Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

A newbie and School Fees

Add Topic

Am I legally/morally obliged to pay half school fees or is this a NAP. How do I get CSA to look into her income and correct it?

Hi

I am a dad with a 13yo daughter who I have 130 nights pa

She has school fees of $6000 pa of which I pay half

Ex has chronic fatigue syndrome and works as a house cleaner and earns approx $24k pa (she used to make 6 figures)

She has approx $400k from settlement which I assume she earns interest on

CSA says she earns $6k pa because that is all she has told them

I earn $60k pa and have about $300k in the bank from settlement

Current assesment based on 08/09 tax return is $825 pm

Q    How do I get CSA to look into her income and correct it?
      Am I legally/morally obliged to pay half school fees or is this a NAP

Thanks
flick406 said

Q How do I get CSA to look into her income and correct it? Am I legally/morally obliged to pay half school fees or is this a NAP
The procedure is to raise a COA (Change of Assessment) but note it is onerous to say the least. (note to self..I must follow up where the review is at) There are many discussions on the site here in the child support forums about school fees Private and Public ancillary charges. Have you had a good look around or used the search facilities which are located in the Search button or in Forum search? Be aware that just because there is 400k sitting in a bank account does not mean child support obligations of the other patent are negated. Both parents incomes are taken into account.

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
 
Thanks for the reply, yeah I have had a look around the site and am still somewhat confused re school fees

The only form I can find relates to changes in my situation as opposed to hers
Flick, my advice would be to avoid entering the uncertain world of COA.  From the outcomes reported here it is kangaroo court like in its application and generally results in payer paying more on spurious grounds.  If I were you I would seek to enter into a binding agreement with ex, offering to capitalise your liability until your child turns 18 to avoid further comebacks against you as ex's situation deteriorates/or in case she gets aggressive advice in the future.
Bigred may know more about this than I (especially any recent developments), but just in case I would caution you to NOT agree to capitalise your CS obligations without some serious legal advice from a family law specialist.*

As some may know I once worked at CSA and I saw a number of cases where a non-resident parent had tried to achieve some future certainty by doing this [in conjunction with/as part of] their property settlement (eg. adding in to orders that in lieu of CS the PYE would get an extra say $100K in the settlement). The CSA routinely disregarded the capital advance upon the PYE application for an assessment, which to the best of my knowledge they got away with on appeal etc. You don't want to end up paying twice!! Some of these PYRs told me they had engaged lawyers who had recommended this course of action, and yet they ended up screwed. By all means though, go for an agreement with the ex if you can. It reduces CSA's role in your life to either nil, or simply being a disinterested transfer agent (although they'll no doubt harrass you to make your payments privately. A good option if you keep detailed and unchallengable records of payments made).

*NOTE: I think the SRLs here seem to have great knowledge BUT just in case, if you stuff anything up that is done on legal advice, then you *may* have a comeback against the lawyer at least; a sort of a consolation prize. However if you do take this path then it would probably pay to also get written advice from CSA that they have viewed your proposed form of wording and agree that it would render your ex unable to lodge an application for an assessment with them.
flick

If you go ahead with the COA which a complete look at your finances including current partner, they will probably increase your income by the amount of interest your savings would earn. They should do the same for the ex although you will still end up paying more. So perhaps you should get rid of the 300k before you do anything.

Heed the advice given regarding the change of assessment process.

If she is getting family benefits she will lodge her tax return soon (end Oct) to keep them so maybe you should wait for this to occur and see what her latest taxable income is.

If it is still low then you could claim she has a capacity to earn additional income in the next 12 months from her savings.

If you originally agreed that your child shall attend a private school then you are liable for a portion of the fees.

As you have 130 nights care and thus 'regular care', you could try to increase your care percentage further by calculating care by total hours. Do this initially with Family Assistance as they will acknowledge hour of care and then apply to C$A for further acknowledgment.

Hope this helps.
sunnyside is spot on - only take a course of action after receiving good advice.  Go to a lawyer and CSA if you want to contemplate what I suggest.  
Thanks for all the replies.

Seems like the best way to go is

1 Hide the $300k (all ideas welcome)
2 Wait for the ex to lodge tax return
3 Dont lodge COA
4 Look at "hours of care"
5 Keep paying 1/2 school fees

Capitilising Liability?

Sorry, I couldnt add this to my other thread as I was the last poster

What does this mean please?

 If I were you I would seek to enter into a binding agreement with ex, offering to capitalise your liability until your child turns 18 to avoid further comebacks against you as ex's situation deteriorates/or in case she gets aggressive advice in the future.
Basically you can have two types of agreements that override CS assessment. They are a) Limited agreements and b) Binding agreements.

Limited agreements, do not require that legal advice is sought by the parents, however the amount of child support must be as high or higher than what is called a notional assessment. Which is a formula assessment that isn't applied.

Binding Agreements require that both parents seek legal advice and that the agreement certifies that legal advice has been sought, however the CS can be for any amount.

Limited agreements are easier to get out of (after 3 years either parent can end them). Binding agreements require that both parties agree and seek legal advice to end the agreement by creating a termination agreement.

Here's a link to the relevant section in the CSA guide. The CSA Guide - 2.7: Agreements

Note I've written the above without reading through the guide/legislation, it may not be fully accurate or comprehensive. If you like the idea then you should find out more.
flick406 said
Thanks for the reply, yeah I have had a look around the site and am still somewhat confused re school fees

The only form I can find relates to changes in my situation as opposed to hers
Have you actually read the 70 pages of posts returned by the search engine on the site that relate to school fees, private schools, naps and school fees and levels of care related to school fees etc.. I did a quick search and found lots of very interesting "stuff" … Use the site SEARCH top right hand menu button. It probably should say Site Search as opposed to Forum Search. What "form" are you expecting to find? The COA form is not on the site and probably should be. A COA is something not to be entered into lightly and I have said before is onerous and discloses much information that may not wish to be disclosed. The NAP will only be applicable in the bottom care bracket "Below Regular". Levels of care or care bands have been determined with 5 categories: Below regular (0 - 51 nights), Regular (52 - 127 nights), Shared (128 - 237 nights), Primary (238  313 nights), Above primary (314 - 365 nights)


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
 
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets