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Child Support ... Ex in NZ

How far to take the matter

I have recently been through a COA with CSA as my ex had a higher capacity to earn then what he was assessed at. The independant who assessed our case found this to be correct and the assessment amount was changed for a period of 15 months.

My ex lives in New Zealand so CSA pretty much have washed their hands of the case and sent to Inland Revenue (IR) for them to act and begin collection.

My ex keeps making 'deals' with IR to pay and they give him a timeframe etc, he might make 1 payment as planned then continues to not pay so he is then put into the bottom of the list again as he has complied with his agreement (although only once). I call CSA after then not receiving payments again and ask what is happening, they then have to go to IR again and start the process all over again. My case manager in Australia agrees with me that he shows a pattern of

He is currently in arreas of almost $5000 and I have been told that I can apply to the courts if the amount reaches $5000 and have a court order made that he must provide his company name etc and the courts can then start garnishing his wages. Unfortunately it is not a completely open and shut case as he lives in NZ but my kids continue to miss out on things because he refuses to pay.

With the COA I have lost x amount of my FTB so not only do I not get the CS i also lose from FTB so will be $240 a month out of pocket without him paying a cent. It wouldn't matter the FTB being reduced if he was paying as that makes up the difference.

I have also been told that I can have him held at the airport if he enters the country untill the amount of arrears is paid. I am not sure if I believe this is a fair option but I am really running out of options here. Having said that he only comes to Aust approx once every 18 months so that wouldn't be until next year sometime anyway. And in the meantime it is the kids that miss out on certain things because now losing the extra $240 a month we will have to tighten the reigns even more so.

Do i just continue to let CSA and IR fight over who should be collecting or do I take things that one step further and have an application put into the courts for recovery?
debraesq,

Were you married to my ex's twin??  You story sounds similar to mine ( except he doesn't live in NZ).

I have no answers for you, as I am still looking for answers for myself.  Mine is an "habitual objector". Whenever CSA make a decision he finds something to object too and so CSA "have to investigate". While they do this any efforts to collect are put on back burner.

And yes my FTB gets reduced from 1st July, as does the amount of CS he is supposed to be paying…………….so I lose both ways.

I think there will many put in this situation as of July 1st.

To chase or not to chase

The situation you find yourself in is extremely common.  Without knowing your own personal financial situation or your ability to have full time employment, I can only tell you what I did when faced with the same situation in my own life.  I chose to support myself and my children without depending upon my partner's monetary help.  This decision cut a great deal of anxst and wasted breath out of my life.  I started in a job as a typist and worked up to a career in graphic design with no formal training - all hands on and self gained skills.  I found my self esteem increased tenfold and my quality of life unrivalled.  It is a hard road to take but well worth it in the long run not only for yourself but as a role model for your children.
granma I'm sorry but it's not an extremely common situation. The extremely common situation is one that has little air play.

Parents pay their alloted support payments and live their life.

Sorry but you may need to just generalize rather than make specific statements, your statement would be correct in regards to the top 5% of adversarial cases.

Your not stepping on my toes I just feel that if you want to help you may need to just slide back on the " my experiences are common " or " All men are are$e holes "

D4E.

I don't believe all men are Ar$ehole$!  Just my Ex.  I have come across some very careing dedicated single dads, who although don't have full custody of their children have a very civil and responsible relationship with their ex's. Each have been able to move on with their lives and still enjoy their children.

I just wish I could establish the same relationship with my Ex, but he is so stubborn. He is abusive, treats me like trash, uses derogative words when addressing me to the kids and always thinks he is right.  Like today, I offered to help him with the children getting to their dancing and football on his weekends ( since his new job requires him to work Saturday mornings and I don't want them missing out.) I got a very rude message back that I would not repeat here.  I just don't know  how to communicate with him at all.
D4E said
granma I'm sorry but it's not an extremely common situation. The extremely common situation is one that has little air play. Parents pay their allotted support payments and live their life.
Yes we need to agree with D4E on this. There are very few cases that are difficult or where a parent does not pay the allotted amount. In fact there are many cases that do not even involve CSA at all. I do have those stats and will try and remember to publish these here. Overseas debt is particularly difficult to collect but I would be suprised if IRD in NZ would not be cooperative in relation to collection of Child Support. There is a specialised CSA unit based in Hobart (I think) that deals with International collections. Are you working through that unit?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Hey Saphire that was not directed to your post but rather an attempt to help granma to see that support is needed but need not be incited.

Alignment to a cause could be destructive to good advice.

I find what granma has done very inspirational yet comes across as a tortured sole wanting all males to pay.

What you are aiming for is to keep the childrens relationship with their dad and finding a way to communicate this to him so he takes responsibility for his children.
As far as degradation to the childrens parent in your case from the father, this is a terrible thing to do, in my case it was my daughter mother but that was some years ago and this has stopped.

This style of relationship is not always possible so the situation needs to then fall into damage control.
It may be neccessary to reduce contact between yourself and him sighting that you will not discuss things at certain times such as change overs etc. If he ring abusing you simply state you will not talk to him if he continues to abuse you and hang up.

There are other techniques that come in handy but they are mainly evasion style to prevent and control,  they all work on the offender being stopped from encroaching on you.

One time my X tried to forcibly remove my daughter just as she dropped her off because I complained that she was a day late dropping her off ( ransom stuff ) I was between my daughter and her and I said no, I told my daughter to sit down and ask her mother to leave, she refused and started yelling obscenities so I ask her to leave again the abuse started again so I shut and locked the door turning my attention to my daughter, half expecting the door to be tried to be smashed down. I looked outside to see her take a few steps back go to say something then take a few more steps, she eventually got in her car and drove away.

I felt pride for standing up for myself but knew it was a risk.

The crux is to cut the other parent off from the children does not gain empowerment finding ways to remove the problem from your personal space does, we all know kids need their parents but parents do not need each other to be good parents.

Hope something in there may make sense Saphire
D4E,

I knew it was not directed at me, but thought I would reply anyway. Perhaps I should have done it a  better way.

As for contact with my spouse, there is no face to face contact…………….I am absolutely terrified of him. He has had several DVO's against him.  Even in court I will not be in the same room with him unless I can be guaranteed protection.

We communicate by text and text alone. I tried the message book system, but he would either ignore it or rip the pages out with my messages onthem. So that didn't work.  I don't know how else to communicate with him and maybe this course that we have been ordered to attend will help. BUT unless he complies with the court order too we will never be on the same page. What happens if he doesn't do the course.

I would just like to get on with my life with out all this hassle. I am happy for him to have the contact that has been arranged and always encourage the children to go on his contact times. But they have been let down so many  times. He does nothing with them all weekend, hardly speaks with them unless it is to pump them for info about me. He is missing a prime chance to build a relationship with them. The kids often ask, "why go?"  he does nothing with them. Football, beer and cigarettes are how he spends his weekends.

He agreed to this arrangement because he thought that if I had them most of the time he wouldn't have to pay maintenance. He just does not want to pay.

Last edit: by Saphire

As you so rightly reflect even a court order can not make him attend.

So you go and learn, I do not understand the reason why some parents take the action they do I have long ago given up on co-parenting even though I ave 50/50. I can not influence my daughters mother to change her preconceived ideas so I settle for just doing what I can.

The kids will make up their own mind and when the time comes and they are old enough they may chose to vote with their feet in the mean time all you can do is be mum and make your enviroment structured and safe.

I encourage my girl to suggest things to her mum because all she does when she's there is stay inside and watch T.V. her mum misses prime opportunities but this is her normal way of life so I accept it.

At the end of the day this is normal life in that house and what I do is normal life in this house and thats all I can do accept. Best I can do is work around it all.

P.S. moderators sorry for going off topic will be happy if the topic needs to be moved
granma said
The situation you find yourself in is extremely common.  Without knowing your own personal financial situation or your ability to have full time employment, I can only tell you what I did when faced with the same situation in my own life.  I chose to support myself and my children without depending upon my partner's monetary help.  This decision cut a great deal of angst and wasted breath out of my life.  I started in a job as a typist and worked up to a career in graphic design with no formal training - all hands on and self gained skills.  I found my self esteem increased tenfold and my quality of life unrivalled.  It is a hard road to take but well worth it in the long run not only for yourself but as a role model for your children.
Granma I do work fulltime I also have a partner who works fulltime (and pays his child support for his son). My frustration is that my ex seems to think he doesn't have to help me support our children and is happy to watch my partner support them. In my mind, that is wrong for so many reasons.

I am also studying law to better myself in the future.

I have financially supported my children since we separated 8 years ago however with the cost of live in general escalating and them getting older two of them verging on teenagers!! It is understandable that the cost of raising them is higher. I completely understand what you wrote and I give you credit for how you bettered yourself for the benefit of your children.

I, very much like Saphire, know alot of men who are wonderful fathers and who do help to financially assist raising their children so I am not on a 'deadbeat' dad cruisade, far from it actually.

I can't be expected to work longer hours then what I do to bring in more money to support my children, I work full time as it is. Their father has a responsibility to help me raise them.
debraesq said
I can't be expected to work longer hours then what I do to bring in more money to support my children, I work full time as it is. Their father has a responsibility to help me raise them.
  That is my situation too. The 'father' does have a moral and legal obligation.
LifeInsight said
Why not send the kids to live with him so he can experience the financial strain of supporting them so when he sends them back he might consider paying child support.

Also perhaps he is not happy with the financial settlement with you and believes you got too much.
 

My children's father lives in New Zealand so the children living with him is not a possibility, and the children dont want to move to New Zealand. As for the assessment being too high… He didn't pay when he was assessed at 21.90 a month so its not because he's  not happy with the assessment amount he has to pay. He didn't even respond to the COA application that I put in and refused to take part in an interview. He was approached to take part on 3 seperate occasions.

I asked, and it was assessed as being fair and reasonable for close on $4000 a year LESS then what his assessment should be on the income that was found of his.. I did this so that he would still be able to travel and see his children.

I am an incredibly fair woman and have not tried to cheat him out of anything by my COA application. I could have been awarded more but I asked for an amount that would be sufficient in helping me with the added expenses of the children and nothing more then that.
Hey debraesq,

I'm not going to claim knowledge of how this all works.

Are you going through CS. to have your payments collected?

Or is it a private agreement that he pay the stated CSA into an account?
D4E - the matter is through collection with CS Australia. Because he lives in NZ they can not actually 'collect' and the matter keeps getting referred to CS New Zealand who keep making 'arrangements' with him for payment. He will make 1 payment to keep them from 'collecting' and then he stops again - the matter goes back to the bottom of the pile and is forgotten about until I call CS Australia and ask what is happening with the payments… They then send back to CS NZ and the process continues… again and again and again. ALWAYS the same thing - he agrees, they accept, he pays once, they drop it, I call CSA and on and on and on it goes. (Am sure you get the picture).

CSA have now sent the matter to Inland Revenue to 'collect' however they don't seem to be having much luck either…
It sounds like no matter what you do he's just going to do the same thing, because the system does nothing to deter him.

I can understand why your frustrated especially because this means you lose the money that everyone else receives.

I just wish you luck with addressing the issues in court if you go in that direction, I would have thought that this itself would be the responsibility of the C.S.A.

debraesq & saphire, my ex is your ex's triplet and I too work full time to provide for the kids, losing out on all the school activities etc while he constantly changes the CS so he not only doesn't have to pay but to make me pay him.

debraesq maybe there is a way to appeal to centrelink to stop having FP reduced in light of his refusal to pay. Have you tried making an appointment with the Centrelink Social worker?

Maybe it needs to be suggested to the policy makers that instead of reducing FP, which is the one constant in a parents income, that when CS is paid the difference between FP paid and CS is paid to the payee and the rest put back into FP coffers?

saphire said
And yes my FTB gets reduced from 1st July, as does the amount of CS he is supposed to be paying…………….so I lose both ways.

I think there will many put in this situation as of July 1st.
Does this mean that if we are on self collect but the other parent doesn't pay we still lose FTB as of July 1st?

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Is it possible to opt for FTB to be received after tax? Where you show your actual income from the ex. This way FTB would be more?

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. 
Secretary SPCA
- Yes, my case manager is in the International Section of CSA - which as you mentioned is in Hobart. I do not deal with the CSA "Australian" people anymore, even when I call my reference number sends me straight to Hobart.
LifeInsight
- he has no assets in Australia. I would make the application to an Australian Court who in turn can make an order (departure order) where all his income and assets are to be shown to the courts. The exact legality of how it all works I am still looking into. He is an Australian Citizen living in NZ and because his CS debt started in Australia and remains in Australia there are avenues that the court can work with.
Jadzia
- you scared me, thinking there was more of him!! Anyone for Quads??? I have to say one of the hardest things is just as you said missing out on the school activities. I am fortunate my boss is very flexible and lets me from time to time take time off to go to different things but I don't at all get the opportunity to do class reading or anything along those lines.
However in reply to your post, I have been told by a friend only yesterday that Centrelink do have a provision that I may be able to use that takes into consideration that although he is assessed at a certain amount he refuses to pay. I will contact them tomorrow and ask if there is anything that can be done.

Artemis
- that is one possibility (claiming back after tax) so I will speak with Centrelink about that as well. Only problem there though is then changing the budget significantly to take into consideration the next financial year and not having that extra money per week.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Actually Artemis, FTB is setup to pay you the difference at tax time now I think about it. So if you can budget on the amount you recieve and manage for the year you SHOULD get a lump sum if you show that you didn't receive CS during the year.

Of course that is in a perfect world  :dry:

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Since FTB is usually pretty meagre for me (fortunately) I am a bit "blonde" when it comes to the vagaries of it.

So that is one answer, Annie, keep FAO updated of the "non payment" of CS by your ex and you should get a bit more in the kitty.

Thanks J

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. 
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