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CSA and SSAT ruling on day time care of Children

What is the current ruling for care of children during the day?

By my understanding and as mentioned by an SCO during my request to take into consideration day time care, it does not apply. The SCO believed that a child at home during the day does not cost anything as they tend to just play and read. I asked the SCO if he actually had children!

I looked after my child for  1 1/2 days a week and took time out of work to do this. This meant that I would see my child every week, otherwise it would have been 10 nights without seeing him. I have now read a recent ruling by the court, which has opened up a couple of questions about how care is calculated. I am under the impression that care can also be calculated on hours and not just nights. Here is a link to a recent case which seems to point to another way of calculating time and care, it seemed to be quite stupid to just do it on night time care of children. While the judge ruled against this application, there seems to be options for how care is calculated, has anyone come across these types of cases?

Watanabe & Watanabe (SSAT Appeal) [2010] FMCAfam 94 (11 February 2010)http://www.austlii.edu…10/94.html?query=watanabe


Did the SSAT err in relying upon the number of nights the children were in the care of the applicant to calculate the percentage of care?

The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (hereafter the Assessment Act) does not specify the manner in which the percentage of care ought to be calculated. The SSAT correctly identified (see para.34 of the reasons):
The note to subsection 48(2) states that Generally, a persons percentage of care for a child is worked out based on the number of nights that the child is likely to be in the care of the person during the care period.
The applicant submits that in the relevant period the children were in his care initially for the day only and when overnight time commenced they were in his care for two full days. He submits that to calculate the percentage of care by reference to nights results in an unjust determination of the level of care actually provided by him and as a result is an error of law. Alternatively he argues that the SSAT should have considered a calculation other than nights and the failure to do so results in an error in law. He calculates that if the determination had been based on hours of time that the children were in his care that would mean that they were in his care for greater than 14% of the relevant period.
The applicant conceded during submissions in this appeal that he had not raised this particular argument with the SSAT.
The SSAT were alert to the fact that the Act did not bind them to determine the percentage of care based on the number of nights. The SSAT determined (see para.34 of the Reasons):
While it is open to the Tribunal to calculate the percentage of care by some other method, such as hours, the care likely to be provided by the parents in this case is fairly (but not precisely) reflected in the number of nights of care.
The Assessment Act does not prescribe the matters or factors that ought to be taken into account in how to assess the percentage of care. The discretion, though, ought to be exercised within the framework provided by the Act, in particular, the objects of the Act (s.4 of the Assessment Act). I do not though consider that this exercise should become an exercise in mathematical accounting. The nature of the consideration is not capable of precision because the costs of children is not confined to their daily needs nor are those costs uniform across the year (and the Assessment Act recognises that fact).
Whilst the applicant now contends that an assessment based on his arguments about time in care results in the conclusion that the children were with him for more than 14% of the time, that is not something that he argued before the SSAT. I accept that that is not necessarily the end of the consideration in this matter but it is clear that the SSAT was alert to the fact that in the exercise of its discretion, it was not bound to simply rely upon the number of nights the children were in the care of the applicant.
I am also not satisfied, in the exercise of the discretion in the way that it did, that the SSAT were wrong. Whilst they did not set out the particular factors taken into account for determining the matter on the basis of nights, I am satisfied that the reasons do adequately explain the basis for proceeding in that way and the Assessment Act clearly indicates that as an appropriate course in most instances.
I am also not satisfied that the outcome from that approach is unjust.
I am not satisfied that there is any substance to this Ground of Appeal.
For the reasons I have given the appeal must be dismissed. :dry:
lightone - go to the SSAT section on here and look through the posts in the thread titled "General discussion of AAT decisions" and read the decision contained in one post by Happydaze on this matter.
It might help you work it out.
Not only can daytime care be considered, as from July level of care can be made by either FAO or CSA and I believe that the CSA have to use the same method/s. However I do see that this could be problematic as it then gives two arguments to the same story and you may end up with a perpetual change situation.

My personal belief is that it is total and utter garbage that day time care has no associated costs. Obviously that SCO needs to get an education and should not be working in any role that requires just the slightest hint of an understanding of the real world.

What I believe this case is saying, is that the parent could have asked for daytime care, but didn't and that SSAT did mention, thus consider, daytime care (even if just in passing) and thus that SSAT didn't make an error of law. However I wonder if the parent understood this "I accept that that is not necessarily the end of the consideration in this matter…..". I think that was a hint to the parent to simply submit a changed level of care.
Fairgo - I tried to find the reference you pointed to, but no luck as yet. Do you have a direct link you can post.

MikeT - It appears that the CSA and SSAT have the ability to calculate on Hours now and yet I am told that it is not something that they can take into consideration as the law does not allow them to.
I agree with you in regards to what the judge said "I accept that that is not necessarily the end of the consideration in this matter…..",
So what is the matter with the two authorities that they don't even understand the frame work of the law or are they just choosing to ignore it.
Is there a way to move forward and get a unified resolution with the CSA or is it everyone has to go it alone?
Lightone - click on 'forums' at the top of this page.

Select the SSAT forums in the Child Support section of the forums.

Scroll down to "General discussion of AAT decisions" and click.

then go to the 8th post - download the doc in this post.
Lightone said
MikeT - It appears that the CSA and SSAT have the ability to calculate on Hours now and yet I am told that it is not something that they can take into consideration as the law does not allow them to.

There is nothing in the legislation that states that day time care cannot be taken into consideration, Section 48(2) says :-

Child Support Assessment Act Section 48(2)  (subdivision B) said
(2)   The percentage of care is to be worked out in accordance with this Subdivision.
Note:   Generally, a persons percentage of care for a child is worked out based on the number of nights that the child is likely to be in the care of the person during the care period.


As Fairgo has suggested have a look here's a link AAT Reason
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