to be registered and administered by the CSA.



If I recall correctly, the family law court can override CS, furthermore there is no obligation, if both parties agree, again if I recall correctly, to use the CSA for either assessment or collection. However Centrelink can reduce payments if they are not satisfied that ample CS is being paid. Furthermore, CSA can be used for assessment only, and as such parents can then agree (well the payee) to say that the payments are being made according to the assessment. Perhaps you should ask for the person telling you this to confirm this in writing and to include the legislation they are basing what they are telling you.
Thanks Mike
MikeT said
If I recall correctly, the family law court can override CS, furthermore there is no obligation, if both parties agree, again if I recall correctly, to use the CSA for either assessment or collection.
Sorry, I wasn't clear enough.

I know the court can override CS, but that takes a court case.

I was talking about avoiding a court case by getting consent orders.
MikeT said
Furthermore, CSA can be used for assessment only, and as such parents can then agree (well the payee) to say that the payments are being made according to the assessment.
We were trying to just agree between the parents and take CSA out of the picture altogether, even for assessment, because they have caused untold damage with incompetent administration.

(Not hysterical language, they have admitted that in writing.  Too bad about the financial, personal and relationship and health damage done in the process!)
MikeT said
Perhaps you should ask for the person telling you this to confirm this in writing and to include the legislation they are basing what they are telling you.
I have thrown the papers out, but it was in writing, on a family court brochure about consent orders which specifically said consent orders cannot be used for child support - it must be done via a Child Support Agreement which must involve the CSA.

Since the whole idea was to cut the CSA out of the picture, that was no help at all.



Katie, I think you both (well payee primarily) just tell the CSA you are "Self Administrating" and have no need for their services (assuming the FTB doesn't force you to go to CSA).


CSA said
Does CSA have to be involved?

No. If you feel you do not need CSA involved and you receive only the base rate of Family Tax Benefit, or don't receive Family Tax Benefit, your best option may be self administration.

Self administration allows parents the flexibility to:

    * decide how much child support is paid
    * decide how and when it is paid
    * make payments directly to the other parent.

It is a good idea to put your arrangements in writing, this helps to set clear expectations and boundaries for both parents.
It's a good idea to keep a detailed record of all the payments you receive in case you decide later to move to CSA collect

If you receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit, Centrelink requires you to apply for an assessment by CSA. If they do not register with CSA, Centrelink may reduce their benefits.

Found at

Last edit: by MikeT

MikeT said
Katie, I think you both (well payee primarily) just tell the CSA you are "Self Administrating" and have no need for their services (assuming the FTB doesn't force you to go to CSA).
Thanks again Mike

FTB is only an issue until the end of this year, so there is hope. Thanks for pointing that out.

However, that still leaves no way that I can see to get a binding agreement without involving the CSA.

Consent orders are not allowed and a Child Support Agreement must be registered with CSA.



katie said
However, that still leaves no way that I can see to get a binding agreement without involving the CSA.

Consent orders are not allowed and a Child Support Agreement must be registered with CSA.
I had Child support defined by Consent Orders (at Trial) that specified the amount and duration of 18 months. This did not involve the CSA at all.  I'm not sure why you cannot do the same- but maybe you cannot do it under the new legislation.  Prior to the Consent Orders I did have a case registered with CSA, but contacted them to change to 'self-collect' after the Consent Orders were made. I'm now back in the CSA 'system' where they collect on my behalf.
Thanks.  You did it, so obviously it can be done.

Did you have other child issues before the court or just child support?

Perhaps that was the difference - we only had child support issues and the forms seemed very clear that it could not be done.

Or perhaps you could do it because you went to trial.  That was not an option for us.

If this is not too nosy a question, why did you go back to CSA collect? Only, it sounds like a backward step to me.

Cheers

Katie



Child support is not my forte, but I don't think the FCA or FM can make a child support order without an application, which is more difficult to make now with the involvemnet of the SSAT.

Child support agreements can be referred to in a consent order, ie that the parties shall sign and register an agreement in terms of the annexed document.

If an agreement is made and accepted by the registrar I do not think an application for assessment can simply be made without the parties agreeing to end the agreement or an application to court to have it set aside.

It is true that the registrar of child support will refuse to register an agreement for a recipient of a pension. ("Pension" is old speak. Not sure of the exact language now, is it family allowance?).

I'll have another look at the legislation and update this if it is misleading.
katie said
Thanks.  You did it, so obviously it can be done.

Did you have other child issues before the court or just child support?
Yes - A 3 way battle, custody, property, child support
katie said
If this is not too nosy a question, why did you go back to CSA collect? Only, it sounds like a backward step to me.
Other parent seeking to overturn final orders seeking 100% live with (not bad since I was the stay at home 'mother' at separation and had been for several years).

Battle still raging in current mediation (5 years post separation). Other parent does not want to pay child support under any circumstances (despite salary > 900k pa).

CSA collect is my only option once the Consent Orders expired.
If you don't mind me asking what is her Rice and Asplund argument?

(Kindly disregard this if it has already been discussed in threads that I have not seen, or is none of my business.)
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