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CSA litigation nets $5m in divorce tax for Federal Government

Almost 900 parents, mostly fathers, who refused to pay child support have complied in the past 18 months after being threatened with litigation or taken to court by the federal Government.

Prefaced with two quotes from John Waters (2 Jan 2009):
John Waters said
There can be no moral obligation on single fathers until they are extended rights that honour and underpin their relationships with their children. … A society that makes it almost impossible for men to stay in the lives of their children has no right to judge those who choose footlooseness and alienation rather than insanity and despair.
John Waters said
In perhaps a majority of cases, fathers either illegally cohabit with the mother or make under-the-table payments to the mother as, in effect, ransom payments to ensure they can continue having covert relationships with their own children.

Litigation nets $5m in unpaid support from deadbeat dads

The Australian
3 January 2009

Litigation nets $5m in unpaid support from deadbeat dads
By Patricia Karvelas, Political correspondent

Almost 900 parents, mostly fathers, who refused to pay child support have complied in the past 18 months after being threatened with litigation or taken to court by the federal Government.

More than $20 million in outstanding payments has been collected in 880 cases through the legal system since mid-2007, as the federal Government steps up moves to take deadbeat dads to court to force them to pay child support.

Litigation by the Child Support Agency has led to $5million in overdue payments for children this financial year alone.

Since July 1 last year, the CSA has targeted 249 cases, resulting in the collection of millions of dollars in outstanding child support.

This amount was in addition to the $15.3 million collected from 631 litigation matters in 2007-08.

This is a large increase on 2006-07, when $12.8 million in outstanding payments was collected from 479 cases.

Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig described the payments as an excellent result for children.

"While most parents do the right thing, the CSA will take Australia's worst child support evaders to court and make sure they take responsibility for the support of their children," hesaid.

Despite the Government action, child support debt has continued to grow.

It has increased by $50 million in each of the past two years – an average annual rate of 5.6 per cent.

Total child support debt has just reached $1 billion and about one-fifth, $231 million, relates to overseas debt.

Senator Ludwig said the Rudd Government was taking a tough stand on parents who did the wrong thing by their children.

"I encourage all separated parents who have fallen behind on their child support payments to contact the CSA and negotiate an appropriate payment arrangement," he said.

Senator Ludwig said litigation was a valuable means of ensuring that people with a child support debt did not escape their obligations.

"It's certainly a tough approach, but in some cases this is the only way to get the paying parent to face up to their responsibilities," he said.

Senator Ludwig said that most cases did not reach court, as most parents paid their outstanding child support before facing the Federal Magistrates Court or Family Court.

The CSA and the Australian Government Solicitor work together to identify cases where parents will reach a pre-court settlement, so the debt is paid and legal costs are avoided.

About 40 per cent of separated fathers pay just $5 a week in child support.

And about 105,000 are suspected of using self-employment and cash transactions to understate their real incomes, so as to avoid paying the appropriate amount of child support.

The Howard government, with the support of Labor, changed the child support system to allow divorced fathers who see their children only on a weekly basis to have their support payments cut.

How as a payee do you get the CSA to pursue a payer in courts? Do you have to request it? \

I have heard of CSA telling non-recieving payees to "explore other ways" of collecting. Surely CSA are the ones with all the resources to pursue the non-payers?

 I have had a look at this section of the guide
Using the Child Support Guide | Child Support Guide

but it doesnt say how CSA can actually take payers to courts for enforcement orders.

Rarghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
You need to read through all of 5.4 especially 5.4.2, 5.4.3 and 5.4.4
Thankyou Mike T ,,,your a top sort. Any idea how you would get a special claim appeal started?

Last edit: by monster


Rarghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
Monster, that's an area where I am lacking, as I have no experience. Perhaps the best thing to do is try it an see, simply ring them up and request that they do this and if not then why they will not. Another section to read is 5.7.1, Non-pursuit of Debt.

Here's a snippet from that section of the guide (have to apologise as I thought this was in with the stuff in section 5.4) :-

Snippet from The CSA Guide Section 5.7.1

Under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (the FMA Act) the Secretary of the Department of Human Services is responsible for pursuing recovery of all debt owed to CSA, unless:

    * the debt is not legally recoverable (section 47(1)(b) FMA Act), or
    * it is uneconomical to pursue recovery of the debt (section 47(1)© FMA Act).

The Secretary of the Department of Human Services has delegated the power to decide not to recover debts in these circumstances to certain CSA staff, according to the amount of the debt.


It may be worthwhile going through the whole of section 5, as that may indicate other available options and barriers.

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