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After the past few days i have seen many posts and they all relate to the new laws bought in jluy 08 , also the way cs treat us, the ex , how our partners pay for their children but arent allowed acess.

Hi.

I want to make a Petition.

After the past few days I have seen many posts and they all relate to the new laws bought that commenced in July 08.

Also, given the way the CSA treat us (the ex), why aren't our partners, who pay for their children, allowed acess to those children.

A lot of many issues.

I have started a petition.  It might not acheive anything but then again we never know. Please just visit and leave your message.  We need to get our voice out there.

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Moderator Note.

You do not register one day and the next day put in a link to a petition with your second post.

The Moderators will decide if your link should stay.

I am sorry

To the moderators.

I'm sorry for joining and going straight to a petition, but I only found your site a couple days ago - like the other sites I have found.

There are so many of us out there going through a lot of the same obstacles. I was only trying to help us.

Like many of us we are fighting with the CSA. Every time we think they will help us they just come back with another block.

I wasn't trying to hurt or cause trouble. I just want to get all our messages out there.
Guest said
There are so many of us out there going through a lot of the same obstacles, i was only trying to help us. Like many of us we are fighting with cs, everytime we think they will help us they just come back with another block.
Can you list exactly in short form firstly "the Obstacles", secondly list in a short paragraph the main "fights" you are having with CS and then list in short form the "Blocks". We have a number of very competent moderators and members who seem to follow the CSA legislation and workings very closely. We are also working with CSA to deliver a better child support scheme which has come a very long way in the last few years. The CSA are there to carry out the requirements under the legislation but they are also taking on a much more interactive role with customers through a range of services including "Personalised Services" and to support the new formula through education and advice.

The web portal here specialises in Family Law and Child support matters. The SPCA is able to take back issues directly to Government through an issues register. Go to Have your say and lodge an issue.These pages allow issues to be raised which are catalogued and dealt with in a  more structured and formal way. I also urge you to spend a bit of time looking around the site which has tens of thousands of articles, publications, stories, videos, community pages and a large section on the CSA. Have you read the FAQ section in the CSA area for example.

I have not seen this petition of yours and the moderators will no doubt advise us through separate posts about this but we would be firstly interested in much more detail and would need a complete outline on what it is all about. There are many ways to get results much faster than a petition if there are genuine issues. We have been relatively successful in many cases with approaches to the corrcet areas and have recently seen legislative changes made that in some cases have been initiated from here.  :$

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


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
 
acep74 said
After the past few days i have seen many posts and they all relate to the new laws bought in jluy 08 , also the way cs treat us, the ex , how our partners pay for their children but arent allowed acess. Alot of many issues .
The site has forum posts going back at least some years and there are many forum topics that relate to prior CSA legislation. The CSA legislative reform agenda has been vast and has spanned three years not just "bang". The formula change was implemented in July 2008. If you go to the CSA section in the guide part of this portal you will see a number of Fact sheets. Take a look at the first few which outline what has been delivered and when.

In respect to partners paying for children and aren't allowed access. You cannot blame the CSA for that surely. … The issue around contact after separation is one we are working on most vigorously and have been since we started. The issues are complex, we face continual resistance from a wide range of groups that talk about firstly violence as the reason and then secondly when that becomes boring move on to entrenched conflict arguments and get poorly qualified and minimalist sampled surveys from authoritative researchers like Macintosh to support exclusion of contact when there is any sort of conflict or stressor indications. I refer you for example to the following article Almost the last word on family violence which we published to bring some sense to the ridiculous debate. The matters of refused contact have previously been the domain of the courts both Family and more rapidly dealt with through the agile Federal Magistrates courts. However we believe it is to little to late and we have undertaken to look at and suggest a range of initiatives late last year to change the way things will work after separation.

We want to see early intervention and both Centerlink and CSA funds paid only on the basis of some short form , 3 key points, agreement. In the past it has been too easy just to rock up, apply for and get the money and forget the rest. We also want to see some start point at CSA (MikeT) (The money side) that on day one a concept exists that the parenting has been shared 50 / 50 and so that until a parent agreement, or a formal parenting plan, a short form agreement, a mediated plan via FRC's (Family Relationship Centres) or a court order is in place then that is the start point for CSA. Then there is no argument on day one who has got what when no one agrees anyway.

These are just a few thoughts and if I was to write what we had been up to the last year I would never have time to glance through worthy posts. Suffice to say I do say that pretty well all the moderators here are giving time voluntarily and also much credit must be given to some members here who continually posts some darn good stuff. For without these members, who continue to show interest and sometimes getting a few tough comments back, continue to question and debate then the legislation and workings of the acts around family law and child support and the respective regimes would most assuredly be a terribly depressing environment.

Do take some comfort in the fact we have come an extraordinarily long way in the areas of contact after separation and in legislative reforms. The SPCA has done a lot. There are many others who have done much, there are many other groups independent of our affiliations who have achieved results in one way or another so it is not a hopeless task. There are specialist groups here like the SRL-R and FLRA (Grandparents and Education policies) and LFAA groups to name some. Join the SPCA or one of the other groups as paid up member by all means. The key thing is to identify specific issues, focus on presentation of evidence to support a required change and see that through to a satisfactory legislative or departmental instruction to change.  :thumbs:

As a last point you say there are many issues. That is certain but far less than there were a number of years ago…unless the issues are clearly identified, allocated to groups or people to work on, supported with evidence and a plan made to make changes then nothing will happen. Petitions in my view will not change anything, they may give some advice of dissatisfaction, but you need to join a group, roll your sleeves up and participate in a more formal way. Work with people who have been around a while in getting things done and take heart from time to time when it all looks bleak, that some really significant progress has been made, that Government is listening and engaging with key advocacy groups including ours and that Australia in particular, is a great place to live.


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
 

no support

the new laws : the rate is extreme, hubby use to be able to earn so much for each dependant , now at the way it is , the amount they want for the 2girls is alot when we have 4 kids (2 with special needs).I am being asked to have statements to how much i time i give to my children needs as to why i cant work! Hubby's work takes him away alot so im needed at all times. They also take into acount my careres allowance . We do spend over that amount as my daughter needs speech therapy , and for other medical expenses.

 They dont hassle the paid parent having a partner. Sharing expenses. With the new laws now they take into account a parnters income as a household income.(when the paying parent isnt working )  We also suffered as the sd didn't like our rules or her mother's , went off to a 3rd party . She was not abused or hurt anyway. And even now back at her mothers can leave again anytime to another party and there is nothing we can do about it , but hubby would accumulate more debt.

I know its not the cs 's fault when the parent wont let contact between the other parent, but the paying parent most times can not afford legal fees to go to court to fight for visitation. We had agreements but his ex never stuck to them. For years she did nothing to encourage a relationship between his daughter 's with him, the younger one nearly 14 hasnt spoken to him in 7yrs. She never informed him about their welfare only when the older daughter got too much we were included .

We put in for reason 8 last year and the SCO acknowlegded that the ex earnt more then she said, but the paper work i have from yesterday cs are still going by the old one.

My kids and i keep being degraded for coming along , that hubby had no right moving on. How do you think that makes alot of other 2ndwives feel. The  marriage was well over when i came along , and i'm tired of being classed as taking money away from the daughters. For years i gave my heart and soul for the older daughter to have her kick me inthe guts because she wanted to be fancy free. I fought many fights with her mother, now after everything that has happened i think i was used all that time.

I know he has to support his daughters but if they garnish his wages in the next few weeks like they say , how are we meant to pay our expenses? How are we meant to be a family? I have been going through all this for alot of years with hubby and he has never had any support or help from anyone, we didnt really know all these sites were here .

I never said Australia wasnt a good place to live , it is, but as much as cs might be changing its still not there, look at all the posts we are all saying about what we are going through. And i have been posting for a while on another site , having some support, i didnt just jump into the petition, and maybe its not going to acheive  a whole lot but it felt good.
I know how you feel and I am so sorry you are going through so much. Its like no one in CSA ever listens. Try the Minister again they do misplace letters like they did to mine. I also phoned Ludwig's office and got some help there.

It is my understanding that there are a heap of more new rules coming again in the next couple of months. I am not sure if these will help you or not. I also know what it is like to now pay a huge amount in CSA even though you have other kids because the other party is withholding contact. I organised mediation got a mediation certificate and told CSA I tried.

Will let you know if that made a difference or not. At the moment I don't see either parties too happy payee or payer so something will have to change.

I have been where you are so frustrated and emotional over CSA. I know its hard but try to read up on the legislation as much as you can and throw it back at them whenever you can. Having said that it is ones interpretation and they never seem to be the same.

I have thought about a petition and I understand that you just want to do something to feel like you are going somewhere.

Hard to say but try and disengage… and I only manage to do that 50% of the time but it is better for the kids in your care and you.
Thank you annie.

It's comforting to know I'm not alone.

I don't want to end my marriage but this is all just becoming too much. And yes we have written to Ludwig, Macklin and anyone who will listen.

I was so kindly told that child support that hubby pays would come off my estimate in my family payments!

But I have to over estimate as hubby's job could pay field allowance and such so it dosen't make any difference. We are still out of pocket.

The DCO out my hubby on to a legal firm at New Farm he sees them this wk to discuss everything, child support, no contact. Hopefully they will help.

What are these other changes? Any where I can view them?
Hi Acep74.

As you are aware, I'm quite aware of the situation. What you need to do, is object to the decision that the SCO has made as the decision is unfair, unjust, inequitable and improper in that the decision does not consider the other parents income as was established by a recent successful reason 8 application and that it it does not apply the special needs expenses that were sought by way of a reason 9 change of assessment request and that it unfairly includes a deduction for an allowance, namely the carer's allowance.

You also need to take the decision to SSAT (Social Security Appeals Tribunal), which overturns over 50% of the CSA's decisions that go to SSAT.

The objection is likely to fail, from the experiences that I'm aware of.

You have roughly a 50/50 chance of SSAT applying a fairer assessment.

If you beleiev that the SSAT decision is unfair then you can take the issue to the Federal Magistrates Court, I believe that there is there is no cost to apply.

Check out the CSA Guide with regards to the objection process here's a link to the appropriate section of the Guide (ideally you should also check out the underlying legislation) The CSA Guide - Objections

Again refer to the guide with regard to appealing the decision with SSAT here's the link to that section of the guide The CSA Guide - SSAT

And here's two links, one the the CSA Guide and the other to the FMC's website with regard to appealing via the courts.

The CSA Guide - Court applications, appeals and orders

FMC's Website Notice to appeal

Note that there are time limitations placed on these so you need to act rapidly.

With regard to changes, there have been some recent changes introduced, called the Spring 2008 changes. These were generally just fixes, however one change, which I believe was at least partly if not wholly due to the voices of those on here. These were announced at the end of December and now apply. A topic was raised in regard to these changes. It is here Spring Changes 2008

I believe that other changes are being discussed and again some of them due to people speaking out on these forums. Other changes have also recently been put forward for discussion.

One example is with regard to the unfairness of fixed assessments; which are only applied to payers not recipients of child support, that their application unfairly excludes consideration of the receiving parents income, that their application unfairly contravenes the intent to ensure that all children are supported by not considering relevant dependent children and that their application does not fairly consider the age of children and thus is either favourable to children under 13, unfavourable to children over 13 or a mix of both. The solution is relatively simple instead of an amount being applied as the assessment amount (approx $20 per week per child), that a fixed income amount is used to drive a formula derived assessment.

One thing that is clear is that a new era has been entered in that the voice of people is having a far greater effect changing the legislation and changing it in a much shorter time frame.
The other point Accep74 needs to consider is that objections need to be lodged on each point they disagree with, one by one.  This extends their amoury when getting to the SSAT which will seek to combine the points into one matter.  Also Accep expect to lose each objection at the CSA level - the objection process involves very little discretion.  

When you are at the SSAT pre hearing conference, do NOT attack the EX.  Your dispute is with the CSA only.  They made the decision you are fighting.  And be prepared to concede a little ground to get a mediated outcome rather than risk all at a hearing.  It is a bit like buying a used car really.

Further, you should also be looking at "fireproofing" yourself with respect to future CSA child support periods.  Consider any smart financial arrangements that may be availble to you, eg salary sacrificing a car, maximising tax deductions etc.   
So can we still do that salary sacrifice?

Because we were looking into that, but were told the CSA are not excepting this anymore?
I found the SSAT listened not necessarily to me but to the one who was paying and while the decision was not fair to me it showed that they were really listening as he was able to manipulate the truth to his advantage. There are mens groups which also have been known to help men with the SSAT process for nothing.

Try to stick to the facts and manipulate them without lying if that makes sense as that is what he did and won to the state he pays nothing even though he earns $30 000 more then me!

CSA stick by the guidelines and just want to get the money for the children where the SSAT was totally different and I cannot really explain how.

I think Salary Sacrificing will be added back if it all comes about in the next financial year. It is also my understanding that at the moment unless it was questioned and even then they don't add it back.

My Partner put it in a COA that his X SS $30 000 they never added it back even though she said she did!
Acep74 said
so can we still do that salary sacritfice, because we were looking into that, but were told the CSA are not excepting this anymore?
Pre-tax Salary sacrifice into super, in some circumstances, used to have the effect of reducing one's taxable income and currently still can. However my understanding is that a reason 8 Change of Assessment can treat such salary sacrificing as a financial resource. I also believe that it can depend upon the type of pre-tax sarifice

In the last budget it was announced that pre-tax super would be considered for determining Family Tax Benefit and perhaps Child Support from July 2009 (if I recall correctly). The budget announcements provided little in-depth information upon this and I've come across very little about this. I even contacted my super fund to try to find out more about this, they said to speak to my Human Resources. I don't think that I'm the only person who has tried to ascertain exactly how this is going to be done and to what and when.

Here's what the ATO's website currently says:
ATO website said
On 13 May 2008 the Government announced that income tests used to determine eligibility for a range of government financial assistance programs will be changed. From 1 July 2009, the Government proposes that salary sacrifice contributions to superannuation will be assessed as income for a range of tax and transfer programs. The programs include income support payments, family assistance, child support, eligibility for the superannuation co-contribution and a range of government assistance delivered through the tax system. Should the proposal become law, the information in this product may change. Updated information about these changes will be available from our website.
Here's the link to this ATO's website - Salary Sacrifice

In brief it's not a sure cut way.

In the case of wanting to increase readily available financial resources to live on, one has to consider that an amount invested in pre-tax super requires that amount the be locked away in the super. I believe the actual reduction would be less than the amount put into super due to the difference in the tax's applied. That is if you put $200 per month into pre-tax super it may only reduce your monthly income by say $170 (I haven't calculated this amount, it's just given to show the affect), yet the taxable income would be reduced by the $200.
I used the word "consider", MikeT in order to encourage people to think about their circumstances now with a view to ensuring next CS period they can balance the need to support their offspring against the need to look after their current and future needs.  

Salary sacrifice may not work in all circumstances, or even be available to all but it is one option available. My preference is for 100% negatively geared blue chips - do the calculations on say $100,000 worth of shares at prevailing mortgage interest rates.  Then lease a modest car doing 25k per year as well.  

And how many people here don't keep receipts and forget to claim all dedustions at tax time?

And remember, if ex wants to start a COA they have to put their affairs on the table as well.

Bigred.

Yep I understood that and that we are basically saying the same thing.

It is my opinion that in Acep74's case trying to utilise the benefits of pre-tax salary sacrifice has a good chance of worsening their position in that I believe the issue is centered around the lack of money they have available to live on and that due to the other parent having a track record of trying to dodge her responsibility, require a reason 8 change of assessment, so Acep74's and her husband's finances have to be laid upon the table.

However I think what Acep74 may well want is opinions other than mine and that is a wise want. So it would be great BigRed if you could say what your opinion is in regard to Acep74 trying to utilise pre-tax super to her/their financial advantage.
MikeT, I am treading carefully around this one because i do not know enough about the matters at hand.  I gather you may know a bit more than has been posted which is OK.  My general comments would be in the short term to look inwards at their household budget and identify small savings that can be found (smoking, drinking, lotto etc can be easily cutback).  Their might be some medium term savings in the car stakes - do they own a 4wd?

Longer term, they need to think of themselves and where they will be, hence my suggestions re salary sacrifice etc.  

 

  
Hi bigred,

We own a Kia Carnival, and we dont smoke or do lotto, we do like a beer with a bbq but thats not happening either.

If we have any extra cash its put away for when needed for medical or emergency needs!

I'm so tight with the money that hubby is afraid to spend even 5 bucks without letting me know as our budget is tight, but if we have to pay the full amount it will be way worse.

accep74, I would suggest that you consider 2 substantive things.  1. Lodge objections to all decisions without delay.  A one sentence "It is wrong because…" will do.

2.  Contact the CSA case officer and offer to pay an amount you can afford to pay (be reasonable here while the objections/SSAT process is underway).  Make this offer as a show of good faith and to let CSA that you are not trying to avoid obligations.

While working through the objections process, collect as much information as you can about your decision and test any theories you may have on here.  And do not forget, you are objecting the CSA decision and its administration - they are the enemy - not the "evil" ex.   

… and good luck through this tough time in your life.     
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