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Considering a COA

Well I've had enough. I informed C$A several months ago that my ex was working - they did the usual phone call to him to ask if he was working and once again he said no. (He has never informed them of ANY job he's had - every time he has claimed not to be working) Same day he tells me that job ended the day C$A called, but isn't he lucky, as the same employer has another job he can start the following week.

A few weeks ago the ex tells me he has rung C$A to set up wage deductions, and even gives this same story to the family reporter. So I wait a few weeks and called C$A this morning to ask when the deductions will start (slightly naughty I know, bordering on privacy issues but doesn't hurt to ask). Lo and behold - they have not had any communication with him since they rang him at the start of the year. I also informed them that he left full-time employment in 2008.

Suddenly I'm transferred to the Change of Assessment team!

Their basic advise was lodge the COA, asking it to be back-dated to when he quit his job in 2008 (it would just squeak under the 18 month ruling) BUT because he was on Centrelink benefits for over 12 months it would be unlikely to be back-dated as it "could cause financial hardship". Excuse me? What about the financial hardship for me during that time? And what about the fact that he has continually lied to C$A??

Sorry, must remember not to put my rant-pants on  :P

Anyway, the C$A officer was very confident about a COA being successful in the current circumstances.

So I guess what I'm asking is if anyone has any tips or cautions about the process, given:

- I know the ex will object
- the case has been in arrears for over 3 years
- I have reason to believe the ex has not declared his income to Centrelink
- I am now working as a self-employed freelancer (turnover is only a few hundred so far this financial year)
- my income with C$A is actually over-estimated (to give me a buffer for my freelance work)
- the ex has never made a voluntary payment - all have been under enforcement orders

Any thoughts, experiences welcomed

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby
you have the kids so you have the better end of the deal.
Children are far more in my mind than dollars and yes I do know it takes money as I raised 2 without their dad or his money as he to stated that he did not work. He was and is a part of their life, but never financially so more than about $30 a month.
It probably depends on the significance of the CS payment involved, and whether you are worried about damaging any cordial relationship you may still have with your ex.

I've successfully initiated and been through several COA processes now. It is very time consuming and invasive, but if the amounts involved are significant it is definitely worth pursuing for the benefit of the children. Also, I had no relationship left to damage with the ex, so that didn't matter.

The kids still have a good relationship with both their parents, with 50/50 care still happening, and that is the main relationship issue to be concerned about.

Be prepared for a cross COA application under Reason 8 if you are self employed and doing estimates, or if there is any potential for your ex to argue that you are not working to your capacity. I got through this one because I was able to present facts that addressed all the possible capacity to earn arguments, was not hiding anything, and like you, I was over estimating.

Last edit: by Luthien

Sounds like a case for the registrar to initiate their own cOA.  That way you do the responding to the other party, minimising the intrusion.  Suggest you ask CSA if they would like to initiate sucha process before you initiate one.
Thanks for the replies guys  :)

kalimnadancer, I do agree, it's just I have had a gutful of being upfront and honest with C$A, while he lies his merry head off and gets away with it. There comes a point where you need to make a stand for the truth. The actual dollars are not my priority.

Luthien, one thing that going through the family law system has taught me is that no matter what is said about (or too) me, I can smile politely and carry on with doing what is best for the kids  ;) As to whether the amounts are significant - based on industry minimum wages, he is paying less than 10% of what he should be assessed at. I believe the ex would have trouble arguing that I have a greater capacity to earn - I was a stay-at-home parent (his wish/requirement) during the relationship and since then have been retraining so that I have some chance of re-entering the workforce.

Bigred, noice thinking! It certainly sounds to be the ideal option. Another call to C$A methinks!

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby
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