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CSA upheld old agreement on incorrect form

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New CSA rules - how do they apply to old agreements?

My husband split with previous partner when their child was 2, he's now 11. They initially drew up an agreement on paperwork connected to the Family Court. This was stamped as accepted for the 'access' side of things but knocked back for the financial side due to incorrect paperwork completed and needed to be via CSA. Anyway, they had a non-official private arrangement for a few years before my partner changed to CSA as they had originally agreed they would look at reducing the amount once child was at school and she could work but she refused to consider any reduction. They had CSA for a period of time but then when we were due to be married and there was the potential of other dependents she pulled out this old 'rejected' piece of paper, submitted it to CSA and they decided to uphold that agreement, which was then 5 or 6 years old and had never actually been 'enforced'.

My husband attempted the appeals process but was rejected - according to CSA it could be written and signed on a piece of toilet paper or beer-stained pub coaster. Hence forced to pay almost $1100 per month until 18, despite having two other dependents. According to the CSA calculator, paying over by hundreds of $'s. Meanwhile, she is not working, having lots of holidays and living very comfortably.

We did start to go down the lawyer avenue. Burnt up a few thousand dollars without getting anywhere, then the threat of tens of thousands on court costs, stress etc…we couldn't do it.

I know things changed with the CSA to be more 'fair' and support new families formed…I don't understand how this was upheld…can anyone clarify what makes a 'limited' agreement and if there are other ways to change an agreement? Do they eventually 'expire'?
FamilyWoman said
I know things changed with the CSA to be more 'fair' and support new families formed…I don't understand how this was upheld…can anyone clarify what makes a 'limited' agreement and if there are other ways to change an agreement? Do they eventually 'expire'?

There are two types of agreement. Limited and Binding (there is a third - Transitional Agreements for agreements carried over from the pre 2008 legislation). Limited agreements do not require certification of legal advice for both parties, whilst binding agreements require this certification. Limited agreements must be as much or more than the amount of a notional assessment (an assessment done only for the purpose of assessing how much CS would be paid). They must be in writing and signed by both parents. There must have been an administrative assessment in place at the time an application for acceptance was made (Tranistional's only appear to cover binding agreements, so this could be a get out clause, but I guess that such a matter would need to be tested in court and require a very careful inspection of the underlying legislation as the CSA guide is not the legislation and is not fully comprehensive nor fully accurate).

Limited agreements can be terminated by either party in certain circumstances:

The CSA Guide - 2.7.1 said
If the circumstances of either party to the agreement change in a way not anticipated by the agreement, so that the notional assessment changes by more than 15% from the previous notional assessment, the agreement can be terminated by either party.

The CSA Guide - 2.7.1 said
Either party can also elect to terminate a limited child support agreement after it has been in place for three years.

However, if the "old bit of paper" is a court order then you'd have to go to court to try to get it changed. (Not sure that this is not the case).

I would suggest having a good read of the section 2.7 of the CSA guide. Here's a link The CSA Guide - Section 2.7. You may also wish to look at the underlying legislation or perhaps discuss points on here. Saying that the CSA have a track record of very frequently ignoring the very object of the legislation; to ensure that parents (plural) meet their proper child support financial responsibility. The CSA clearly interpret this incorrectly on a vast number of occasions and make decisions based very much on how they can increase what they collect or transfer. The prime figure they then report to those they report to. Which then equates to a reduction in FTB payments, 50c for $1 collected or transferred. Hence that fact that CS is actually a tax in all but name.
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