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Can you put in place a private child support arrangement is CSA are involved

Hi,

So at present CSA take payments each month from my wage.  My kids are older and want to chose when they come over.  For various reasons I have agreed but have told the X I wont make it formal unless we can agree a preset amount of child support.  As I cannot afford for it to go up if the kids decide not come over enough nights.

Therefore if CSA are already involved can you put in place a private child support arrangement?

If so what do you have to do.

thanks
You can only enter a private (either binding or limited) agreement if your ex agrees to it. If she stands to lose money as a result, the chances of her agreeing to it would seem slim. Any agreements between parties will need to be reviewed by CSA anyway. In essence, if the agreement doesn't provide for the same level of financial support as a normal formula assessment, they won't allow it.

The other option is a completely private agreement with no CSA involvement but your ex then runs the risk of the agreement nullifying any entitlement she may have to family tax benefits.
Basically Sleepy has answered with the three types of agreements. However, a limited agreement has the stipulation that it must be for at least as much as what would be assessed using the formula and as such that is ruled out according to your criteria.

A binding agreement can be for any amount.

In regard to a private agreement, there is an option that Sleepy hasn't presented and that is to allow CSA involvement and to let them determine the amount of child support but to then ignore that amount, this will then get around the reduction in Family Tax benefit aspect. However such an agreement is not at all binding so either parent can simply ignore it.

I believe that in both potential solutions (binding or private agreement) that FTB would be reduced and that could well be a factor that the receiving parent finds arguable.
In the case of a binding agreement, the reduction would result in just FTB part A being paid.
In the case of the private agreement of ignoring the CSA's assessment, FTB part B would be reduced according to the amount as assessed by the CSA.

Here's a link to The CSA Guide - Agreements 2.7. I suggest that you have a good read of all of this section.






Ok so if I get what I just read (which is doubtful) if both parties agree then we can agree a child support amount and get a binding agreement put in place?
Yes you probably could but every member of this forum has recommended against binding agreements in the past because they're difficult to revisit if yours or your ex's circumstances, most notably care levels and incomes, change during the period that the agreement is extant.
The reason I am seeking a binding order is because I dont want the x to change her mind later on down the track.

What I have proposed is that:

1.  Child Support will be $x for child A per annum to be paid monthly up to and including the month the child turns 18

2.  Child Support will be $x for child B per annum to be paid monthly up to and including the month the child turns 18

3.  If at any time the amount paid for child support is more than the amount calculated using the CSA calculator then the amount will be the amount determined using the CSA calaculator.

Point 3 protects me from loss of job or if my x some how starts earning more than me etc.  What I am trying to do is set the child support amount to a reasonable level.  Because the amount I am paying now and its about to go up to well over $30k a year is crippling me and my current family.  Its also causing anomosity between all parties.  Therefore by setting in stone an amount that we both agree to would mean we both move on and focus on our lives as opposed to having money continuelly interfer with contact etc.

Is there anywhere I can go to get a template for such an order?  or do I have to enage a lawyer to write the order.

Also I understand that you can't remove a binding order easily but apart from change of circumstances which I think I have covered what if I use this method will potentially come back to bite me.


The reason I dont want to use a limited agreement is that in the case my x decides to change her mind which she does regularly I dont want CSA calling me stating I owe then X thousands of dollars.



Thanks
necroyp said
The reason I am seeking a binding order is because I dont want the x to change her mind later on down the track.

What I have proposed is that:

1. Child Support will be $x for child Aper annum to be paid monthly up to and including the month the child turns 18

2. Child Support will be $x for child B per annum to be paid monthly up to and including the month the child turns 18

3. If at any time the amount paid for child support is more than the amount calculated using the CSA calculator then the amount will be the amount determined using the CSA calaculator.

Point 3 protects me from loss of job or if my x some how starts earning more than me etc. What I am trying to do is set the child support amount to a reasonable level. Because the amount I am paying now and its about to go up to well over $30k a year is crippling me and my current family. Its also causing anomosity between all parties. Therefore by setting in stone an amount that we both agree to would mean we both move on and focus on our lives as opposed to having money continuelly interfer with contact etc.



I'm not sure why anyone would sign up to that kind of agreement. I can see why you want it, but I can't see how that could possibly be of interest to your ex.

If I am reading that correctly then you're essentially saying that if the CSA determine that you should pay an amount higher than your agreement, then tough, but if they say you should pay less, then you'll pay less… you're asking your ex to sign an agreement that could reasonably lead to her getting less Child Support from you than you are obligated to pay. I'm not clear on why you think that proposing this agreement would lead to LESS animosity with your ex. If my husband proposed an agreement like this with his ex wife there is no way that she'd agree. She's constantly putting in Change of Assessment applications to get us to pay more, and the amount we pay already is crippling to our family, so I do feel your pain there, I'm just not sure that this is going to be a solution to your problem.
Malady

You need to understand the 12 year history behind the situation.

The core fundamental issue has always been my X does not want me to see the children and has always wanted the orders to state that the children only have contact when they want to.  The kids are now becoming teenagers and her constant pressure on the children has won through.  The last contact visit I had was very bad and they refused to come out of their room or speak to me for weeks at a time.  This environment was not healthy for my other children (with current wife) and not healthy for the kids.  My x now is refusing to bring the kids over because they dont wont to come.

So I have two options as I see it.  Go to court spend 12 months in constant legal battles at enormous cost which I cannot afford, the X has already threatened to have the children get court appointed lawyers and drag them into court.  Or agree to contact being when the kids want to see me.  If I agree to this knowing they wont come over I need to protect my second family financially from the increased child support because the increase will be around an additional 30%.

Therefore I proposed I would agree to a change in contact orders where the children decide when they come over if she agrees to a binding child support agreement of $20,000 per year.  The final clause is to protect against a change in circumstances.  For example if I loose my job.  This is why she has agreed.

What really urks me is people attitude (not saying this is you) that why would she agree or things like your just trying to pay less.  I pay in excess of $25,000 a year child support while having over 30% care and have paid every month on time.  That is in excess of $2000 per month.  This amount is taken out of my net pay.  Because of the money my X has quit work and with her new husband has a large house and a new car every 6 months.  My family struggles to pay the mortgage and bills.  While paying this amount I still have the bills for the kids like  clothes,  car to transport, pay for outings etc so essentially incur the similar costs as my x.  Essentially I work hard and self educate to place myself in a resonable life position, the government then deems it so that I should pay an signifcant amount of money more than they would pay in child support if for example I was to die (benifits), that funds my x's shopping trips and lawyers attempts to reduce my contact even further in an attempt to raise child support more.

I am trying to protect my second family and believe that $20,000 per year for two children is more than a fair amount for child support.  Infact I would argue this is a generous amount considering its not my burden to fully fund all the kids costs as there were two parents involved in this situation.  It should not be viewed as your paying less but more that the amount is a fair and resonable amount to pay for raising two children.

Why this will reduce tension is because its an amount that is fixed that we both agree to.  Therefore moving forward the number of nights contact for all intense and purposes will not become a factor in how much time I spend with the children.  Whether they come over 1 day or 1 night  or 100 days will not affect the child support payment.  With some luck she might actually start to encourage the contract as opposed to working against.
We are actually in a similar situation to you necroyp. My husband pays a significant amount in child support to his ex wife, to the point that it affects me and our new family unit (we do not have children - partly for personal reasons, partly for financial reasons).

BM in our situation is constantly putting in Change of Assessment applications seeking more money, and blackmailing my husband into paying extra on top of his child support.

At the same time, she has completely poisoned the elder child against spending any time with my husband, and she is working hard on the second child.

We have taken the stance now that money isn't everything. Yes, our lives are harder at the moment because of it. The elder child has 3 years left on CS. The younger one has 5. We're going to ride it out. This allows us to get some distance between the money issue and the contact issue.

I can see what you are trying to achieve here and you absolutely have my sympathy, I'm just still not sure that your ex will go for this agreement.

I don't believe the agreement you are trying to offer your ex will have any chance of success.

NOR will a Binding Financial Agreement stop you from paying if you have lost your job. I think my colleagues will agree that a BFA is so tight and binding that they are not something to be entered into lightly IF AT ALL.

It seems very odd that you are paying IN EXCESS of 25k support for 2 children. On the old pre 2008 formula you might well have but on current formula I could not get a figure of 25k+ pa. How are you arriving at that amount ? Have you used the advanced CS calculator on the site here.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Secretary_SPCA said
It seems very odd that you are paying IN EXCESS of 25k support for 2 children. On the old pre 2008 formula you might well have but on current formula I could not get a figure of 25k+ pa. How are you arriving at that amount ? Have you used the advanced CS calculator on the site here.

$25k+ CS is possible, even for a single 13+ child. e.g. $179800 income for the paying parent, below the self-support amount(SSA) for the recipient and less than regular care (under 14%) then the annual rate is $25001.

Two children (one 13+) then the paying parent's income would have to be 123665 to pay more than $25k ($25,004).

With 3 13+ children CS can now be up to just over 50k ($50103) (same basic scenario, 0 care but 3 13+ children, paying parent's income $19935 or greater, recipient's income less than SSA).

Actually with change of assessment , and a deviation from their usual formula with some added extra's the ex can be quite easily be taking over $25k per annum.

 They did one for me that says they can use my self support amount now, so out of $52k per year I get to see $7.5k per year, the rest is taken in tax and CSA.  

 No there isn't any arrears, or fine's or penalties.   

So as is I'm better of back on C-link and they can only take the minimum, and I get like an extra $2.5 k in hand.

I have put in an Objection, back on the 4th of February this year and still awaiting a response till now. They still refuse to give me a response as they now have to write it rather than contact me by phone.
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