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Child support reform: Mums fuming

The biggest overhaul of the nation's child support system in 20 years is just months away - and women's groups are fuming.

Of course they're fuming.  It's always been about the money.

The alleged quote by Barry Williams is a misquote by the journalist.  Barry has issued this correction:
Barry Williams said
Correction, I did not say it was "a big win for men". What I said was it's a good change for all concerned.
The Daily Telegraph
10 March 2008

Child support reform: Mums fuming
By Kelvin Bissett

The biggest overhaul of the nation's child support system in 20 years is just months away - and women's groups are fuming.

Between now and May, the 1.5 million parents with a financial relationship through the Child Support Agency are being notified by mail of their new payment arrangements, to take effect from July 1.

According to Sole Parents Union of Australia's Kathleen Swinbourne, most mums will be furious at the news they get in the post.

Stripped back to the basics, the reforms mean reduced payments to support children living with resident parents. And that is usually mums.

From July 1, child support payments will no longer be based on straight percentages of income from the non-resident parents, usually fathers.

Under that system, dads earning more than $100,000 a year were paying up to $10,000 per child to support offspring from a first marriage.

Instead, payments will be arrived at with a new formula that at first glance makes the Income Tax Assessment Act look as simple as a script for the teen soapie Home and Away.

The new payment formula takes into account incomes from both parents after deducting an initial sum, $18,252, for "self-support" for each.

The childcare payment is then calculated based on the age of the child, whether there are other children from a second relationship and time each parent spends caring for a child.

Coupled with this are changes in the treatment of the Family Tax Benefit, which mean the non-resident parent must provide care for about a third of the year to receive a portion.

Ms Swinbourne said last night that the changes were just the latest big cave-in to the resurgent men's rights lobby. The legal and financial rights of women after relationship breakdown are firmly in retreat, she said. They follow 2006 Family Law Act amendments in 2006 that urges judges to consider "equal time" child custody.

Ms Swinbourne said her biggest concern with the July 1 changes was that non-custodial parents were to be induced financially into seeing their children.

Child support payments reduce sharply where children spend two to four nights a fortnight, or 52 to 127 nights a year, with their non-resident parent.

Lone Fathers Association of Australia president Barry Williams, a fathers' rights lobbyist, acknowledged the reforms were a big win for men, especially the move to base payments on incomes of both parents.
Funny cos under the new system my payments went up from $10 a month to $160+ and my income is still the same as it has been for the past 18 months.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
"According to Sole Parents Union of Australia's Kathleen Swinbourne, most mums will be furious at the news they get in the post."
Nothing worse than a bunch of angry mothers' rights activists - motived by their drive for money and free time.

If only they wanted fairness and the actual best interests of the children - not just their own best interests - instead?

The CSA system is still flawed and favors people who earn less, work less hours or have no income. It also increased amounts for teenagers and could result in an increase in payments for some men.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
Jon Pearson said
The CSA system is still flawed and favors people who earn less, work less hours or have no income. It also increased amounts for teenagers and could result in an increase in payments for some men.
It's not just the CSA system that does that but also Centrelink. And given the costs in running both centres it probably wouldn't go amiss to redefine the whole structure of "welfare" and the CSA into a single entity that solved problems rather than creating whole new sets in duplicate. As mentioned, in another post, CSA could even be integrated into the taxation system.

This would also save the govt millions of dollars of money spent in sustaining the two entities, and be an ideal opportunity to define a fair and equitable system for all.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Career single mothers forced to take a pay cut….

That would be my option.  Sorry for the short post.

On another note, Jadzia, maybe your rate changed because of the new percentages that have been introduced? Or the ages of the children. It's a very complex formula now.

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. 
I'm not sure Artemis, I know everything was rejigged after my tax return went through but the income I already declared is the same as the return - I spoke to them last week and they have raised it up a level to their tech support team and will be in contact by the end of the week. They are also looking into the fact that my ex deliberatly reduced his work hours so he wouldn't have to pay and queried why I didn't complain at the time - I explained it mean't $0 payments for both of us and to have him reassessed on his earning capacity would only make him step up his abuse of me.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.

Furious - Does that mean ANGRY

Jon Pearson said
"According to Sole Parents Union of Australia's Kathleen Swinbourne, most mums will be furious at the news they get in the post."
Nothing worse than a bunch of angry mothers' rights activists - motived by their drive for money and free time.

If only they wanted fairness and the actual best interests of the children - not just their own best interests - instead?

The CSA system is still flawed and favors people who earn less, work less hours or have no income. It also increased amounts for teenagers and could result in an increase in payments for some men.
I thought Kathleen Swinbourne claimed that only men get angry!

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
Jon Pearson said
The CSA system is still flawed and favors people who earn less, work less hours or have no income. It also increased amounts for teenagers and could result in an increase in payments for some men.
Jon I suggest that we should take a look at the new care breaks under the new scheme. Payers who are now below 35% care face loss of FTB part A and a significant reduction in income. The previous government had a ploicy to put (assist I mean) all "Lives with Parents" back into the work force when the youngest reached 6 years of age, in an effort to reduce the vast sums we all pay to social welfare payments. I wonder what the new kids on the block have in mind?

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
 

I suspect similar

A little bird told me that Carer's subsidy for those on benifits was to go. Apparently the decision was rescinded. This may mean that the lobby groups have too much influence for the new kids on the block to save money on welfare payments.

While much has been made of the changes to PP rules. After youngest turns 6 or 8, off to work you go because its on the dole you go.

In reality, Centrelink has quietly been actively encouraging PP recipients to actively look for work for over 12 years that I know of.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
Secretary_SPCA said
Jon I suggest that we should take a look at the new care breaks under the new scheme. Payers who are now below 35% care face loss of FTB part A and a significant reduction in income. The previous government had a ploicy to put (assist I mean) all "Lives with Parents" back into the work force when the youngest reached 6 years of age, in an effort to reduce the vast sums we all pay to social welfare payments. I wonder what the new kids on the block have in mind?
Yes, the 35% margin can make a substantial difference not only to FTB but also to CS, if the payer is on a much lower income than the payee. The example that highlighted this was where the payer had an ATI (adjusted taxable income) of $37500, the payee (i.e. the one with the majority of care) an ATI of $109000 for a single child at 127 nights care with the payer, there is no CS to pay by either nor can the payer claim FTB part A, the payee gets it all. One night extra care. Payer gets right to claim FTB part A PLUS the payer would get nearly $5,000 pa in CS.

As for women fuming, my little birdie tells me that the angry calls are far more frequently from payees, rather than payers. That little birdie has been told to F off twice in one day by them this week alone.
Oh the wrath of the Payee's has already begun.  After having it so easy for so long and Payers finally getting some kind of a break.  Now all I wonder is how to deal with the disputes over the exact day's of care when the calculations presented to the payee are not to their approval.  How will the C$A determine who is telling the truth?

As Mike T stated that the Payee is the one who is the most abusive, why am I not surprised.

Will there be a way of settling these care disputes? Does C$A have a procedure for this?  I realise that they rely on paper work from courts etc but in our case the children have spent extra day's in our care as the mother decided that she would rather go out for the weekend.  We have records of it but how do we prove it if she states its not true? especially when she notices the difference in child support.
MikeT said
….Yes, the 35% margin can make a substantial difference not only to FTB but also to CS, if the payer is on a much lower income than the payee. The example that highlighted this was where the payer had an ATI (adjusted taxable income) of $37500, the payee (i.e. the one with the majority of care) an ATI of $109,000 for a single child at 127 nights care with the payer, there is no CS to pay by either nor can the payer claim FTB part A, the payee gets it all. One night extra care. Payer gets right to claim FTB part A PLUS the payer would get nearly $5,000 pa in CS.
Be aware of the 7.1% rule rounded I believe to 8% but I am checking into this. It means you cannot just "flick" over the magic care band of 127 by one night. You must have a change of 7.1% (8%) to effect an assessment change. I have no idea where this all came from and discovered it a few weeks ago and have queried it all.

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
 
I am concerned that a court order will not be assumed as the amount of care, regardless of whether the payee has prevented access to the child.

Surely, that just encourages payees to, break the order, withold the child and increase the payment?

Or am I reading the legislation wrong?

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. 
As for encouraging mothers back to work HOW ABOUT ENCOURAGING EMPLOYERS to employ us.  I was called to pick up my daughter (7 yo) from school as she was sick, she then spent another 4 days at home - who in the hell out there wants to employ someone like me.

I only have PP and my payment is dropping to $130 from $237 - my daughter wants to join the Scouts which is $130 to join plus at least $100 for a uniform and then $60 per term.  My ex husband will gladly take her to scouts on his every 2nd weekend and half school holidays but he has certainly not offered to help fund it, he even ferrets away pieces of clothing I have purchased for her and keeps at his place.  When she was with him her spectacles broke, he took it to budget eyewear and when they said they couldn't be repaired and the free specs for pensioners refused me because I get child support (and only receive PP) I was stung with the $150 to replace them.

When people go on about us women whingeing it irks me especially when I used to earn more than him and when I had to stop he left for a rich girlfriend and it took CSA a year to catch him and make him pay.  Maybe some of us women have genuine reason to complain.O_o

Stressed out
oneadadc said
Jon Pearson said
"According to Sole Parents Union of Australia's Kathleen Swinbourne, most mums will be furious at the news they get in the post."
Nothing worse than a bunch of angry mothers' rights activists - motived by their drive for money and free time.

If only they wanted fairness and the actual best interests of the children - not just their own best interests - instead?

The CSA system is still flawed and favors people who earn less, work less hours or have no income. It also increased amounts for teenagers and could result in an increase in payments for some men.
I thought Kathleen Swinbourne claimed that only men get angry!

Unfortunately it seems that MONEY is the critical issue. My X file a form with the CSA showing that I am a 0% carer. That in itself is indicative that money is more important than the best interests of the children. I went from daily contact. having my eldest every weekend (even though I work), having him for all school holidays and having him while I was of work injured split over a 26 week period. The littlies I had for 1 weekend a month while at work (due to roster) and most weekends while of injured as well as other night when I was off. Of course after the X racked off to QLD no contact.
Too right - CSA is all about the money. Instead of making parents responsible for their children it is a government funded weapon to be used by parents to hurt each other by denying access so they don't "lose" money, or by constant assessment changes etc etc.

The amount of money wasted by the constant filing of forms, COA etc to outscore the other person would probably fund an entire 3rd world country!

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
The latest changes are excessive - spying.

How on earth did anyone think this constant BIG BROTHER, excessive intervention was GOOD IDEA?

What were they on at the time?

COMPLIANCE with something (ANYTHING) requires certain prerequisites:

1) A sense of fairness and equity

2) A sense of need

3) general acceptance

4) Appropriate administration

NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE EVIDENT IN THE CSA SCHEME.

Killing people (the natural extension) will not make it better - what are we Zimbabwe?

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
I think CSA is much fairer now that the same self-support figure is used for payer and payee. That was a huge bug-bear for me.

Personally, I think it could be a lot higher. I think most rents these days would be more than the self-support figure over a year.

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. 
The median house price in Sydney, Australia is close to $500,000 and the average rent for such homes is $400+ per week.

For apartments the median is around $400,000 to buy and $300+ to rent.

$400 per week =per year $20800

$350 per week=per year $18200

$300 per week= $15600

apparently self supporting only indicates you wish to pay for a roof over your head. car or working costs are irrelivant


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

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
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