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Non parent carer

Under the new 1/8 formula changes, time is calculated with parents and any non parent carer. So in the example where a child boards at school and only comes home on say school holidays or weekends, can it be argued that time is then shared three ways. Hence, the amount of time at boarding school is classed as a non parent carer amount and reduces the amount of time the child spends with the custodial parent. Why I ask is that if through a COA the full boarding costs have been added to the liability then there should be a reduction in the formula for that child given the amount of time is less for the custodial parent. Otherwise its like double dipping. How would I go about doing this and does the school also have to get involved ie advise CSA they are a non parent carer?

thanks everyone.
        theoretically yes it could well be argued. However what the new formula would do is work out basically the same amount but apportion it accordingly. If you wish try the scenario out on the advanced calculator, adding the school as a non-parent carer (0 ATI as non-parent carers are exempt). Certainly I think that it would be wrong for the payments to go to a one parent if both are contributing toward the fees. in my opinion what should happen is that the fees should be reduced by the amount of CS that the school should have as a non-parent carer.

The advanced calculator can be found here Advanced Calculator.

Thanks Mike

I agree, in theory it seems reasonable, however I did call CSA and they said boarding school doesnt affect the care splits as a boarding school is not seen as a non parent carer. They also said the costs of schooling in the basic formula calculation is for a public school education hence any private school arrangements would have their additional costs taken into consideration through a COA if applied for. Anyway, I'll just cop it sweet.
        I've asked Secretary_SPCA to raise this issue with FaHCSIA as I believe neither parent has any greater right to the care percentage whilst the child/ren are in such care.

I agree with Mike, this seems to be hypothetically possible, and fair if both parents are contributing to the fees.

When you call CSA you get the opinion of the person answering the phone and in unusual situations such as the one you raised that opinion is not always right. The only real way to test these questions is with a written application.

I have looked at the criteria for non-parent carers and I think you could make a case for it, but I don't think it is the best way to go. The school would definitely have to be involved if you want them to be a non-parent carer. In my personal opinion, it is not a good idea to involve them in a contested bureaucratic process, but that is just personal opinion.

However, if you work out what the school would get as a third party non-parent carer based on the time they have the child, you should be able to negotiate something based on that either directly with the other parent or through CSA.

I agree that it would be reasonable to reduce the amount you contribute to the fees based on the amount you calculate as the school's non-parent carer amount, but not by the whole amount as the school does not provide clothes, health care etc. which are all built into the care-based formula. 

The way you worded your post, I take it you do not have a Reason 3 change of assessment in place at the moment, but you are contributing to the fees. If you are contributing to the fees, you could negotiate a reduction or put in a Reason 3 change of assessment with the fees amended in the way Mike suggested.

Reason 3 will only work if you both agreed to the child going to a private school, but Reason 2 may also work in some circumstances.

Alternatively, you might try a change of assessment under Reason 5 which relates to money received by a third party for the benefit of the child.

If you are not paying anything towards the fees, there is no double dipping.

If you decide to go ahead with any of these approaches, you might like to post a few more details such as who pays the fees and whether there has been a change of assessment as well as the general gist of your argument so that you can get some feedback before you send it.

If you decide to do nothing, I love that you say you will 'cop it sweet'.  It is your decision, so sweet is the only way to go.

Good luck.

Thanks Mike and Briar.

It seems that the non parent carer situation can present CSA with all kinds of scenarios and to standardise their approach it seems they rely on the parenting order wording ie "who does the child live with?" to determine care. If the orders do not reflect that non parent carers are involved or if care arrangements change after the orders are granted then they will not recognise that time spent in the care of others. After a COA I pay 50% of the fees on top of my normal liability hence feel that is double charging somewhat as many living costs aren't incurred. I havent challenged that decision yet so not sure which reason is best or should I seek it as a NAP reimbursement? At the moment I do not pay the school direct rather I reimburse the ex through the monthly payments. I appreciate your advice.
Thanks for the feedback Yoda

What you do next will depend on when the change of assessment decision was made.

If it was made in the last 28 days, you could lodge an objection pointing out that some living costs are not incurred while the child is at boarding school and requesting an adjustment based on the amount of time the child is at school.

If the decision was made longer than 28 days ago, I think you would be best to make a change of assessment application under Reason 3 and claim a reduction of the amount charged as fees to reflect the fact that the fees include a living costs component and that has already been covered by the general formula.

Alternatively, you could use Reason 5 and calculate how much you have already paid the school for living costs (perhaps the difference between the cost of a day student and the cost of a boarding student) and ask to have that amount taken off the total assessment.

Non Agency Payment does not apply as you pay to the mother not the school.

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