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Mike T,

I've just spoken with CSA, with hope of getting a reference # from their Act for CS covering school supplies etc.
They told me there is nothing in writing for either side of the argument, ie CS covers school uniforms/shoes/classroom items.
They told me that the legislation changed in 2008 and I now pay less child support, and therefore should wear some of the cost of these school items.
I have 25% care, ie every 2nd weekend and half of all school holidays and no school time.
A change of assessment was applied for in Aug 2009, by the ex wife, in which she asked for cost of school uniforms plus extra curricular sporting fees and uniforms, among other stuff.
In change of assessment decision, there was no mention of school items and extra curricular sporting fees and uniforms was not given either as they said 'most children do these sports.'
Part of our objection was given, she then objected to our objection, and now it is at the SSAT, through my instigation. So still in process…and I am sure this will come up again at SSAT hearing.

So my thoughts are, as you said, CS covers these items, however their is no proof from CSA.

Prior to AUG 2009 I was paying more than double CS (4 years worth), an agreement I signed, I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, so as her CS has literally halved, everything and I mean everything, she is now saying I need to pay for.


OBCH said
They told me that the legislation changed in 2008 and I now pay less child support, and therefore should wear some of the cost of these school items.

The legislation did change and the changes were to make it fairer, not to exclude school items, the changes were because it was clear that the older system was, to state what was actually said about it, "Fundamentally Flawed". A great deal of time and effort was expended by numerous people and groups in getting to together the fairer system and if there was a need for double dipping to cover school items, then that would have been covered and legislated for.

I believe the CSA are very wrong to contradict the object of the legislation, as they have done in your situation. That object is to ensure that parents (plural not singular, the CSA seem to very frequently consider it as singular and directed only toward the payer, as is shown by such narrow minded retorts as given to you) meet their financial responsibility toward their children. To advise any parent that they should have pay more CS, CS which covers the cost of the children and therefore school items, is wrong.

I very much doubt that the CSA employee also said that the changes included mass reductions of FTB payments to paying parents, perhaps even yourself included. That is, any person who has between 10 and 34 percent of care is now unable to claim a portion of the FTB in accordance with that level of care, when before the changes they were. This amount would often be a great deal, as the amount of FTB paid was according to the "lives with" parent's income, often it would be more than enough to cover the costs of school items.

When I was the "spend time with parent" I could claim a portion of the FTB, however when I became the "lives with parent" and when household incomes were the same (actually a lot less on the other parents side). I couldn't claim any FTB as our household income was then over the threshold.

Perhaps every CSA employee should be made to go to the FaHcSIA website, move the mouse over subject matters, click on Child Support, then click on Publications and Articles and then read all the publications. I believe they clearly show that costs of children are based upon what children cost, not what children cost less anything a paying parent phones up an enquires about (however I may have missed that portion, so if anyone sees that please correct me).

Secretary_SPCA should we make that latter paragraph into an emerging issue? :)

CS...and inclusions

Mike T,

I rang the CSA AGAIN, and this new person said that school uniforms and school paraphernalia ARE included in child support payments, and as I've had a change of assessment and it was NOT included in the decision, then you do not have to pay over and above, and if she tried again for another COA it would be very unlikely she would get them over and above CS.
A letter was sent to the children's mother, from me direct to her solicitor (as this is the only way she wants to communicate), regarding her supplying me with black school shoes and classroom requirements prior to the first day of school.
School starts on Thu 28th, and I really doubt she'll supply these items, just to make me look like the bad person with the school etc.
As I will not buy shoes etc…my dilemma is what to do……send them to school in other shoes (which I won't get back), not send them to school at all and explain situation to principle…however once again all this effects the children…
As next week includes the public holiday, it makes communicating via letters, even faxes, difficult and time consuming, which they are well aware of.
Just wanted another opinion in my situation…
         I really don't know what to say in regards to what you should do. However I will pick on the following :-
OBCH said
So my thoughts are, as you said, CS covers these items, however their is no proof from CSA.

You don't need proof as such, simply state to the other parent that she is entitled to discuss the issues of costs other than CS with the CSA and that if she is entitled to such costs that you have little doubt that the CSA would ensure that such additional payments were made. You could argue that the fact that the CSA are not chasing you for such additional costs then that that is the proof of the matter.

Perhaps another approach could be to say to the other parent :- I will agree to pay for the additional items when and only when you show to me the proof, by the way of the legislation that states that I am legally responsible to pay greater than the amounts as assessed by the CSA, by either the formula based process or by a departure from the formula based process.

Sorry I'm not at all sure what I'd do in the situation with less than a week in which to make the decision. I strongly suspect that I'd capitulate.
Hi OBSH, I don't know much about CS law but obviously reading your post I get the impression that from your ex's prospective the reason  she is not providing the shoes etc for the first day of school because she can't afford it but rather she is trying to prove a point. CS must have told her the same as they told you ;that uniforms etc is covered in CS payments. I mean from my experience with solicitors for her to have the solicitor read your letter , forward it it to her and send you a reply in her behalf  ,well…..there goes at least $200!

            She is probably hoping you wont send the kids to school, as I think this would backfire on you and it would make you look bad in the school's eyes, so what I would do is go to K-Mart buy a pair of $12 black shoes(they do have them for that price) ring the uniform shop at the school (most have days to purchase before the school term starts) get a second hand uniform(only costs a few dollars and hey the child only has to wear it one day), I cant see it will be much of a problem if they dont have books on the first day (not much work is done anyway and after that it is her problem. Problem solved for the first day back for under $20!! It sounds like she is being petty so dont play her games, it is what she wants.


Thanks for your reply beautifulDAY,

Just a bit of background, I've been paying double CS for the last 4 years, yes an agreement I signed, it just ended.
There are 3 children at school involved, not one. So the extra cost, even though minimal, adds up and is over and above CS, which I do not have to pay.
The ex has also asked through a solicitors letter not to contact her directly and only communicate through her solicitor, I am not using a solicitor for my letters.
The ex sends me solicitors letters every other week, so clearly she can afford a solicitor (and the aforementioned shoes/uniforms/school items-which she gets 50% back on tax, I do not), I on the other hand cannot.
The children have school shoes, last years, which I am sure they have not grown out of (which she says), and one only got new ones at the end of the year.
I know she wants me to look bad with the school, and have no problem explaining this to them, they are very aware of our situation. Not the first incident.
Still not sure of what I am going to do, probably fax another letter on Mon asking when I can pick up the items, then another letter on Wed.
I do not want to play these games, however I need to stand my ground as she walks all over everybody to get her way.
I will not let her continue to be unfair.
OBCH said
The ex has also asked through a solicitors letter not to contact her directly and only communicate through her solicitor, I am not using a solicitor for my letters.
The ex sends me solicitors letters every other week, so clearly she can afford a solicitor…..
An interesting point because of the added cost of solicitors letters.

Do you have orders which specify how communication occurs? If not then start a Communication book (one of the multi part carbon ones) and then mail her solicitor a photocopy each time.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
 Hi again OBSH, I do think your situation is REALY unfair. I SO 'feel your pain'. My ex started a company with family members.That company turned over 6 million last year.(they did not file a tax return since the company started ,3 yrs ago ,and made it look like it is running at a loss) He was earning over the top limit for CS which I was receiving for one year. Then all of a sudden when it is going to court he claims he sold his shares it the company 18mths ago and the accountant "forgot " to register this. He now claims he earns $20 per hour in the same company - the truth is the family member pays 'him cash in hand' and the rest in official wages so his bank accounts prove his story(when other tradies with his qualifications in the same company earn $55 per hour) I decided not to try and prove otherwise through the courts as it would have taken a long time and cost way over 50grand..and I may have lost( solicitors final advise).The kids told me that  one of the other  two family members, who's company is supposed to be running at a loss , is purchasing a million dollar yacht…

                      But in the end I realised I can never change him from being unfair and petty.He is doing it to upset me, he told me this when I said" but all you are effectively doing is ripping your kids off " , he replyed "it is not about the kids it is about you and me".

                     In the end i was letting him win by fighting it because if I was upset he was happy. I decided I had had enough of the way trying to change this unfair situation made me feel- angry, frustraited ,annoyed etc. With people like this, these games will stretch YEARS into the future- if you solve this issue there will be a next one and so on and all that happens is you allow someone else to control you emotions for that long , I decided I was being treated unfairly but standing up for that was not worth the ' emotional cost 'of doing it .

                      Since I have let it go I feel peace. I cling to my belief that you reap what you sow, it is a moral law and eventually the universe will pay back peoples actions…. I may seem like I am letting him walk all over me but  it works for me ,for the first time in two years I am happy .But everyone is different and I respect and understand the stand you are making …. I wish you the best let us know what happens.
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