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Making the world a better place- Child Support Basics Card "supplementary income"

An idea I have is simple. You constantly hear stories of parents not wanting to pay child support to another parent because
they don't trust that the other parent will spend this money in the best interest of "their" child.

This is understandable as if I had children and I paid child support then I would want my contributions to go to the child direct and not to subsidise the lifestyle of my child's other  "providing parent".

The way I suggest this can be done is by giving parents the option to pay their child support entitlements in the form of a basics card "supplementary income" which can only be spent on certain items like rent, food, mortgage payments, electricity,
water, transport, school, sports, ect.

That way this portion of child support cannot be simply spent on non-essential materialistic items, or drugs, alcohol, luxuries, items of parental self-interest, ect.

I look forward to your comments and thanks for your time.

Steve
Steve456 said
An idea I have is simple. You constantly hear stories of parents not wanting to pay child support to another parent because
they don't trust that the other parent will spend this money in the best interest of "their" child.

This is understandable as if I had children and I paid child support then I would want my contributions to go to the child direct and not to subsidise the lifestyle of my child's other  "providing parent".

The way I suggest this can be done is by giving parents the option to pay their child support entitlements in the form of a basics card "supplementary income" which can only be spent on certain items like rent, food, mortgage payments, electricity,
water, transport, school, sports, ect.

That way this portion of child support cannot be simply spent on non-essential materialistic items, or drugs, alcohol, luxuries, items of parental self-interest, ect.

I look forward to your comments and thanks for your time.

Steve
Up until recently I was a male single parent, We still are a single income household now i am married as my wife is not an Aussie resident. I am on a pension due to illness I'm calling out this speech as a load of RUBBISH. You say "if I had children" so I would assume you have none.
.
 It is none of the non-paying parents business how the child support money is spent. The small percentage (and I bet it's tiny) of parents who do not support their children with the money received does not mean harsh conditions should be placed on other parents.

Have you ANY IDEA at all how a single parent who cannot work full time due to having to look after kids struggles to balance the family budget sheet? I don't think you do.

EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF CHILD SUPPORT I RECEIVED GOES TO MY DAUGHTER. And by that I do not mean directly. I'm pretty sure having a house that is not a pig sty, with bills paid up to date so she can use internet, gas, electric etc is part of what my daughter needs in her life.

Juggling house payments or rent, bills, school fees, clothing, bus fares, lunches, school trips, books, uniform, medical costs, food costs, school holiday costs, extracurricular activities cost and LOTS more is not an easy job.  And to pay this you suggest a basics card!!!! No way is that right or fair.How would it work with all the variables there are in life?

To even suggest child support went straight to the child instead of the parent who pays for everything on a day to day basics in so far from the reality of what's needed it's not funny.What would that achieve? How does a 4 year old buy things they need? How do you stop a 14 year old wasting the money on a $200 haircut rather than clothes? Its UNWORKABLE. Do you suggest a 4 year old pays rent to the live with parent out of income paid to them by one parent into their bank account directly? Or do you suggest the kids keeps the money for lollies and the family end up homeless?

All this kind of regime would do would be to satisfy the emotional cravings for revenge of angry males AND females who should take the time to concentrate their anger into more useful things, and stop being so angry.

Maybe by fighting for effective formula change to make a fairer system for partnered parents whose new partner has a huge income and a fairer paying  system for shared or near shared care arrangements. This would be a much more sensible way to go.

Get off your soapbox.

Last edit: by The Wolf


Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Agree with Wolf. Its a ridiculous suggestion.

I'm in a slightly different situation, but the $1.92 my ex very, very grudgingly pays in Child Support per month is already less than useless, without adding the additional burden (both administrative and practical) of putting it onto a Basics Card rather than directly into my bank account. As the parent that our daughter lives with, the parent who pays all the bills and school fees and supplies all clothing and footwear and medical care, I would absolutely object to that system being put into place. Even if my ex paid a reasonable amount of CS, my spending is none of my ex's business.

If a paying parent is concerned about the spending habits of their ex for a LEGITIMATE reason - drug or alcohol use or child neglect, then there are channels to rectify this.

For someone who is terrified of being in a relationship, terrified of losing assets, who has apparently never had contact with the Family Law system and has no children and therefore no contact with CSA, I really think that you do not have the experience or the knowledge to make a "recommendation" about Child Support or in any other part of the Family Law system Steve456.
Steve456 said
An idea I have is simple. ..

The way I suggest this can be done is by giving parents the option to pay their child support entitlements in the form of a basics card "supplementary income" which can only be spent on certain items like rent, food, mortgage payments, electricity,
water, transport, school, sports, etc.

That way this portion of child support cannot be simply spent on non-essential materialistic items, or drugs, alcohol, luxuries, items of parental self-interest, etc.
The Child Support system is one of the most complex pieces of legislation we have. It is so complex most legal practitioners don't want to or can't deal with it. One of the reasons for this apart from badly crafted and formed legislation, is because CS policies often, do not follow the legislation, CS get so many things wrong, CS, in our view, do not have consistent messages and determinations, and are one of the most complained about systems to the Ombudsman.

As well we have a system that is bureaucratic to the extreme, operates in a draconian way and changes direction on a whim depending on which CS officer you deal with. They have no empathy or interest in assisting struggling customers who are trapped in a spiraling morass of letter writing and dealings with a juggernaut department. Clients are trying to work with an erratic and problematic on-line system in dealing with a myriad of issues while struggling to re-establish after a separation.

So that is pretty well a starting position.

I haven't mentioned the formula and that is another whole can of worms where many suggest the formula does not reflect (is simply above) the true cost of raising a child.

So any ideas you have will be well received but one thing is certain and that I am sure the discussion will be robust as most people having a view are polarised one way or another through bitter experiences with CS.

We have many cases running in relation to a wide range of issues.

I can tell you there is already a mechanism in place to do exactly what you are saying. If you wanted o go into more detail I would start by reading my blog post on the site here. Take a look at Non-Agency Payments and Prescribed Non-Agency payments. In fact where parents agree non-agency payments will accommodate a large number of other costs. However most payee parents won't agree (many separated parents don't even pay or receive CS) so we fall back to the prescribed non-agency payments where a parent does not agree.

However there was a gotcha in a recent change, I think around 2009 ish from memory, where previously non-agency payments were available across all bands of care now they are only available in the bottom band of care so have effectively removed that option to empower a paying parent from all but those who have less than 14% care..
Steve456 said
You constantly hear stories of parents not wanting to pay child support to another parent because they don't trust that the other parent will spend this money in the best interest of "their" child.

This is understandable as if I had children and I paid child support then I would want my contributions to go to the child direct and not to subsidise the lifestyle of my child's other  "providing parent".
This is just one of many comments that you hear from CS payers , especially where the ex has re-partnered with someone of monetary means and is enjoying an extraordinarily improved standard of living while the other parent faces a mounting downward spiral of debt and regulatory ravaging from the department. I am not sure I "constantly" hear those stories that you elude to as there are many other issues that seem to come up regularly.

Some of the other issues that are consistently raised are:
  • Write only client being dealt with by phone
  • Redundancy payments incorrectly treated
  • Privacy breach's
  • Wrong determination of care
  • Incorrect assessment of income
  • Failure of the on-line system
  • Double treatment of super after court splitting order
  • Self employed determinations of income
The list is lengthy…

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
"It is none of the non-paying parents business how the child support money is spent. The small percentage (and I bet it's tiny) of parents who do not support their children with the money received does not mean harsh conditions should be placed on other parents".

Its not "harsh conditions" it is simply ensuring the money received from the other parent is spent exclusively in the interests of the child.

"Juggling house payments or rent, bills, school fees, clothing, bus fares, lunches, school trips, books, uniform, medical costs, food costs, school holiday costs, extracurricular activities cost and LOTS more is not an easy job.  And to pay this you suggest a basics card!!!! No way is that right or fair. How would it work with all the variables there are in life?"


Offcourse this supplementary income could be regulated in such a manner to cover all the variables in life. My view is such currencies which have governmental control over how and which way it is spent would have tremendous benefits for society.

Basically you would be required to spend all the basics card money on items relating to the child's interests in whole or the credits would accumulate on the card and if un-used periodically be re-converted to normal money and refunded back to the paying parent every quarter.

It is most definitely the business of the paying parent how the child support money is spent and  it can and should be regulated.

"For someone who is terrified of being in a relationship, terrified of losing assets, who has apparently never had contact with the Family Law system and has no children and therefore no contact with CSA, I really think that you do not have the experience or the knowledge to make a "recommendation" about Child Support or in any other part of the Family Law system Steve456".

As a child growing up I was personally a victim of the child support agency and the complexities it placed on my parents. The child support agency is a very significant part of the reason I don't have any children today. The recommendation comes from first hand experience and I don't need to have children myself.

"RE SPCA"

Thanks for the Link.
 

Last edit: by Steve456

Ahhh. So your parents dragged you into Child Support and relationship matters when you were a child and now you think *every* family is like that? I'm sorry for whatever happened to you as a child, particularly that it appears to have left you unable to form happy healthy relationships or have your own family - but that doesn't mean that everyone requires regulation or that every family is out there messing up their children by dragging them into matters which are the sole concern of the adults involved.

I notice that you didn't address my situation - presumably because you can see that the cost of regulating such a tiny amount of child support is cost prohibitive and unworkable. I mean, a whole $1.92 a month! Better make sure that is spent EXCLUSIVELY on our child and not on anything FOR ME!! Better create a whole department around that so I don't WASTE that money! Surely even you can see that it would be ridiculous to regulate that amount?? Even if you ratchet that up to the most I have ever received in Child Support - a whopping $1200 for the YEAR - that is still way, way, way below the costs that I incurred and the expenditure I made to give our daughter a happy and healthy life and would be cost prohibitive to regulate?

As The Wolf said, the variations in every family situation would make this an unworkable system to regulate and would leave normal families in a very difficult situation. There are many, many, many complaints to be made about the CS system. But this is an ill conceived idea which would make the life of normal, well adjusted payees very difficult.
Steve456 said

Basically you would be required to spend all the basics card money on items relating to the child's interests in whole or the credits would accumulate on the card and if un-used periodically be re-converted to normal money and refunded back to the paying parent every quarter.

It is most definitely the business of the paying parent how the child support money is spent and  it can and should be regulated.


Sorry, you keep soapboxing "the child's best interests" but what you REALLY mean (and its quite clear from all your posts) is "In MY best interest"

To even suggest that an ex has some kind of control over a former partners budget just because they had a kid together is bordering on lunacy. You cannot even define what is in a child's best interest financially, they are too many variables for it to ever be any of your business if you split from your ex and the list would be in a constant state of change..

I saw that in the past Conan gave you a Macadamia award.. I think it should have been a whole Christmas hamper of filled variety nuts..

Focus your pointless anger into something else before you waste your life single and angry.


Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Malady your comments are taken well as in the case on non-paying or barley paying parents this system has no real value.

However in the case of actually paying parents it has real value and in all likelihood would result in a significant portion of non-paying parents actually agreeing to pay.
 
The wolf you have done nothing but repeat what you wrote before and nill contributed argument or reasoning to support your view against regulated CS entitlements.

Can see what the SPCA is on about with now regards to polarized views.
Istvan051 said
The wolf you have done nothing but repeat what you wrote before and nill contributed argument or reasoning to support your view against regulated CS entitlements.

Can see what the SPCA is on about with now regards to polarized views.
I gave a perfectly logical argument against it (well several) including that it is unworkable controlling tosh. . You could fight this fight for 2000 years and it would never ever EVER happen in Australia,….life is short… dont waste it….What more could i possible say to articulate what a waste of energy this is?

The polarized view on "view" in this thread is the one from the guy who is too paranoid to have anyone live with him, wants nonsensical pre nups to "protect" himself that would fall apart in court in 0.001 seconds and wants to control how his (he hasnt even got one!) ex supports their child (which he aso does not have)  on a day to day basis .

Every single post i've read of his is full of anger, paranoia and control. He is clearly not interested in any best interests of anyone but himself and his "I thinks" without having any practical knowledge of the situation he is trying to control (like none at all!) are not based on ANY life experience of the situations he is trying to change

And of course this thread  has nothing to do and could not possibly help anyone who is wanting to self represent in court, SSAT or anywhere else.

Everyone is entitled to their "opinion" but as we all know "I think" means nothing without being backed up by solid evidence, and, ill eat my hat  made of Pistachios if any can be produced to support this idea
 

Last edit: by The Wolf


Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
"The polarized view on "view" in this thread is the one from the guy who is too paranoid to have anyone live with him, wants nonsensical pre nups to "protect" himself that would fall apart in court in 0.001 seconds and wants to control how his (he hasnt even got one!) ex supports their child (which he aso does not have)  on a day to day basis."

Sure life is short but if you think that I am some one off freak, think again.

On an off-topic note did you know according to the bureau of statistics approx. 7-9% of people in committed long-term relationships re-fuse to be considered de-facto? Yes, they re-fuse to live together in committed life-long relationships and thy main considered motivating factor relates to property.

Simply being considered de-facto in this country much of the time is asking for nothing less than to be destroyed financially.  
Let alone having children or going through separation proceedings which are nothing less than the perfect recipe for only staying alive due to the existence of ones offspring.
 
That's why such a portion of everyday people are committed to making such sacrifices in their lifestyles to prevent their assets being hi-jacked by co-habitual partners.

I answered simply how the basics card income can be worked into everyday life and to cover the variables which exist.

You choose to ignore it, so please don't try and flip the conversation around by pretending you had some kind of logical answer. Because all you want to do is borderline ad-hominem me by looking for other bits and pieces of information in the forums by me to argue against without actually addressing the queries as they exist here in this thread.



Steve456 said
Let alone having children or going through separation proceedings which are nothing less than the perfect recipe for only staying alive due to the existence of ones offspring.
Last time i'm going to reply to you and in relation to your quote above, most people live for their kids. You would not understand, you are childless
 
Steve456 said
That's why such a portion of everyday people are committed to making such sacrifices in their lifestyles to prevent their assets being hi-jacked by co-habitual partners.
Where is your evidence?
 
Steve456 said
I answered simply how the basics card income can be worked into everyday life and to cover the variables which exist.
Yes….and i answered you, it cant, it wont ever be, its a ridiculous idea that stinks of control of the worst possible kind.

Its quite ironic that (and ive read your other posts) for a nutjob soapboxing how his income and assets should be protected, im assuming so YOU can do what you want with them, you then advocate trying to control others finances..


Goodbye and good luck





Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Istvan051 said
Malady your comments are taken well as in the case on non-paying or barley paying parents this system has no real value.

However in the case of actually paying parents it has real value and in all likelihood would result in a significant portion of non-paying parents actually agreeing to pay.

So what would be the cut off point Istavan? Would you pull some magic number from the ether and suggest that the Basics Card kicks in? For example if my ex was to suddenly start paying $9999 a year I could do as I pleased with the money but if he payed $10,000 suddenly I'd need to have a basics card? There would have to be a clear point that this "system" kicked in, surely?

And then who determines how much of each bill I can pay with such a card? Can I pay my entire mortgage payment? Or just the portion that relates to the child's bedroom? Can I pay my entire electricity or water account? Or only the portion that is used to light, heat or bathe my child? Can I pay for dance lessons or music lessons or is that frivolous? Can I pay for an overseas holiday or would the CS determine that I can't do that?

Its a ridiculous proposition. If some mystical number was arrived at, you can guarantee that payees would start doing the stupid things that payers currently do to manipulate the fatally flawed equations used by the CSA to determine CS liabilities, so that the payment amount landed a dollar under whatever the Basics Card limit was. Imagine the uproar from those parents who don't want to pay if they are just under the limit of controlling their ex! COA's would be flying.

Also - and I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you folks who don't have children and have no experience with the Child Support system - but paying parents actually don't have a choice. They don't get to "agree" to pay. If you don't pay then you go on collect and the CSA can garnish your wages for the payment. Or debt builds up and they'll take it out of your tax return, or take multiple other actions to recover the funds. Paying isn't a choice - and I agree with Wolf that what the payee does with it is none of the payers business.

I understand how grating that is - I really, really do. My husband pays a significant amount of CS. I have friends who pay thousands a month. I get it - I do. All that money and no choice of what it is spent on. It sucks and the system is broken. But this is not the answer.

If you are concerned that your ex is neglecting your kids - take her back to Court. If you are concerned that your ex is doing drugs or drinking to excess - take her back to Court. But if your child is being provided for, then you'd be better of focusing on advocacy to improve the CS system and the faulty formula's and costings rather than making the system more complicated and administration heavy through this ridiculous idea of a Basics Card.

Or in Steve's case, forget about the advocacy. He'd be better off going to therapy to work through his rotten childhood than spending his time worrying about what his non-existent ex is doing after their non-existent relationship breaks down and she takes his non-existent children along with half his non-protected, overseas trust-owned property away and lives it up with his non-existent child support.
Malady,

It's a fairly new idea to me but for Steves sake lets give the defensive standpoint a go.

I would suggest the threshold would equal to the administrative cost of setting up the card and account (maybe $10/month).

You don't have to complicate things too much but as living costs do vary by location I would suggest surveys can give a determination as to the cost of living per child against your postcode.

Forget the rest of your suggestions 1 child to be raised in X area to a suitable standard costs X amount per month. If you can pay it we will take it from your tax return or pension or debit your government wages, ect.

Regards parents being forced to pay CS I currently personally know two people who are single mums according to them neither their EXs pay child support. So I don't know what the deal is…
Seriously? Anyone getting more than $10 a month gets a Basics Card? That demonstrates a serious lack of understanding of the transaction cost.

In the rest of your post  think you are talking about an overhaul to the system Istvan, you are no longer talking about a Basics card.

That being said, even the overhaul you suggest is more complicated than you make out.

I live in a small town. The average wage here is less than half what I earn a year. On your idea, my child's "costs" would be determined by the relative wealth of my neighbours. if I move to the next town over, my wage is only slightly above average but my child is suddenly more expensive to raise? Can you see the problem with that? If CS was determined based on postcode then I think you'd see lots of parents trying to move to more affluent suburbs to reap the financial rewards - like school zoning in the cities.  

If you know people who aren't receiving from their exes then they may be a) not on collect b) have multiple children reducing their liability c) not be earning / mother may earn more (like me) d) just not have caught up with them yet.
Malady-

I did say the threshold should be equal to the transaction cost. I said "maybe" $10/month.

I do understand your point regards the zoning. That initial response was a whim argument I put together
while stuffing my face with late night spaghetti.

On a more thoughtful note why not make CS non-compulsory but then set a national minimum monthly payment per child similar to minimum wages?

Hourly wages across Australia have a minimum which is set by age. Why not use a similar model format for basics card CS?
Istvan051 said
Malady-

I do understand your point regards the zoning. That initial response was a whim argument I put together
while stuffing my face with late night  


And there we have it..half baked ideas not grounded in reality soapboxed  into existence  whilst cooking.

I have a.much better suggestion. .stop trying to control how other people spend money on kids…

The ludicrous notion that moving  from a bank account for payments  to a card would change anything in nonsense.

 All it would do it make an angry soapboxers happier for three seconds as they gain a bit of revenge pleasure knowing they still exert  control over an ex.

Pay the money…shut up..let the live with parent do what they need to do with the money. It's NOT your money once it leaves your hands.

Personal anger at having to pay out for kids is not a reason for legislation  change


Last edit: by The Wolf


Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher

Steve456 and Istvan051 BANNED

Steve456 and Istvan051

have been banned from the FLWG

They are the same person who deliberately set out to break site rules by double registering.

Perhaps from other posters perspective the fact ‘they’ engaged in a conversation with themselves is indicative of ‘their’ personalities and rather strange posts.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Thank you Agog. I was checking via my phone and had to wait until I got home to check if this were true, re the same person.
I did think it strange when Istvan said "It's a fairly new idea to me but for Steves sake lets give the defensive standpoint a go".

Oh well, it takes all sorts.

Apologies to all who have taken the time to respond to this and other posts of Steven and Istvan.
UGH. How frustrating. Thanks Agog.
This poses a real problem. If they are one and the same people which personality gets Conan's  Macadamia award? Only one was ordered….

Last edit: by The Wolf


Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
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