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Changing your Child Support Assessment in Special Circumstances

I have been asked to respond and I have some questions

I have been asked to respond to a CSA document "Changing your Child Support Assessment in Special Circumstances".

My ex has nominated reason 3 on the document which is "it costs extra to care for, educate or train the children in the way that you and the other parent intended".

There are no court orders in relation to my current CSA assessment.

There is no child support agreement.  The CSA formula is applied to my income.

Prior to separation in 2001, both sons were at public primary schools.

When my eldest son lived with me for 10 months in 2004/05 (his mother threw him out) I sent him to a private school where he improved out of sight.

His mother applied significant pressure and he returned to live with her.  I informed my ex I would not pay for private school fees as neither of the boys received the support they needed for their school work including assistance with homework etc. so it was a waste of money. Upon his return to his mother my son was sent to two consecutive private schools, both without any consultation with or notification to me.  My youngest son remained at a public school.

My ex did not approach me to pay any fees but did approach my parents who told her to get a job.

My ex moved house in October 2006.  Both boys changed schools and were sent to separate private schools.  once again, I was not involved in the selection or interview process.


What is the likelihood of this application succeeding given that all these costs have been incurred without my knowledge or consent?

The assessment form requires a lot of financial information of mine but more significantly, information from my wife.  My wife brought considerable assets to our marriage and does not want to provide this private information to the CSA (we all know how they protect private information).  She is not my dependant and works full time.

My ex has not provided her own financial information on the form and conceals her income as a cleaner through a company structure.

Appreciate the thoughts of others who may have been through this.  Thanks.
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Dear Dog5

My husband is going thru this exact same thing at present with his ex - in fact, we have an appt next week with our solicitor.  If anything useful arises from that meeting i will let you know.

Stay tuned!

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I have been reading through the CSA special circumstances booklet.

Unfortunately, I would say you have opened the door to private schooling on your dime, by sending your child in the first place.

It's unfortunate that doing the right thing by your child can come back to bite you so visciously….

To counter this I would suggest:

Detail the schools and dates attended by the children. Find out what school fees are. Don't forget uniforms. Private school uniforms can run to a few thousand dollars for 2 children, changing schools regularly. This will be a significant amount of money - more than a cleaner could support.

She is required to list her income. If you know of any assets, this is your opportunity to tell CSA - and this time (with the schooling cost details) they may believe you.

Then I would detail any financial difficulties you have. Do you have a second family? Do you have a mortgage, significan outstanding bills, credit card debt, need to replace a clapped out car, do you have significant travel costs to see the children. Read the CSA website and see if there is anything you could apply for to offset her claim.

Usually, this goes to PDR and mediation. This is where you can ask for a financial statement and you may have proof to show where she is lying. For example, her lifestyle may not be supported by her income and this can raise questions.

Hope this helps.

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. 
Thanks for your input.

Can anyone tell me if I can refuse to tell CSA where I work?  My ex has been abusive to work colleagues in the past and I hope to avoid this again.  I don't trust CSA discretion.

CSA don't trust payslips

Hi dog5.

The CSA have ways to find out where you work… as they are linked with ATO.

From my dealings with CSA, they even contacted my work/payroll officer to get more details (they didn't trust my payslips!).
Hi bugsiboy

I know that CSA will obtain income info from the ATO.  Can anyone confirm that employer details are also available to CSA from the ATO?

Also how far back can CSA backdate an assessment?  I ask because they would not backdate it when my income dropped, but seem to do it if my income increases.
regards to all and avagooweend.
Hi Dog5.

Not only does the ATO have your income info, they have your employer details … and as they are all govt bodies the info is shared amongst them all (via data matching).

As for backdating, how far back are you referring to?  Basically, their approach is that once you pay, that's it… you can't get it back…  but they can hit you for more !!!

Change in assessment has been declined

Hi All

Just received notification that my ex's application for a change in assessment has been declined.

The CSA agreed with me that:

1. As both boys were at or enrolled to be at a public school when we separated; and

2. I disagreed with the new schools; and

3. I did not sign any enrollment forms; and

4. The agreement to change schools was not documented as stipulated in our orders that there was not sufficient evidence to support my ex's claims for me to pay the school fees.

I am pleasantly surprised at the decision and am now awaiting the explosion from my ex both through official channels and more likely through her greatest weapon, giving grief to my sons.

I expect she will appeal through every avenue, will keep you all updated.

Thanks for all your input.

Hi Dog5,  thats great news for you…   I'm going thru a similar Objection process regarding school fees,, i'm being hit for half of school fees to which I've not agreed to the schools nor have even been rasied with me.   

Last edit: by bugsiboy

CSA Decision on School Fees

My partner recently took on her ex through a change of assessment.

Overall the decision was disgusting on a number of fronts, makes me wonder what sort of attention CSA currently gives to these matters.  CSA refused to look at his expenses which were detailed at length, saying they did not have authorisation to go that far???

But of particular concern was a decision that as the Father pays for Private School costs, that these costs should come off his income, as it was in the interests of the community.  Apparently the CSA ruled that if the children went to a public school that it would be an additional burdon on the taxpayer as the justification.  My partner *may* pay for school fees if she was paid Child Support, but she wants to be able to choose where the money is spent on the children's lives.

From what I thought I understood, CSA was in principle saying that it was unacceptable for one partner to dictate how money was spent.  I am a paying father for my two children, and I believed I didnt have the right to dictate terms, and I often speak to other fathers who say things like "I wish i could pay for groceries rather than the mother spending the money at the pokies".  I dont agree with the sentitment of the "Pokies" stories, but it appears that CSA is allowing that sentiment to happen.

Any ideas on how to structure the appeal on CSA's argument?
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