My Ex wants to send our son to a private school. I can't afford this but would love for him to go.
The school fees are more than his child support amount - would this mean I lose all (direct) child support income from him.
Also, because the school fees are more than his child support amount, would anyone know if that means I then lose a percentage of my Centrelink benefits, as the payment of school fees will be seen as income?
I'm just getting by as it is, I can't afford to reduce my income, child support and Centrelink.
Up to 30% of the CS liability can be paid (thus it would be 30%), however the remaining amount can then be classed as an uncredited amount that can be claimed in a later month. With regard to Centrelink, then if you receive more than the base FTB, then the prescribed payment is considered in the maintenance income test and it would appear that this would include the uncredited amount. Also note that there could be additional claims e.g. school uniforms, if purchased by the other parent which are also prescribed. Also note that this only applies if the level of care is less than regular care (14%).
The main difference between normal non agency payments and prescribed non agency payments, is that agreement isn't required for the latter.
The part you quote is relevant to an agreement as opposed to an assessment. An assessment being where the CSA apply the formula, whilst an agreement is where the parents agreement to how much child support is paid.
Are you asking if you can make an agreement? If so then yes. There are two types limited and binding. Limited have to be for as much or more than a notional assessment (i.e. what would be assessed), whilst binding can be for any amount. Binding requires that both parties have sought legal advice.
I'm not at all sure if this resolve the Centrelink issue that by him paying school fees, that you would be classed as being in receipt of that amount as an income.
Perhaps, rather than seeing that you can't do this, you could try to change your focus onto how you could afford this, especially as you've said that you'd love your child to go to the school. Perhaps part of that would be to negotiate with the other parent. Basically you can, as parents, do whatever you like, with regard to CS, if you co-operate.
Just for everyone's sake, here's the whole part of the guide that Tira quoted from :-
The CSA Guide - 5.3.1: Non-agency payments (extract) said
Discretion to refuse to credit an amount
CSA can refuse to credit a non-agency payment claimed under sections 71, 71A or 71C if satisfied that, in the circumstances of the particular case, the amount ought not to be credited (section 71D).
CSA may refuse to credit an amount in certain circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following:
* The payees agreement to credit an amount paid to a third party or payment made as a transfer of property was obtained through coercion or harassment. (However, where CSA is informed about this after it has credited the payment, it will be necessary for the payee to object to CSAs decision to credit the amount.) * The payer is claiming a credit under section 71C for an expense they regularly meet that was taken into account in a change of assessment decision. For example, CSA or a court has reduced the annual rate (or refused to increase it) because the payer usually pays school fees, medical expenses for the child, mortgage or rent payments or any other prescribed payments. * The payer is claiming credit under section 71C for an expense which they have undertaken to pay in addition to their liability as specified in a child support agreement. * The payer is claiming credit under section 71C for an expense that they are responsible to pay under the terms of a court order. * The payer is claiming credit under section 71C for expenses for the child for which they are separately responsible. * The payer is claiming a credit under section 71C when, at the time the payment was made, the payer had at least 14% care of any of the children to whom the relevant administrative assessment relates and/or the child support liability was being fully or partially met by a lump sum credit (Refer to Chapter 5.3.3 Crediting Lump Sum Payments).
This only applies to payments made from 1 July 2008.