IF C$A digs further they may want to look at your finances too.
Really? Everything I've seen here & from CSA is that new partners (me) don't get considered at all unless there is some small business connection.
Yes that is the letter and intent of the law.
However, you are dealing with the CSA - my experience showed that they will consider a partner's income by simply stating that you are meeting commitments above what you are earning and therefore have access to a financial resource in addition to what your financial statement indicates and proceed to pluck a number out of their fundamental orifice.
Both the COA Officer and Objection Officer did this to me and only the SSAT actually applied the legislation correctly to my case…
my experience showed that they will consider a partner's income by simply stating that you are meeting commitments above what you are earning and therefore have access to a financial resource in addition to what your financial statement indicates
So the same could be said then for the father who has additional means being provided by his new wife and her financial position (business, trust, PAYE job etc), whatever it is?
"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."
Yes if there is a business connection or even if you can be seen as a financial resource for example your partner decided to stop work to reduce their income thus increasing child support receipts because you are paying their keep. However as your partner is the payeee and the C$A can show the other parent is living a better lifestyle etc.. and the kids need the extra cash for some reason then it's in C$A's best interest to find against the payer and increase their liability for two reasons - 1) to save family benefits paid to the payee by increasing the child support liability, which 2) helps to pay for their existence.
I have seen the SSAT find in favour of the Payer, where the Payee re-partnered someone more affluent.
The Payer declared he shouldn't have to pay as her new lifstyle was better than his (because of new partner) - the SSAT found in his favour!!
Have you details of that case? One of the issues appearing in the top end of the list we are currently working on is just this issue where a payee is substantially better off in a new relationship and the payer substantially worse off. We are looking to compile more authoritative material in this area.
Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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This issue is really important. My situation as a payer is that the ex has substantially more income than I due to a business he owns with his spouse. Gross revenue is over $200k but he only declares $47k personal taxable income. Their lifestyle includes annual o/s hols etc. I earn $115k but my partner has been retrenched and has not worked for 6 months. Monthly mortgage repayments take over 60% of my income. I believe it is absolutely relevant for household rather than parental income to be assessed. If one household can afford extreme affluence why should one with serious financial issues be made to pay into that lifestyle?
Bigfish, I think the thing is why should a step parent be financially responsible for children that are not biologically theirs?
My partner and I both have children from previous relationships. I don't consider my partner financially responsible for my children. I work to support my children, as I did as a single Mum before I met him. I bought my own house while raising my own children, chose not to get CS for them. Why do I need to directly pay for other peoples biological children that I had nothing to do with creating.
If my income was included for my partners CS assessment then I would have less income to support my own biological children. How would that be fair to me or my children? Personally I don't consider my partners ex has any right to know anything about my income, so never provide that info to CSA.
Is there a sure fire way to protect a partners assets from CS inclusion? They are all in my name. BM has made some VERY bad financial decisions in the past 6 months. And is making noises about wanting my income (from rental properties) included in the calculation. DH is (and has always) paid 100% CS regardless of level of care.
Just to add to the debate - and float an idea…. if a parent has re-partnered, then the self support component that is used by CSA to work out child support $ of the re-partnered parent (whether payer or payee or both) should be removed.
Please don't deny that when there are two incomes, then day to day living expenses are not shared in any way - whether one pays for food, the other one pays for electricity etc.
In addition, if there are biological children involved in a re-partnered relationship, what is paid out (or received) in CS makes the family benefit go up or down.
Valere - When my OH moved in with me our food bill doubled + and the electricity bill went up a lot, as we had his 3 kids visit we also needed to put an extension on my little 2 bed room house (huge cost!). So while yes expenses become shared, those expenses also become much higher. Also when a person becomes a member of a couple, both incomes become counted for centrelink purposes which can reduce FTB and other benefits that are paid for children, that are not the biological children of the CS parent. My OH's income when he moved in became counted when determining my biological children's FTB and YA
Thankbell - I can't see any reason why you would need to supply any information about your rental or other income to the CSA.
Since I last posted in this thread, my partner had his SSAT hearing, his ex complained to them that my income had not been listed on the SSAT form that asked about the income of all people in the household. SSAT told her that my income was irrelevant and has no bearing on child support or any decision that they make, so it didn't matter that my partner never answered that particular question.
Just wanted to add a comment on the back of your reply that centerlink consider both incomes when -repartnering.
BTW, in my opinion this is actually fair and although I haven't had much experience with centerlink, I know plenty of friends that do and it seems
to be quite a fair system.
This is where it stops.
The C$A system is not conducive to becoming financially independent, by planning for your or or children's future and is even counter productive on life after divorce.
If you do re-partner with someone who is incredibly understanding of the baggage of a payer with a an over zealous X… then the C$A want to know about it and as I am experiencing right now, the C$A will leave no stone unturned to get their hands on the new partners income and assets.
They are really making rebuilding / repartnering such a belting…. It's a sad state where it seems not only does the x want you to have any relationship with another partner, the C$A will support the payee's wishes in seeing a payer does not form a meaningful relationship with you (payer) and children.
Tryharderdad I really feel for you. I have read your other post. My husband has had to pay child support since 1999 to a woman who is vindictive and spiteful and will go to any lengths to get what she wants. His child support ends when the youngish child turns 18 in 2016. Before I met him he had a debt of child support and could see no way out. Over the past few years he has paid the debt off and owes her nothing except the on going child support. As we have no children between us it has made things a little easy to do. I for one will never give my income details to the child support agency, what I earn has nothing to do with the calculation of child support he pays. When I first met him he would hide the letters from CSA, I found one and we sat down and talked about it, It was agreed that I would help him get the debt sorted out, he had to submit 6 years of tax assessments, he had all his past end of year statements so it was quite easy to do, a refund of $1,900 was issued and that when to CSA. because some of the submitted tax returns covered the years before the changes in 2008 about tax returns $5,500 was credited to 2007-2008 reducing the debt further. the years 2008- 20011 could not be changed as the legislation had changed. I wrote to the CSA on his behalf and entered a repayment plan which they excepted. In January of this year I took a loan out to repay the debt off, which my husband repays. In February this year the payee received $32,000 back child support, As this Payee has never worked and has been paid FTB A she will now receive a debt from the family assistance office to repay her Family tax benefit after her maintence free amount has been applied to the years of unpaid child support she has just received in February. after she received the money she left Australia for the united kingdom leaving the child behind. That was in March, she is still not back and it is now June, CSA was notified by my husband in May and on the 18th of June Csa sent a letter saying that they had received new information and that the child support would remain the same. My husband wrote a letter of objection and sent it by CSA on line on the 20th of June and followed it up with a phone call asking what new information they had received, he was advised that they had not been able to contact her by phone and she had not responded to a letter sent, we now have a objection letter lodged with the CSA that a terminating event has occurred as the child is not in the care of either parent. We will see what out the outcome of this objection is. As the payee was on newstart allowance that would have stopped as soon as she left Australia, she would have also had her fortnightly FTB stopped and she would have to have given a new estimate of earning's, CSA and Centerlink only work together with FTB and care arrangement. I hope she enjoys her little trip as when she gets back she will have a debt of over $16,000 to the family assistance office. after all that's what child support is all about clawback for family tax benefit.
Frenzy, you have been lucky if your partner went to the SSAT and they didn't ask for your financial details. You must be an exception to the rule.
My experiene is similar to Tryhard dad and Missali. In my appeal the SSAT wrote to us and specifically said that we must supply all financial details and used my partner as a financial rsource. Similar to Missali, she has extended her mortgage , used her credit cards etc but thanks for the tip because when we were asked to complete an affidavit for our cost application I refused to put her supposed household expenditure in as it is irrelevent. If they have it then they use it stating a financial resource.
I think the statement of financial circumstances form shoud be changed as they want to know the household ependiture and income but then want to separate one person from the combined household. As mentioned already one person may pay for certain items in the household and the other partner the rest.
Alessandro - I don't think luck had much to do with it. My partner and I have deliberately kept everything (on paper anyway) financially separate (bank accounts, loans ect) between us. It will stay that way until his youngest turns 18.
My partner has no legal means of accessing any of my bank accounts or my pay details through my employer ect, so he told SSAT they would have to take the issue up directly with me and he just put Not Known in the income of other people in your household question. By law a party to a SSAT case is only required to disclose information or give evidence to SSAT on what they actually do know. SSAT can only draw adverse inference if a party has failed to supply information that is relevant and within a party's possession or control. My partner successfully argued my income information was irrelevant and he had no evidence of it in his possession or control. In relation to house hold expenses we told SSAT we pay 50/50 just like flat mates so SSAT didn't have any grounds to claim I support him in anyway.
In relation to ThankBells question that I was answering, the Child Support Agency cannot include her rental income in her partners CS calculation, if those income properties are only in her name and there is no business relationship between them. No Child Support Agency forms ask about other members of the household incomes like the SSAT one does. That issue was dealt with by the Commonwealth Ombudsman some time ago. When my partners ex told the CSA about me and demanded they find out my income, I wrote a letter to them demanding they take action against her for supplying information (my name, alleged job ect) to them about me (a third party) with out my consent, which breaches their own privacy laws.
We just won our case because they were out of their jurisdiction in making their decision (SSAT). We have attached bank accounts so this is the reason then.
Interestingly enough my ex tried to bring my partners income into the equation during the conference and she was told it is irrelevant, yet the SSAT did include it when considering our household expenditure and financial resources. This happened to LADD as well.
I think the difference with your case and ours is I refused to declare it in the first place. Having separate everything made it easy for my partner to claim my financial information is not in his possession or control. They can't ask him to put a gun to my head and force me to give him my information for them.
The SSAT website states; The financial statement requires information about other income earners in the household. This information is relevant where other household members are in receipt of income from a party's business structure.
If a party does not produce financial information to the SSAT, or other information which is relevant and within their possession or control, the SSAT may draw an adverse inference.
My partner is normal employee though. Had there been some kind of evidence or accusation that we had a business interest together then SSAT might have gone after me and took measures through the court to legally force me to give them information.
If it wasn't for my partners ex breaching privacy and telling CSA my name ect in the first place, they would not even know my partner and I live together.