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Child Support After they leave school

My son turns 18 in December 2009, last payment now being 8 months away in January 2010 , yes im counting down the days till the end of CS, but i either read somewhere or some one told me you can still pay CS if the go onto higher education like Uni or the like if the parent applies for it, not sure if its a bedtime story to scare me but any one know's if its true.

Unsure
 A parent may apply, before the child turns 18 (there can be exceptions to this limit in special circumstances), for the assessment to continue until the end of the school year for the class that the child is in.

Here's the relevant section of the CSA Guide :-


The CSA Guide - 2.5.5: Application to have an assessment continue past a child's 18th birthday said
2.5.5: Application to have an assessment continue past a child's 18th birthday

Version 2.0, Last updated 17 March 2008 5:00pm
Information in this version of The Guide applies from 1 July 2008
Refer to the previous Scheme Guide for information until 30 June 2008

Context

A parent or non-parent carer entitled to child support can apply to extend a child support assessment until the last day of the secondary school year if the child will turn 18 during that year and is in full-time secondary education.

A parent who has a relevant dependent child who will turn 18 during that year and is in full-time secondary education can also apply for the relevant dependent child to be taken into account in any relevant administrative assessment until the last day of the secondary school year.

Legislative references

Sections 5, 151B, 151C, 151D and 151E Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989

Section 66E Family Law Act 1975

Explanation

Last day of secondary school for the year

How to make an application

How CSA will make a decision

Consideration of late Applications

The consequences of the decision

Last day of secondary school for the year

The last day of secondary education is the later of the following:

    * the last day of classes; or
    * the last day of the exam period;

for the year the child is in, at the school the child attends (section 5).

Example:

A attends Smithfield School in Year 12. The last day of classes for Year 12 at Smithfield School is 15 November and the last day of the exam period for year 12 at Smithfield School is 10 December. The assessment should continue until 10 December.

Generally, Australian secondary schools' academic year falls within a calendar year. CSA can continue a child support assessment for a child up to the last day of the school year in which the child turns 18.

Some secondary schools have an academic year that spans two calendar years (e.g. August to May). CSA can continue a child support assessment for a child attending these schools up to the last day of the calendar year in which the child turns 18.

How to make an application

A parent or non-parent carer entitled to child support can apply to extend a child support assessment (or child support agreement) until the last day of the school year if the child will turn 18 during that year and is in full-time secondary education (section 151B).

A parent of a relevant dependent child can apply to have the relevant dependant child taken into account in the calculation of any relevant child support assessment until the last day of the school year in which the child turns 18 (section 151B(1A)).

An application (made orally or in writing) should include:

    * the name of the child;
    * the name of the school or college;
    * whether the child receives full-time secondary education;
    * the last day of secondary school for that year; and
    * if the application relates to a child support agreement, the application must be in writing and signed by both parents.

The application can be made after the child turns 17 (section 151C(2)(a)) and must be made before the child turns 18 (section 151C(2)(e)).

How CSA will make a decision

CSA must accept the application (section 151C) if:

    * the child has turned 17; and

    * either an assessment or child support agreement is in force, or is likely to be in force, on the day before the child turns 18 or an administrative assessment that takes the child into account is in force, or is likely to be in force, on the day before the child's 18th birthday; and

    * the child is likely to be in full-time education on their 18th birthday; and
    * the child's 18th birthday will be on or before the last day of the secondary school year; and
    * the application was made before the child's 18th birthday (or there are exceptional circumstances justifying a late application).

Fulltime secondary education' means education that is determined by the secondary school at which the child is receiving the education to be full-time secondary education (section 5).

'Secondary school' means a school, TAFE college, or any other educational institution, which provides full-time secondary education (section 5).

Consideration of late applications

CSA can grant an application made after the child's 18th birthday if satisfied that exceptional circumstances' existed which prevented the making of the application before the child's 18th birthday (151C(2)(e)(ii)).

The factors CSA will consider in deciding whether there were 'exceptional circumstances' that justify accepting a late application are whether:

    * Serious health problems delayed lodgement (written confirmation from a health practitioner will be required);
    * An application for an assessment has been made but not accepted before the child turns 18, and it was unclear whether the child would be in secondary full-time education;
    * The carer was under pressure not to apply (evidence from a person fully aware of the nature and details of the circumstances, e.g. a social worker or police officer, will be required);
    * Severe distress or hardship (e.g. caused by a disaster such as fire or flood) delayed lodgement; or
    * Communication difficulties led to an inability to access information (a result of geographical location, cultural issues, literacy, language difficulties, etc).

The consequences of the decision

If CSA refuses an application to extend a child support assessment, it must advise in writing the parent or non-parent carer who made the application (section 151C)). It is CSA policy to notify both parents where the parent who is entitled to receive child support has applied to continue a child support agreement. The parents or non-parent carer (if any) can object to the particulars of the assessment.

If CSA accepts the application:

    * It must advise both the parent or non-parent carer who made the application and the parent liable to pay child support in writing (section 151C(4)); and
    * It must advise both parties that, if aggrieved by the decision, they may object to the particulars of the assessment (section 151C(5)).

If the application is for a child of the assessment and CSA has accepted the application, the child turning 18 does not constitute a terminating event (section 151D(1)). Instead:

    * A terminating event will happen on:

          o the last day of the secondary school year; or
          o if the child does not complete the school year, the day CSA is satisfied the child ceases to be in full-time secondary education.
    * The child is taken to be aged 17 for the purposes of applying Part 5 of the Act until a terminating event happens (paragraph 151D(2)(a)).

If the application is for a relevant dependent child:

    * CSA must amend the assessment to take into account the relevant dependent child until the last day of the school year (section 151E(1)); and
    * The child is taken to be aged 17 for the purposes of applying Part 5 of the Act (section 151E(2)) for the period:
          o Beginning on the child's 18th birthday; and
          o Ending on the last day of the secondary school year.

Examples

A child support agreement is to continue until 30 June 2009. The child, A, turns 18 on 11 July 2009. An application for continuation of the agreement cannot be accepted because the agreement will not be in force on the day before A turns 18. However, if there will be a formula assessment in place after the agreement ends, an application for continuation of that assessment can be made.

An application to continue an assessment for a child, B, is granted. B's parents then enter into a child support agreement before B turns 18. The agreement does not continue after B turns 18. However, the assessment continues  that is, it will revert to the formula assessment when the agreement ends on B's 18th birthday. For the agreement to continue B's parents would have to sign a new application for continuation of the agreement beyond B's 18th birthday.

CSA accepts an application to continue a child support agreement for child support for C. C's parents then enter into a new agreement before C turns 18, which effectively ends the previous agreement. The new agreement will not continue after C turns 18 unless C's parents sign a new application for continuation of the later agreement.

A parent who is receiving child support wishes to apply for a child support agreement in relation to D to continue after D turns 18. The other parent refuses to sign the application. CSA cannot continue the agreement. However, if there was a formula assessment in place before CSA accepted the agreement, the parent receiving child support can apply for the formula assessment to continue after D turns 18.

An application to continue the recognition of a relevant dependent child, E, after E's 18th birthday is granted. Any assessment where the parent is assessed in respect of other children continues to recognise that E is a relevant dependent child of the parent.

Where a formula assessment continues after a child turns 18, the provisions of the Act apply to allow the parents to lodge estimates of income, notify of changes in care arrangements, apply for a change of assessment under Part 6A, etc, in the same way as before the child turned 18. However, a child support agreement cannot be varied once a child is over 18.

If a court has ordered the payer to pay child support for a child over 18 (see Chapter 3.1.3) it will not be necessary to apply for the assessment for that child to continue.

If an application to continue an assessment has been accepted a court should not make an order for the period where the assessment is in force (section 66E Family Law Act).

As indicated a court can order that child support is paid after a child turns 18, which could be for longer periods.
Hi unsure,  there have also been numerous posts in other forums on this exact topic.  If you do a search you should be able to locate them and hopefully after reading them your questions may be answered.
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