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View topic: Arrears – Family Law Web Guide
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Arrears

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I was wondering if anyone here could help me with my current situation.

My ex and I seperated when my daughter was 2, she is now 17. He has seen her about 5 times since then ( his choice).

He has paid CS on and off throughout that time. He starts a new job, CSA begin collecting and he changes jobs. This has happened pretty much the whole time.

His arrears are currently $19 500. He didnt put a tax return in for around 4 years, he put one in and then did the same again the next couple of years.

My question is my daughter is currently sitting her HSC. She is continuing onto Uni next year. Does CSA payments stop when she finishes her HSC this year or when she turns 18 next year?

Also, does CSA actively try and collect the $19 500 after she turns 18, or do I just presume I will never receive the arrears.

I have done the best for my daughter on my own without very much help from him at all, and would like to know whether he would be made to pay the arrears or can just walk away from it, which I think he is presuming is going to happen when she turns 18 anyway, which is why he doesnt care about the large debt.

Thanks for any help
You can apply for child support to continue beyond age 18 however I think it is subject to the change of assessment process which must show that special circumstances (something out of the ordinary)  exist in your situation for a change to be made.

You can apply for an enforcement order through the Family court or Federal Magistrates court however he will then have the chance to respond to the application by filing for a departure order listing grounds why he should not pay the arrears.

The longer you leave it the less chance you have of getting anywhere. The fact that you have survived for a number of years can be used in his argument against the order.

Don't assume that because C$A have made an assessment the court will back it up. This may be a reason why C$A have not gone down this path as they do not like lose.
A child turning 18 is a terminating event so the assessment should normally end when the child turns 18. CSA Guide - 2.10.3: Terminating events.

As I understand it, there are two different and mutually exclusive ways for extending CS beyond 18. The first allows the CS to be extended until the last day of secondary education. This must be applied for, to the CSA, after the child turns 17 and before the child turns 18 and there are no special requirements other than the child being in full time education, this can also be applied to relevant dependant children. The CSA Guide - 2.5.5: Application to have an assessment continue past a child's 18th birthday

The second is to obtain child maintenance orders this can be by parental consent or via a decision of the court. The mutual exclusion is more far reaching as a child maintenance order cannot be made if the CSA could make an assessment and is therefore exclusive with any CSA assessment. I'm unsure if this would include agreements but suspect that it would include limited agreements which must allow for a notional assessment. I believe that in the situation that you describe that an application for a child maintenance order would be unsuccessful. However, I'd suggest that legal advice should be sought. CSA Guide - 3.1.3: Child maintenance orders
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