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Other party doesn't have to prove income - CSA won't believe me - help!?

Howdy all,

First time poster, long time suffer.

Situation: EX has %38 care  - I have the rest.

I am employed
she is not (that I am aware of)

I log a tax return every year
she has never put in a tax return

I pay all medical, school, extra activities. She doesn't.


She disappeared for about 18month - came back a few months ago (with a bran new partner) and they are trying to make a go of things. 

We previously had a verbal agreement that CSA wouldn't be involved. Now that she's back in sons life she has decided she wants to get child support from me.


Issue:  She says to CSA that she is not working. I say may be. They say prove it. I say check with ATO. They say they can not?


Query: Surely it should be up to the payee to prove their income?
Query: Does centrelink benefits (FTB, Single mothers, Widow, Rent, New start etc) count as income on the CSA calculator?

Query: Have just uncovered "Ability to earn" info from this site - first I've heard of it and CSA never said anything. How do I get CSA to assess her ability to earn? **UPDATE**  Have found more info regarding "Capacity to earn"  it was put forth in the reform.    I have dealt with the CSA for 7 years and no one has EVER brought this to my attention. I will be speaking with CSA directly tommorow and report back findings . For the record I am investigating why my X can continue to claim or child support without having to look for work .. 6 months i could understand for 7 years??? (No health issue or small children - just a life style choice)

Looking forward to hearing for anyone who can provide input

Last edit: by KTH

KTH said
Query: Surely it should be up to the payee to prove their income?

If the other parent is on income support, then the CSA would very likely know and that would also likely be considered as proof of income.

KTH said
Query: Does centrelink benefits (FTB, Single mothers, Widow, Rent, New start etc) count as income on the CSA calculator?
Some do and some don't (FTB doesn't), income support does, rent assistance doesn't, single mothers (actually it's parent payment single) however that's very much irrelevant as the ones that do count come in under the self support amount ($18808 for assessments that start in 2009). This is an amount deducted from each parent's adjusted taxable income as the first step in the calculation process. Only amounts above this are considred when determining CS, so such parents wil have a zero going forward into the calculations anyway.

KTH said
Query: Have just uncovered "Ability to earn" info from this site - first I've heard of it and CSA never said anything. How do I get CSA to assess her ability to earn?
To try for capacity to earn, you would have to initiate a change of assessment under reason 8. For capacity to earn, there are three criteria that must all be met, these are (according to the CSA Guide) :-

THS CSA Guide - 2.6.14 (extract) said
1. The parent is either:

    * not working despite ample opportunity to do so (section 117(7B)(a)(i)); or
    * has reduced his or her weekly hours of work to below full time work (section 117(7B)(a)(ii)); or
    * has changed his or her occupation, industry or working pattern (section 117(7B)(a)(iii));


2. The parents decision about his or her work arrangements is not justified by either:

    * his or her caring responsibilities (section 117(7B)(b)(i)); or
    * his or her state of health (section 117(7B)(b)(ii));


3. The parent has failed to show that the decision about his or her work arrangements was not substantially motivated by the effect this would have on the child support assessment (section 117(7B)©.

The guide says that the CSA have to be satisfied, which basically means that they can and they do discriminate against parents, contrary to the intent of the legisaltion. The discrimination so as to collect the maximum amount that they can so that the CSA can say how well they have done.

The CSA will take whatever advantage they can (and shouldn't as well) of a change of asssessment. You being the payer could well mean that you would pay more than you should. They do things, such as discount perfectly legitimate deductions saying that they are a benefit. They will take the other parents word even in the face of evidence to the contrary, sheesh if you're a business they will discount perfectly valid accounting and find some way (e.g. years old business loan applications) of inflating the income in their quest to deny the correct, proper, just and fair treatment of a parent and the children, just to get thier brownie points.

You may well wish to stay clear of change of assessmet unless you have a rock solid foundation, even then they are just as likely to flout that.

If you do go, then medical, school (likely not extra activities could be on the board)

KTH said
Looking forward to hearing for anyone who can provide input

Sorry but perhaps you will rethink that last statement.

I've run up some figures, payments according to the formula would be (assuming the child is under 13)

$55,000 = $213 per month or $2556 pa.
$60,000 = $241 per month or $2897 pa.
$65,000 = $270 per month or $3238 pa.
$70,000 = $298 per month or $3579 pa.

If you had 4% more care (i.e. greater than 65%), then you would have to pay nothing, irrespective of what you earnt.

Perhaps another course of action could be to get the evidence and then perhaps notify other bodies, such as the ATO and centrelink who are keen to report to thier bosses ways in which they have saved commonwealth money by catching fraudsters. Perhaps a private detective could be of assistance.

You may wish to have a good look through the CS Guide in respect to change of assessments, so here's a link to that section. The CSa Guide - 2.6: Change of Assessment in special circumstances

P.S. You may find it easier to use the calculators on this site (they can be accessed from the home page, the advanced one is a little harder to use but caters for all formula based calculations, however both are a single data entryy page, unlike the CSA's estimator that takes you on a trip over numerous pages).
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the input.

She does fall into all three of those catergories mate, no doubt.

Remember I am not hoping to collect anything from her.. just demonstrate she could be earning money to support her child but chooses not to.

Yes I have used the calc and thats what I get too.

As for contacting the ATO/Centrelink etc.  Thats taking this too far.. I am not trying to be malicious, just trying to be fair.

** morning edit **

Well that was interesting - Spoke with CS .. then spoke to the COA people … wow .. I mean .. wow… brick wall, agressive, presumptive. Heck they even had outdated information about the entire case - I even had someone say "If she is looking after the child most of the time then you SHOULD be paying her" .. I then asked them to recheck the record to show I was and have been looking after him the majority of the time his entire life.

God they hate men! They question everything I say but take what she says as the gods truth.

They are sending me the paperwork but my god they made me feel like some money grubbing animal.  I got some really short snide info like " She has never worked before so she never has to so you don't have a case", I demonstrated this is actually against the spirit of the legislation.   Worst outcome is that I get access to her financial ins and out, best case is she drops it.

Will keep you guys updated

ATM CSA has me down as %88 care but due to the reassessment it will be closer to %64

Last edit: by KTH

KTH - If you work your care out in hours instead of nights you might get a couple percent in your favour - you you only need 1 hour over 65% for it to be rounded up to 66% for the ex to will lose FTB entitlements.

To achieve this with C$A get Family Assistance to work out and acknowledge the care % by hours and then use their assessment in your application to C$A for a change.

This might be a whole lot easier than going through the Change of Assessment process.
Fairgo - awesome advice. I will check this out.. I was under the impresison that CSA only go by "nights" though
KTH - there are many reasons why C$A use a night count however it is not fully supported by legislation and can be challenged successfully.

Where C$A can be a brick wall Family Assistance will  bend over backwards to assist you.

Makes me wonder why we fund two agencies to do the same thing. (calculate care percentages)
Perhaps a private detective could be of assistance.
The information I would need would be a break down of what government benifits she is receiving and where extra income is coming into her bank accounts.  I would be suprised if a PI can provide that?
A private investigator could obtain surveillance showing that she is working; Centrelink would be most interested in that. Even if you couldn't prove money was changing hands (if she claimed the work was unpaid) then surely CSA would be interested in terms of capacity to earn?
Sunny, its the $64K isn't it.   She hasn't ever lodged a tax return, I don't know what benifits she is on so its very hard for me to say "She shouldn't be on X benifit"  .. and at the end of the day all it is going to do is get her into trouble and not really help me out… after all these years I just never developped the venom that she did (and it seems many suffers do)

I did the hours calculation  .. from may to the end of the year it works out as %70ish .. but from may to may its around %63

I do believe that Capacity to earn is the key here .. but without knowing what benifits she is receiving i can't do anything, CSA/Centrelink/ATO certainly won't tell me.

If I submit the COA on capatity to earn I will most likely find this data out - but there is a good chance CSA will then bend me over.

/Rant  .. frankly its a screwed situation - a party refuses to work, the working party has to pay for there life style - no one does a bloody thing!  .. I remember a few years ago I lost my job, i had CSA and Centerlink call me within 48 hours wanting me to start work as soon as possible .. and even then i had majority care and was still the payer .. the system is BS.

It is hard not to be angry at the CSA, but they are doing everythign possible to take away my freedoms which i work for and give them to someone who refuses to work … sorry thats a bit ranty :P
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