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CSA and Family Court Counselling Facilites

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Just wondering if anyone has heard of any experiences or situations when S17 of the Child Support Act has been used by a parent in relation to care of a child(ren)?

Section 17 allows for a parent to seek the assistance of counselling facilities of the Family Court and the Principal Director of the Court Counselling facilities MUST, as far as practicable, make the counselling facilities available.

Just thought given all the issues with alientation, parents denying the other contact etc etc ……..that under CSA legislation, parents should encourage contact between both parents and the child(ren) giventhe current shared parental responsibility - surely this is something that could and SHOULD be considered in CSA assessments (especially as they consider everything else).

Anyway I am a newbie - so be gentle - but interested in views?
what are the cricumstances behind your alledged alientation and parents denying the other contact?

s17 CS Assessment Act

G'Day Motherconfused

I was not looking at going into any specific issue or point that has affected any one individual - as I think my comment is probably a situation numerous parents have been in or are going through.

To clarify I was referring to the legislation under the CSA Assessment Act (forgot to mention that), and the requirements of legislation and our legislators who make these rules, especially when they can conflict with other laws (eg: CS Assessment Act and care (parents duty) and Family Law and parental responsibility (which I see personally as a duty if it is a responsibility).

As to the alientation that would be a systematic thing involving alleged Interim Restraining Orders that prevented contact with the children and the like (used simply to deny access), request for court orders which clearly indicating that a parent have sole responsibility and the children only see the other parent at the children's wishes, and one parent maintianing contact with children when with the other parent either through mobile telephone or internet use.  All the normal shenanigans you see going in around children and care issues.

The point I am trying to make in relation to this post is CSA sprout the issues of both parents sharing responsibilities, seeing the children and the like, yet there appears to be many instances of this systematic 'power struggle' between parents for the 'cash grab'.

If this is a part of the 'law' under this Act - then why is it not being used by CSA or parents in need of assistance to prove the situation with the children.  After all the CS legislation is apparently separate to the Family Law legislation which makes Orders for contact and residence which in turn has an affect on how the CS legislation operates in relation to care.

The way I see it - is there is more at stake than the money (it either saves the government - or makes for the 'winning' parent) there is the loss of family relationships, breakdown of families, emotional destruction of both children and parents - if there is a law to have an independent review of the dynamics of a parental conflict - why not investigate it as a process of making any Change of Assessment (COA) decisions, surely it is all relevant.

But from my understanding CSA totally denies they have any reason to be involved or even acknowledge the existence of s17.

After all at the end CSA like to say they are just following the law, so if it appears a parent is doing everything possible to deny another parent access or time with the children - or alienating them, why not reflect it in a COA just like they do income?
somewhereeinoz9,
                         Personally I can't even see why section 17 exists, at least in the Child Support Assessment Act. Perhaps someone would explain, you might just as well have a section that says that eligible children can eat meals or play. I am far more concerned with the most recent amendments to the act. In these amendments, someone, outside of the published intentions of the changes, introduced legislation that permits and thus condones actual alienation. The amendments support the contravention of Family Law Court orders in regard to care. That is, if there is disputed care and court orders exist, unless the parent being denied the contact takes legal action the parent contravening the court orders has the care level obtained by the alienation of the child from the other parent.

I believe that the amendments were either introduced by the CSA to simply treat the humane rights of children as fodder for their ease of processing such difficult requests and of course to treat the humane rights of children as fodder to allow the CSA to collect or transfer greater amounts and thus to enable the Government to increase the back-door taxation of separated parents via FTB claw-back, or by abuse of position by those who are against children's humane rights being undertaken.

Legislated Changes

HI Mike

I hear ya…I understand what your saying and you are right of course, although from what I know - the legislation is saying if a parent removes a child from the care of the other parent, then it is up to the parent (or parents if it is the case) to appraoch the Courts and seek an order, be it the original order or a new order.  I think what CSA is doing is washing there hands of the problem, ….but if a parent does submit an application to Court, then realistically the care is in dispute and awaiting some form of outcome.

The point I am trying to make here -is there is a little piece of legislation which says the Principal Director of Court Counselling facilities MUST, as far as practicable, make the counselling facilities available.

I will add though s17 probably should not exist because it was originally parliament's intention to create similar counselling rights under the assessment Act and the Family Law Act, to provide Family Court counselling services to parents or carers.

Just like with the Family Law Act courts can make an order for parents to attend a counselling facility if there is a dispute (such as alienation) for a professional to examine the situation and make recommendation.

I just think if parents who had a care issue dispute could use s17 - and I see no reason why the CSA could not use it as a part of determining any COA and issues with children and care

I am not disagreeing with you about the FTB "pocket grab" which is usually what causes the whole care issue with children, just saying parliament has made laws and I think if it is good enough for CSA to play by the rules - then they should also use s17 when there is any problems with care disputes, CSA can of course lodge matters themselves with the Courts over child support matters - so why not care and counselling facilities under s17?

Why should it fall back on the parent who is probably being disadvantaged and distressed having to do all the running around to prove an issue of care if CSA and counselling could be made available.
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