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Deadbeat mums running up child support debts

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About 25,000 non-custodial mums are behind in child maintenance payments to dads who are doing the right thing.

Herald Sun (Melbourne)
9 December 2008

Deadbeat mums running up child support debts
By Ben Packham

Thousands of deadbeat mums are failing their kids by running up child support debts.

About 25,000 non-custodial mums are behind in child maintenance payments to dads who are doing the right thing.

There were many more deadbeat dads, but the Lone Fathers Association said yesterday authorities should take a harder look at mums who failed to pay child support.

"They should hound them like they do the dads," the association's Barry Williams said.

He said many non-custodial mums hid incomes, like deadbeat dads, by earning cash and understating business profits.

Child Support Agency figures, provided exclusively to the Herald Sun, show there are 90,562 mums across Australia with child support obligations.

Almost 10,000 are more than $340 behind in their payments, and 14,700 have smaller debts.

There are 648,550 non-custodial fathers in Australia.

About 229,000, or 35 per cent, are behind in their payments.

Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig said all parents should do the right thing and support their children.

"It's unacceptable for any parent to have a child support debt - it is both parents' responsibility to meet the needs of their children," he said.

"While most parents do the right thing, it's clear there are many parents who are failing to meet their child support responsibilities and give their children the support they deserve."

The Council for Single Mothers and their Children said men were more likely to avoid paying child support.

"It's an obligation on any non-custodial parent, full stop," convenor Elspeth McInnes said.

"But the fact is, there are more men who are non-custodial parents. The other big difference of course is women are much less likely to be in the paid workforce and be on good earnings.

"There aren't a lot of high-rolling women out there who aren't paying."

But the Lone Fathers Association said non-custodial mothers were getting an easy ride from the Child Support Agency.

"They seem to have a culture where if you're female, it doesn't seem to matter," Mr Williams said. "With dads, they hound them and hound them and hound them.

"We just want balanced treatment for everyone."

He said the worst offenders of both sexes were business people, who were able to launder their money and hide it.

"There is a lot of women doing that, I can tell you," he said.
$340.00 in debt! ha! My ex is currently in arrears to $3240.00 and his lawyer has written and told me he won't be paying till Feb 2009. I have contacted CSA and they have told me they are working on it but to always remember you should never count on this money.
I think that in your reply here CeeCee you inadvertantly show some of the problems associated with the application of the system. As the reporters quotes from the csa show ,both sides are disadvantaged by how the system is being managed.

 Reacting as you have, expressing your own dissatisfaction with how it operates, is not addressing the issue.

I would like to thank Matrix for his impartial contributions to this site as they give me cause to think.

In response to the report I would like to add "one in all in". Do not cast stones at individuals you just might get some back.

I hope it works out for you and your kids.
I am in the unenviable position of having been in a relationship where my partner at the time had children and the other biological parent refused to pay child support.  I was in the relationship caring and supporting the partners children up until a few years ago.  We seperated and in the property settlement the children were used by the x to get more money out of me.  Where is the justification in that, can I go to the child support agency and put in a claim against both the biological parents.  How much did I commit over the years, try over a quarter of a million dollars if not more.  (this may be moved because it is off topic)
Now there is an interesting twist that I would not consider off topic at all.

Just another example of the system being unable to benefit all members of society in its crusade of control
A similar article was posted on the news.com.au website where it talks about arrears - but it states it is mainly men in the high income bracket who are at fault.

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24798579-421,00.html

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Thanks Jadzia for the article link. I read it and yes it is very believable.

It is so hard to leave a marriage and then have your ex use money as a wepaon against you.

Unfortunatley my ex is in this category… on $160,000+ a year but is saying he can't pay child support.

I have come to terms with it and know at least I can sleep at night knowing I am looking after my children.

I also realise this is not gender specific and there is some mothers out there doing the same thing too.
Like I keep saying on here.  How much of the quoted money is under dispute?  With CSA losing 51% of SSAT appeals I reckon this is a very fluid situation.  

By the way, I might be one of the people mentioned in the article Jadzia has raised.  Some days I owe nothing, other days a lot.  

CSA has some system problems which means it is unable to correctly reconcile a mix of cash, prescribed and non prescribed non-agency payments.  This means that each month, a previous non-agency payment is added back into my statement as an outstanding amount, meaning I end up in the "dead beat" bracket.  Last month they telephoned and snuck up on me and I ended up paying the same amount in cash and non-agency payment.  
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