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Child Support: Parents split as they do the sums

The changes are an improvement. The old system became a motivator for people to seek or oppose children spending more or less time with the other spouse.

The Sydney Morning Herald
7 June 2008

Parents split as they do the sums
By Erin O'Dwyer

New child support laws will help many cash-strapped fathers, but is the formula fair? Erin O'Dwyer reports.

Peter Maloney is a national manager with Telstra and is paid $96,000 a year. But he lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Matraville and can barely afford the $250 rent.

The father of three spends more than a third of his income on child support payments - about $27,000 each year. Each fortnight he deposits $1,046 in his former wife's account, which leaves him with $1,551 in his pocket. It goes quickly: petrol, food, rent and bills, plus mortgage repayments on a house at Shoalhaven Heads.

"My fiancee has had to give me money to survive," Maloney says. "I can't even take my car to the mechanic. I have to repair it myself."

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Maloney. A new child support formula that takes effect on July 1 will bring relief to divorced fathers who say they have been doing it tough for too long. But the new formula will leave 60 per cent of single mothers worse off. Single-parent households, mostly headed by women, are about to hit breaking point.

The windfall for Maloney is $10,000 a year - he will now be paying roughly $650 a fortnight. He plans to buy a new car, reduce his mortgage and help his children - aged 12, 15 and 17 - with clothes and computer gear. He also plans to tie the knot. "We couldn't afford to get married before this," he says. "It also means me being able to stay on at work. It got that tight for us that I was looking at having to live on the South Coast, but it's too far to commute. That house is my retirement, so I couldn't sell it, but we're priced out of the Sydney market and nobody would give me a loan because of the child support."

Both Maloney and his fiancee, Barbara Jaros, believe the changes go some way to righting an unfair system. Jaros, a mother of three girls aged 27, 20 and 17, remembers fighting for child support in the early 1980s.

"It was very male-orientated back then and I went through hell trying to get $30 a week," she says. "But I think they've gone too much the other way now and some of the guys are getting a very raw deal."

Maloney has much malice for "mogrel ex-husbands". But he says the drain on men's wallets meant they were unable to start a new life.

"I know there are a lot of deadbeat dads out there who are doing wrong by ex-wives and their kids," he says. "But some men lost their house in the marriage and they can't afford to rent anymore. They're feeling it's a step in the right direction."

Fathers might be breathing easier. But social justice advocates believe more families are about to plunge into poverty. Dr Elspeth McInnes of the University of South Australia says the third wave of child support changes are the most devastating for single mums. Combined with Welfare to Work obligations - which require single mothers to seek at least 15 hours of paid work a week once their child turns six - single mothers are the subject of "systematic discrimination".

"Every piece of research on financial circumstances after divorce continues to tell us that it's the person with the primary care of the children who is at risk of poverty," says McInnes. "But under the previous government that was not seen as a problem."

Parenting support groups are urging women to lobby their state and federal members. But this is unlikely to achieve much in the short term.

"It has taken a year-and-a-half lead time for the Child Support Agency to get the new formula rolled out, so there is no way it can simply just be stopped," says McInnes. "The current Government has no choice but to see how the changes play out and then they can look at fixing the glitches."

The new formula is complicated. Most importantly, it gives a 24 per cent discount to fathers who have regular care - two to four nights per fortnight.

It reduces support payments to children up to 12 and increases them for those aged 13 to 17. And it takes into account children born into subsequent relationships.

For the first time, both parents' incomes are given equal consideration. For single mothers, the income test falls from $39,000 to about $17,000 before child support payments are cut.

In the mothers' favour are changes to the family tax benefit. Payments will no longer be split where fathers have less than 35 per cent of care - delivering a windfall to mums. However, the maintenance income test means payments are reduced by 50 cents for every child support dollar above $24 each week.

It's this nasty little claw-back that McInnes hopes the Federal Government will reassess. It's higher than the 30 cents paid by wage earners and has not been adjusted for over a decade.

"One-parent households receive less [family tax benefit] than children would receive in intact households," McInnes says. "The very households that are in the worse earning situations are having the higher impost."

For weeks, the Child Support Agency has been sending 30,000 letters a day to parents across the country. The massive mail-out was due to be finalised this week. But many parents are still struggling to understand the changes.

"I've had a few panic-stricken emails from people," Eva Cox, of the Women's Electoral Lobby, says. "There is more allowance for fathers who share care, but a lot of the women I know who have shared-care arrangements still organise the dentist and the school trips and the washing. That is completely ignored."

Kathleen Swinbourne from the Sole Parents Union says: "We've had lots of calls from women who are losing over $100 a week. I had a call from somebody whose ex hasn't seen the children for ages. He called to say he's going to start seeing them after July."

Swinbourne says it is the children who are losing out.

"We're going to see children pulled out of private schools, mothers putting their houses on market because they cannot keep up payments, and kids having to give up sport," she says.

A Central Coast mother-of-two, Stephanie Watkeys, who will lose $58 a week, describes the shortfall as "massive". She wants to keep her children in private school but expects to rely on the public health and dental care.

"I keep going over the budget and saying, 'What can go?' " she says. "I don't know yet. I know my situation is much better than many mothers', but it's quite a disempowering process."

Another mother-of-two, from Sydney's eastern suburbs, says the shortfall of $151 a week puts her mortgage repayments in jeopardy. She already works 30 hours a week.

"Where is the justice for women that play fair?" she says. "We recognise the rights of the father but at the end of the day I can never earn what my ex-husband earns. I am still the mother of my children and the mother's role is very different."

From the other side come stories of divorced fathers getting second jobs delivering pizza so they can pay the rent.

"A lot of the guys have nothing left," says a sole parent support worker. "And they get blackmailed for more money if they want to see their kids."

Justin Dowd, a family law specialist from the Sydney firm Watts McCray, says reactions to the changes are split evenly down gender lines. But he says men will pocket only half as much as the women lose, due to the family tax benefit changes.

He believes the changes are an improvement. "The old system became a motivator for people to seek or oppose children spending more or less time with the other spouse," he says.


"The new calculation is meant to allow people to make more flexible arrangements with their children. The intent of the changes is good. Only time will tell."
CASE STUDIES

- CASE ONE Stephanie Watkeys, 39, is a single mother with two boys, 14 and 6, from the Central Coast. She receives $319 a fortnight from her former husband. After July 1 she will receive $203 a fortnight, a weekly loss of $58. She does not expect to receive more family tax benefit because she is already receiving the maximum. Her former husband has the children two days a week, earning him a discount.

- CASE TWO Beth Watson*, 38, is a single mother who lives in Sydney's eastern suburbs with her daughter, 11 and her son, 9. She receives $576 a fortnight in child support from her former husband. After July 1 she will receive $274 a fortnight, a weekly loss of $151. She has a 50-50 care arrangement, and her former husband has a baby with his new partner - both factors earn him a discount.

- CASE THREE Doris McMahon*, 48, is a single mother who lives on the Central Coast with her two boys, John, 13, and Alexander, 7. John's father pays $12,000 for private school fees. He makes no other financial contribution. Alexander's father was paying $675 a fortnight. He recently lost his job and now pays $18 a fortnight. Doris expects to lose $274 a fortnight in family tax benefits because of the increased payment of John's school fees. John's father cares for his son every second week, and has a baby with his new partner. Both earn him a significant discount.

* not their real names
matrix said
The Sydney Morning Herald
7 June 2008

Parents split as they do the sums
By Erin O'Dwyer
…..

Kathleen Swinbourne from the Sole Parents Union says: "We've had lots of calls from women who are losing over $100 a week. I had a call from somebody whose ex hasn't seen the children for ages. He called to say he's going to start seeing them after July."

Swinbourne says it is the children who are losing out.

"We're going to see children pulled out of private schools, mothers putting their houses on market because they cannot keep up payments, and kids having to give up sport," she says.

A Central Coast mother-of-two, Stephanie Watkeys, who will lose $58 a week, describes the shortfall as "massive". She wants to keep her children in private school but expects to rely on the public health and dental care.
Do I see a complaint that he's (father) going to start seeing them after July… Goodness me is the system working how we designed it to work? Can payers now get a fairer deal and the burden of child support be shared over both parents. What a novel idea that is.. Both parents sharing in the responsibility of child support.!!

Last edit: by OneRingRules


Site Director
The real issue here is not the gender issues and is it right for a father or a mother to experience either an increase or decrease in child support. The real issue is the responsibility of providing for a child from both parents.
The reality is it costs X amount to raise a child…someone has to pay and I don't think the burden should rest solely on the government. You make a decision to have a child, then you make a decision to assume responsibility for that child, financially, emotionally and physically.

An assessed CS payment of $203 or $274 or $18 a fortnight does not cover half the costs to bring up 2 children.
The bottom line is all parents when having children have a responsibility to pay for them equally. Why has the government taken this responsibility off people?
Here's the thing. In the first place, the amount of money being syphoned off payers was seldom what a couple still together would spend on care for their children.

The amount I was told I could get from CSA when I first left my ex was ridiculous. We agreed privately to go halves in the cost of child care, plus a reasonable amount we would normally spend on care for the kids. There's been a bit of argy bargy, but this attitude has remained the same and out of it we have a happy mum, dad and kids not caught in the middle.

I think the attitude that the payer had to cover the costs of the payees cost of living is a bit silly.

That the cost of self-care is now the same for both parents is a good thing. I knew too many dad's cheating the system or living on baked beans  - it was crazy.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
If i could have had the children full-time from the start without any money from the ex I would have been overjoyed. It would have been my privilege and joy to take on all that responsibility. I never would have complained whinged or demanded money from anyone. .. But thats just me _ and I would never seek to legally impose my views on the rest of the population. I have never taken ANY CSA at any stage.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
matrix said
 The Sydney Morning Herald

  • CASE THREE Doris McMahon*, 48, is a single mother who lives on the Central Coast with her two boys, John, 13, and Alexander, 7. John's father pays $12,000 for private school fees. He makes no other financial contribution. Alexander's father was paying $675 a fortnight. He recently lost his job and now pays $18 a fortnight. Doris expects to lose $274 a fortnight in family tax benefits because of the increased payment of John's school fees. John's father cares for his son every second week, and has a baby with his new partner. Both earn him a significant discount.

 * not their real names
The Sydney Morning Herald said
John's father pays $12,000 for private school fees. He makes no other financial contribution.
 Eh? School fees and no other contribution? The details given suggest this is not true.

The Sydney Morning Herald said
 Doris expects to lose $274 a fortnight in family tax benefits because of the increased payment of John's school fees.
  The $12,000 must have been declared as child support. If, for example, John's father was paying the fees direct to the school, there would be no effect on FTB, but there would have to be a Child Support Assessment since she is getting Family Tax Benefit.

The Sydney Morning Herald said
 John's father cares for his son every second week, and has a baby with his new partner. Both earn him a significant discount.
John's father can only get those discounts if there is in fact a child support assessment.

Perhaps "John's father only pays $12,000 for private school fees. He makes no other contribution" should read

"John's father pays $12,000 which the parents have agreed will cover private school fees",
or

"John's father pays $12,000 of which $6,000 is his share of John's school fees and the other $6,000 is child support as assessed by the formula. Doris also pays half of the school fees, and chooses for convenience to set aside the full $12,000 for fees and cover all of John's other expenses herself".

So, this case history is a bit dubious, but it does point out one interesting wrinkle with Family Tax Benefit. I have posted some thoughts on that wrinkle elsewhere to avoid going off topic.



The article has cherry-picked examples which show payees becoming worse off.  Under the old system the payee would suffer disproportionately if a lower paid payer started a second family as there was a set increase in exempt income regardless of payer income.  The new system redresses this to some extent - my husband once retired would have better off under the old system than under the new.

The use of the joint cap introduced in the new system will also benefit some payees who had seen a reduction by the introduction of the lower cap in stage 2 of the changes.  Had my husband continued at work, his CSA income would have risen to $140 000 under new system and despite having an additonal dependent would have seen his CSA payments increase.
greebo said
The article has cherry-picked examples which show payees becoming worse off.
 
That is probably because most will be worse off, so it was good to see your balanced examples of both payers and payees better off under one system or the other.

 
OneRingRules said
 Goodness me is the system working how we designed it to work? Can payers now get a fairer deal and the burden of child support be shared over both parents. What a novel idea that is.. Both parents sharing in the responsibility of child support.!!
  While we are celebrating the victory for payers, how about a thought for the payees and children who will receive an increase under the new formula? 

You know, the payees who lost their houses and their health, and the children who lost their music lessons and sports activities and had to change schools because the burden was not equally shared.

If the new system represents fairness, then it looks like those payees and children  had valid complaints too,

but

sharing the financial burden fairly it is a very hollow victory for those who get a raise if the payers concerned do not claim their 'discount' by sharing their children's lives for just one day a week. 



BriarRose said
If the new system represents fairness, then it looks like those payees and children had valid complaints too
I don't see the logic, perhaps I have misunderstood, for it to be fairer there has to be a swap from the unfairly treated to the preferentially/over-fairly treated. Thus if the preferentially treated had complaints they would have been unjustified complaints based upon that preferential treatment. I also don't think you can lump the complaints of a payee losing out with their child also having complaints. In fact the fairer system will likely see those children benefiting. There will be less chance for them to be exploited for financial gain. There will be a greater likelihood that they will be able to enjoy comforts closer to their primary home at their second home/place of contact. They will be given a greater chance for many to see and understand and later fit in with how society in general works, in that they will see greater evidence of the fruits of labour the core of society today.

The changes also make it harder for evasion to happen, well at least in theory, so many will recipients will receive more. Although these measures could have the affect of eliminating the potential of a paying parent becoming an entrepreneur and thus effectively reducing longer term payments.

Another benefit may also be that as the system is fairer, that the CSA themselves may find there work less unpleasant and thus they themselves may benefit as employees may be less likely to leave, thus eliminating what many see as a problem and that is staff that appear to lack the knowledge that they should have.

Perhaps the way to go is to ignore the vociferous minority and see how fairer the system can be and thus advantage the majority.
I am required to pay about the same under new and old systems.  Reckon both assessments are unfair for heaps of reasons which I cannot raise here.

The law itself wouldn't be that unfair if it was administered beneficially.

  
MikeT said
BriarRose said
If the new system represents fairness, then it looks like those payees and children had valid complaints too
MikeT said
I don't see the logic, perhaps I have misunderstood

 Yes, you have misunderstood.

The logic of my first argument is
1. Some payers were paying too much.

2. That was unfair.

3. Under the new system they will pay less


Therefore, the new system is fairer than the old.





My second argument comes from the same logic
1. Some payers were paying too little


2. That was unfair


3. Under the new system they will pay more


Therefore, the new system is fairer than the old.



Now, if one agrees with the first argument (as I understand most here do), all of the three premises and the conclusion, then the second argument follow logically.


One might, for example, want to question the first premise in the second argument because the use of the phrase 'too little' presupposes the conclusion to be true, thus begging the question. BUT, to be logically consistent, one would then also have to reject the first premise in the first argument also.

One might want to question the second premise in the second argument, but to do that in the second but not the first would be to privilege one set of payers over another by claiming that paying too much is unfair, but paying too little is not.

That just leaves the third premise. Both third premises could be said to be simple statements of truth and thus not open to debate. However, one might question the third premise of the second argument on the grounds that it begs the question by assuming that only those who were paying too little will now pay more. The third premise of the first argument is also open to the same criticism, so to accept one requires accepting both.


Whether the conclusion follows from the premises is the same for both arguments.

So, if the first argument is accepted, and I think it generally is in this forum, then the second argument is equally logically valid.


MikeT said
Thus if the preferentially treated had complaints they would have been unjustified complaints based upon that preferential treatment.

 That only holds if those who were underpaid were preferentially treated since I was talking about complaints from those who were underpaid. That sounds contradictory to me unless paying too much was unfair but paying too little was fair, in which case the new system is also unfair since it addresses both the fair and the unfair.



If the new system is fair, and requires those who were paying too little to pay more, then it follows that the complaints of those who received too little were in fact justified, in exactly the same way as the complaints of those who previously paid too much were justified.



MikeT said
I also don't think you can lump the complaints of a payee losing out with their child also having complaints.

 As oneRingRules said, the new system is about both parents sharing fairly.



Where a payer has not been contributing fairly, according to the new formula, the child misses out because one parent is not providing adequately and the other parent misses out because they carry more than their fair share of the burden.


MikeT said
In fact the fairer system will likely see those children benefiting.

 Yes, by both parents pulling their weight.


MikeT said
Perhaps the way to go is to ignore the vociferous minority and see how fairer the system can be and thus advantage the majority.
 
 The people I am talking about are the minority of payees who get more not less, because their complaints were justified too.

 With thanks to those who worked to get the fairer system.



I think I understand the misunderstanding now. The quote I used of yours, I took to be about the payees and children who had been receiving more than they should, and thus being treated preferentially with regard to fairness.

 
Briar Rose said
MikeT said
Thus if the preferentially treated had complaints they would have been unjustified complaints based upon that preferential treatment.
  That only holds if those who were underpaid were preferentially treated since I was talking about complaints from those who were underpaid. That sounds contradictory to me unless paying too much was unfair but paying too little was fair, in which case the new system is also unfair since it addresses both the fair and the unfair.
However you appear to have applied the similar but reversed misunderstanding when you have said what you have about that. My quote was basically saying those who received too much, had unjustified complaints that they were not receiving enough and later that they tend to be the noisier ones.

Undoubtedly the system although being fairer in some areas is still unfair, especially around the 14% and 35% care areas, where a single night can make a vast difference, especially the latter which has the double disadvantage of making it possible for a paying parent to suddenly become a non-paying parent, irrespective of their earnings and also for a complete loss in FTB to the other parent.

I can see instead of a reduction in acrimony surrounding care it has been split into two battle grounds, with the route from one to the other more like trenches than a path and that children will perhaps suffer even more as a result.

We have already had examples here of agreed upon contact being thrown in the wind upon what would appear to be receipt of the new assessment and also what might well have been a well contrived court orders designed to maximise income by dropping just under the magical 35%. There again I shouldn't really be the one complaining as my CS has been redued quite substantially from when I voluntarilly (primarily out of fear of the CSA) was originally paying well over twice what my "fairer" assessment will be.
MikeT said
I think I understand the misunderstanding now. The quote I used of yours, I took to be about the payees and children who had been receiving more than they should, and thus being treated preferentially with regard to fairness.
 Glad we got that sorted Mike.


What I actually said was
 
BriarRose said
how about a thought for the payees and children who will receive an increase under the new formula?
 
  so when I responded to your response, I naturally responded as if you were responding to what I actually said, not what you thought I said. All is clear now.

 
MikeT said
 
Briar Rose said
MikeT said
Thus if the preferentially treated had complaints they would have been unjustified complaints based upon that preferential treatment.
That only holds if those who were underpaid were preferentially treated since I was talking about complaints from those who were underpaid. That sounds contradictory to me unless paying too much was unfair but paying too little was fair, in which case the new system is also unfair since it addresses both the fair and the unfair.
However you appear to have applied the similar but reversed misunderstanding when you have said what you have about that.
No misunderstanding, mate. When I responded to your response, I naturally responded as if you were responding to what I actually said, not what you thought I said. All is clear now.

 
MikeT said
 Undoubtedly the system although being fairer in some areas is still unfair, especially around the 14% and 35% care areas, where a single night can make a vast difference, especially the latter which has the double disadvantage of making it possible for a paying parent to suddenly become a non-paying parent, irrespective of their earnings and also for a complete loss in FTB to the other parent.
 
  I am utterly ignorant of how that works - how does it happen that a payer stops paying and the payee losses FTB?

 
MikeT said
 We have already had examples here of agreed upon contact being thrown in the wind upon what would appear to be receipt of the new assessment
 
That is a very sad consequence, not of the new formula, but of immature human behaviour.

 Which brings me back to the concluding remark of my post
BriarRose said
sharing the financial burden fairly it is a very hollow victory for those who get a raise if the payers concerned do not claim their 'discount' by sharing their children's lives for just one day a week.





Briar Rose said
I am utterly ignorant of how that works - how does it happen that a payer stops paying and the payee losses FTB?
Basically there are two things that happens when care level goes from 35% to 34% (128-127). The payer, as they have over 65% are not required to pay anything, irrespective of whether they earn little or are millionaires and irrespective of the earnings of the other parent (although they may also pay nothing). Moving from the 35%-34% (128-127 nights) the payee now a former payee, loses FTB.

As an example, say A1 earns $120000 taxable, A2 earns $20000 taxable, at 128 days care for A2 (237 nights for A1), then CS payable by A1 to A2 for 3 13+ children is $7380 ($615 per month).

Swap 1 night in A1's favour, and A1 has to pay no child support. 1 night then equates to a $7380 reduction (an effective annual CS rate of $2,693,700 if you want to resort to tabloid style scare-scaremongering). I'm not sure about the old system, but I suspect that the sudden changes that the new formula was said to stop/reduce, have likely increased in size and when understood may well result in fiercer battles and do more harm to children.

Perhaps try this scenario out on the CSA's estimator, or the Family Law Web Guide Calculator on here (I'd advise the latter it's far simpler and quicker to use and every bit as accurate, it also provides more information).
i have worries about the people who know what the levels of care vs child support liabilties will do if they are forced to lose out on child support. im sure more people will force the fathers to not be in the childs life.
still i think to a point that the levels of child support where a father has 18% plus of his income garnished seem unfair when some people only earn about 35000, which by all practical means is not alot of money. Why shouldnt parents be incouraged to pay for thier children and not their ex, how can csa say that a person has no ablity to support themsleves so you have to pay them cs, because they cant or wont work> What about everyone else who has to work to help support FTB.

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

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
What people have seem to have forgotten is that child support is an issue for politicians as well.

These changes make the situation better for well off payers at the expense of the most disadvantaged children and of course the government has taken the opportunity to stick their thumb in the pie.

Lets start with Family tax benefit. This is a benefit that is given to intact families and also separated families. It is the bread and butter for poor families.

Previously FTB was given to parents in proportion where both parents had at least 10% care of the child. Now the threashold is 25%.

FTB is reduced by 50 cents for every dollar received in child support. Obviously there is only one recipient of child support as the other parent is the payer.

For very low income families FTB is about $130/week/child while child support is on a very small fraction of that.

Now for those parents that have there children less than 25% of the time, what FTB they previously received is now going to the other parent and the child support payments for the same child are now taxed at 50%.

So essentially the government has taxed child support by 50% for parents that have more than 75% care in the lower income brackets. Where children are most disadvantaged.

Furthermore that has placed substantial financial burden on the parent with less than 25% care through the complete loss of FTB. Many of these parents will not be able to afford the very basic provisions that are essentual for contact visists.

Many of these most disadvantaged children are going to experience a slight increase in their household income and at the same time a complete loss of any contact with the other parent. I can hardly think of a worse thing that could have been done to these poor children.


sorry they tax child support?

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

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
"Basically there are two things that happens when care level goes from 35% to 34% (128-127). The payer, as they have over 65% are not required to pay anything, irrespective of whether they earn little or are millionaires and irrespective of the earnings of the other parent (although they may also pay nothing)."

with respect, you have this part wrong mate

it is only at 14% that mum stops "giving credit" to dad, not at 35%

from 14% to 35% dad get a flat rate 25% [or so]
monster said
sorry they tax child support?
  No, not in the way that post may have seemed.

Child support is not taxed after it is received by the payee because the payer has already paid tax in the same way as any parent who earns money then spends it on a child.

To re-tax after paying it as child support would be double-dipping and does not happen.

What NewMember is referring to is the reduction in Family Tax Benefit that occurs as result of Child Support. That can feel like tax, because the govt reduces something  as a result of "income", but it is not.

Child Support is not income as such - it is the payer's contribution to the costs of supporting the child just like mum or dad putting money in the expense account in an intact family.

Like the intact family, it is taxed before it goes into the kitty, not after.

Family Tax Benefit is reduced due to child support because in a separated family if just the income of the higher carer is taken into account, that would not be the same as intact families where both contributions are taken into account.

There are all sorts of anomalies in how Family Tax Benefit is worked out, but the short version is Child Support is not taxed and neither is FTB. FTB is reduced due to child support, but that is not a tax, it is about taking both contributions into account.



BriarRose makes the point that it is unfair for CSA to be taxed.  I agree.  However the system has an anomaly in this respect when considering other dependents.  When the increase in exempt income is worked out for a parent with a second family, this figure exempted from his gross/pretax income before the CSA calculation is made for the 1st family.  In my husband's case, as he is a 40% tax payer (and in the UK he also has to pay 11% National Insurance on top of tax), this means that his dependents from the 2nd family are worth 1/2 amount of the children from his first family.

Last edit: by greebo

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