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Fairness in paying Child Support

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CSA needs to look at individual cases... I think that the government has a rough figure on how much it costs to raise a child: say if it is $5000 a year, then each parent should pay $2500 each...

I think that the government has a rough figure on how much it costs to raise a child: say if it is $5000 a year, then each parent should pay $2500 each… (this will probably cause an uproar for all the parents who think they should receive more child support) But why should you be getting 1/2 of a salary per week when you do not need that much money to look after your child. And why should you not have to contribute half.. And before I get abused let me tell you I know a parent who has committed suicide due to child support (not solely but being harassed for money did not help) And I am not going into detail about this but I will say when a person has just lost there whole family they are already suffering and then getting constant phone calls…

This should be done in mediation and reviewed in a suitable amount of time if the Paying parent pays $70 per week the receiving parent should have to produce a certain value but not the whole value where that has been spent on the child especially in extreme circumstances.

Mediation is usually done when parents want access of the child so the amount of child support should be discussed within that.. and it should not change just because you have earned $50 more. The cost to raise the child did not go up just because the paying parent done an hours overtime. And for unexpected situations (medical, dental) half it when it happens. Paying parents should not be punished for earning an income, you will find a lot more parents declaring their incomes properly if it were a lot fairer.

If a paying parent believes that the money is being used for things other than supporting the child/ren there should be another aspect where they can use the funds for schooling events ( my stepson never went to one school camp, never attended one school excursion, never had any school photos, never went to his year 12 formal, for the first 1/2 year of high school never had uniform he was wearing primary school uniform etc) and we were paying $200 a week toward the end.. started at $85 about 8 years ago and just kept going up then as I mentioned on other post day after 18th b'day was booted out of home cause child support stopped..

I am sorry if I offend anyone with this post!

Jac
You need to read a lot more of the CSA area of the site, the forums on new CSA changes particularly the forum Child Support Legislative Changes for 2006 through 2008. That forum alone has about 500 or 600 posts.

The formula has changed very significantly and BOTH parents FULL incomes are taken into account. There is a discount for care and there is a much lower equal protected amount. All of this computes to a completely fairer formula than we had before. (Well most think so but some don't) I suggest you read particularly the Fact Sheets we have provided here. These CSA Fact Sheets outline much of the new system in brief form You can also take a look over a lot of the news items about CSA. You can go to the news area and click on the Child Support Agency news heading

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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i think you had some great ideas , but they will never happen . Its about keeping the ex with the kids happy not the man
JAC666 said
I think that the government has a rough figure on how much it costs to raise a child: say if it is $5000 a year, then each parent should pay $2500 each…

They already do, it is if the form of payments to Forster parents.  That payment takes into consideration, food, clothing, housing, just the day to day costs for raising a child.  I have made a silimlar comment in another forum.  I believe that should be the maximum amount the C$A should be able to collect and then anything above that amount can be negotiated between the parents without C$A intervention.  I know it is a simplistic approach but believe that it may alleviate some of the problems associated with the existing system
Acep74 said
i'ts about keeping the ex with the kids happy not the man

I'd disagree, a major aspect is what is basically a tax in disguise, that is that the greater the CS that is paid (by a parent), then the less the FTB that is handed out thus allowing the government to do more and thus be more likely to stay in government. This is very likely why the government promotes paying parents as being evil and needing to be chased to the grave, but turn the proverbial "blind eye" to recipients rorting as much if not more than paying parents, as to do so would reduce the FTB clawback.

I, being on both sides of the fence (well sort of as I don't actually chase for the CS that I could get), know that swapping paying CS for the cost of very much full time care of son, has resulted in a very significant saving. I have no doubt whatsoever that the current scheme has very inflated costs (how can the average person earning what was then way less than $50,000 afford $500,000 over 18 years {which doesn't factor in the average, larger, size of a family}, mathematically considering tax, expenses mortgages etc etc etc etc, simply cannot be done).

The current system also effectively places financial responsibility onto one of two of the parents, it also frequently results in factors that result very much to disadvantage such children by adding yet another cause for adversity.

Perhaps what should happen is that there should be a tax that everyone pays that funds the minimal support a child requires (noting that currently something very close to this happens anyway). Perhaps this tax could only be on those with children (not sure if this should be the case as in many cases those who benefit from the expenditure of taxes don't necessarily have to pay a tax for that benefit). With this comes the enforcement of other responsibilities in that by default a parent has to have 50% care (or thereabouts say between 45-55%, obviously with measures to protect children from abuse), a parent could then buy greater or lesser care based upon cost of child figures (this could make both the "I want's" and "I don't want's" consider the matter in greater depth). Parent's would be also be able to negotiate voluntary payments to the other parent and perhaps a mediation service could be provided  to facilitate this (perhaps funded or partly funded by the taxpayer).

Obviously this is a brief overview and it would have to be more intricate in nature, but I believe that it would remove one hell of a lot of the angst that comes with child support.

Another thought, why not extend child support into intact families? Ooops don't let the pollies see that one. Certainly there are many parents of separation who for doing nothing but good have been treated very badly by a system that simply does not have the controls that it should, perhaps applying the same enforcement upon all parents may result in parents overall seeing how very bad the current system is and thus could force much needed changes.
I think in 50/50 situations no money should be changing hands. Maybe if one parent has 75% of the income they should pay 75% of the school fees / medicals etc. If they refuse the lower income parent can present the bills to the CSA and as long as they're reasonable CSA can collect the appropriate percentage of the costs from the other parent. Some people are currently paying way WAY in excess of what it actually costs to raise children; it's just a windfall for the PYE and they spend it on themselves.

Another thing, why can't high child care costs of a PYR be taken into account by being subtracted from the CS income? The ATO knows how much we pay as they have to give us our CCTR every quarter - couldn't they report this to the CSA and adjust our incomes down? Sometimes the paying parent is only in a position to make the higher income by incurring significant costs both financial (child care etc) and lifestyle-wise. There doesn't seem to be any account taken of this. Meanwhile the parent who chooses to not work or only work part-time gets rewarded by collecting more and more money from both the PYR and FTB etc, whilst also not incurring the expenses of child care, work clothing, more expensive transport, convenient meals etc. It's rewarding people for not getting off their a$$es.
I agree that the Child support amounts do not seem to be very fair in some cases. For example, I have been separated for about 6 months and my ex wife went straight to child support and did what you need to do to get child support. With that, I get a not very nice call from them to say you will owe $490 per fortnight. I can elect to pay it or they would take it from me. The lady obviously wasn't very nice. I do recognise the need for child support and I also want to see my son as much as possible. I am just being prevented from doing so by my ex wife, to the point of having only 6hrs contact a week. Now through court order, I see my son for 18hrs a week, but without overnighters at all. He is 20 months old, but I am now off the subject. I earn a fair bit of overtime and this was calculated in my CS payments. The O/T is earned one week in 6, so 2 pay fortnights are base wage. With $1600 take home pay base, minus my $800 in mortgage, $490 in Child Support, I am left with $310 per fortnight base to buy groceries, pay phone, rates, car fuel, reg, insurances etc, and obviously now the lawyer. Without the overtime, I am going backwards badly, and with the overtime, I am not as available for my son. I have chosen to be available for him and am selling the house. I can honestly see the point of view from the comment above about the person that suicided. I feel I am strong and not in that mind space, but it does get bloody hard and CSA do not seem to care about it. I honestly cannot see where my son is in need of $490 per fortnight for all expenses. And, probably bitterly, I can only see my ex using this money to pay for her lawyer which gives her a fairly easy ride financially. She has elected not to work, although she has a tertiary education, which makes me the 100% breadwinner for the separated family, and liable for 100% of the costs calculated.
This has made me very bitter and hateful towards her, and I don't want to be that way as we have to have a good "business relationship" at least for our sons sake.

in response

Secretary SPCA said
You need to read a lot more of the CSA area of the site, the forums on new CSA changes particularly the forum Child Support Legislative Changes for 2006 through 2008. That forum alone has about 500 or 600 posts.

The formula has changed very significantly and BOTH parents FULL incomes are taken into account. There is a discount for care and there is a much lower equal protected amount. All of this computes to a completely fairer formula than we had before. (Well most think so but some don't) I suggest you read particularly the Fact Sheets we have provided here. These CSA Fact Sheets outline much of the new system in brief form You can also take a look over a lot of the news items about CSA. You can go to the news area and click on the Child Support Agency news heading
 Read alot more: I have been to every CSA meetings, visits to MP's and read thousands of articles on Child Support and I work in the sector so I know the drill inside and out and I can tell you now that the only people this new "FORMULA" is benefiting from this change is the mothers/fathers who decide to sit on the pension and not do anything to support their own half of the responsibilities for children that they also wanted.

My sister who has been separated from her partner for ten years has had the sole responsibility's of 2 children because the father did not work so he paid $6 month, when the change came in her son (14) had decided to live with his dad: She has one child in high school working part time (21 hours) and he has one child in high school not working at all but claiming all the centrelink money he can, she is renting $300 per week he lives in a granny flat at his mum's that he had built from the settlement money.

She has to pay $250 per fortnight to her ex even though she supported the kids for ten years on $6 per month. Do not go around telling people the new formula is FAIRER there is no such thing in CSA unless your the parent receiving the money!

Another twist

Im a mother that works fulltime, have since my daughter was 6 months old. He father was a stay at home dad who did the occasional few hours of work at home of a week. When our daughter was almost 2.5 years old we split up.

We did 50/50 shared care right from the start but he decided to slap child support payments onto me.

Our child will be 6 years old in October and my ex still hasnt found a job…not even a part time one (which I personally believe is by choice) as he is living with his fulltime working girlfriend and collecting child support from me as well as getting paid his FTB payments.

This is where I think the CSA need to kick some parents up the bum.

Where is the motivation for my ex to seek work - even part time work …when he can sit at home on his backside and have 2 women help keep him and his daughter ???

He doesnt not contribute one red cent to feeding and clothing his own child.:dry:
JAC666 - your sister would probably be being hit up for a lot more $ under the old system. If no care changes have occurred I believe most assessments were reduced on 1/7/08 where care was shared or divided as it appears to be in her case. (correct me if I'm wrong anyone, but this is how it has worked for everyone I know who has discussed their situation with me). Eg. The amount I'm assessed to pay my ex (under our 50/50 care arrangement) went from small to virtually insignificant after the changes (not that it matters because we have made our own private arrangements re money). My husband also has 50% care of his kids and his liable amount virtually halved with the reforms. Things could be worse, trust me…
I know all about the old system as well, and with the new system our child support went up not down. There maybe a few people who are happy with what is happening or could not be bother to fight it but it is unfair the old way and the new way. I have been involved in the child support system for about 12 to 13 years, I know a lot about what they do and how they can make your life hell with just a phone call from the receiving parent. I have had clients whom have had their bank accounts frozen and have not been able to access any funds what so ever.. because the ex has rang the CSA and told them about extra money or what not and CSA has said do you know what bank their with and they could say every bank then they will access all the banks. Others have been earning $900 per week owed money to CSA and received their wages and only had $250 left. I do not think anyone has a full idea of what the CSA are a capable of and I do not think people understand how nasty and ex can be when they are hurt or angry. I have stories after stories, a man with family in England could not go and see his mother whom was dying due to owing CS. I will tell you now the system is only fair for the ones receiving the payments. I have always told all my clients if you can work out a private arrangement then we are happy to help you organise that. Too many people get caught in the "I am going to make them pay for leaving" "and affair" what ever the circumstances may have been when in fact the only ones who really really suffer are the poor children who are caught in the middle of an adult war and whom love their parents equally majority of the time. And it is them situations that break my heart, when your client is a kid standing in front of you telling you my mum/dad wont let me see my dad/mum because they have not paid child support for a month! Who is getting hurt then???? The system needs to think about how this affects the kids. :( Cause unless you've seen it you have no idea how heart breaking it is too see a kid being used as a bargaining chip in separation.
I think at the end of the day we all know what is really fair and the whole CS system is an attempt at some fairness when two parents are unable to agree on what is fair.  I urge everyone to get psychological/ethical help so that you accept what is fair.  I have never accepted the CS formula because I don't believe it actually reflects the real cost of raising children.  Parents should work out how much it costs to raise their children and then agree on the percentage contribution from each parent.  Eg - my situation is that I do 80% of the parenting of our children, so the other parent provides 80% of the financial support needed for our children.  I am in the best position to provide parenting - and this is given a value by us, and he is in the best position to provide financial support. If I was to do financial as well as all the parenting, I would be a basket case from exhaustion.  However, we have worked out an arrangement independently from CSA, so as to avoid getting caught up in a system that really doesn't reflect the real cost of raising our children.  The CSA formula calculates that my ex-husband should pay about $880/mth for 2 children.  He actually pays $2000/mth because the cost of the children each month is around $3400.  I couldn't support our children on $880, unless I lived in a tent with them at a caravan park. Their father accepts that it costs alot to raise our children to the standard that they had before we separated, and although he and I have a conflicted relationship - in relation to our children there is nothing to debate - they cost what they cost and we don't argue about that cost.  We love our children and don't want them to suffer for our problems.  My ex-husband's lifestyle is simple and he goes without a lot to provide for his children 1st and I respect and admire him for that sacrifice.  He acknowledges my major parenting contribution to our children and places a high value on that and so we feel we have a fair arrangement in place and our children don't suffer most of the time.

So my advice is to come to your own understanding/acceptance of what is adequate/fair/reasonable support for your children - err on the side of generosity, because one day your children will come to you and say did you give mum/dad enough money to care for us properly and if you can say truthfully yes, they will respect you and this is far more valuable than making sure your ex doesn't get more than what the CSA has told you to pay.
I don't think there is much argument to whether parents should pay 50/50 etc… or not. I think the main issue with child support is care percentages and parents that cannot agree on them for each other.
Uhhm $3400 per month, guest I'd appreciate a breakdown of those costs as I believe they are extremely high.
Yeah a breakdown would be good to see because you're saying that your children cost a total of $850 every week?? sheesh!!!  :o

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never any  use to oneself."

Still trying to get child support...

My daughter is still trying to get child support, her child is nearly 13 mths, she is going through legal aid at the moment. The father originally denied knowing her (after a 4yr relationship) he then denied paternaty so DNA was done, he is now threatening to sue for custody if my daughter persues CS. My daughter has a DVO against him as he has stated he will do any thing to get this child out of his life. He is highly paid in the defence forces, strangely when my son (a lowly private) had his pregnant one night stand front up to the army he was ordered to pay child support which was automatically taken from his pay, this fellow is highly ranked and the army dont want to be involved, though he is recieving army legal support.

How does one get justice when you don't know the system.
Guest - The Army cannot order you to pay Child Support. CSA send the paperwork to the Defence Pay area and it is automatically taken out, which is the same as any other employer. However they would certainly counsell your son on his responsibilities.

As for Army legal advice, he must be speaking with a lawyer who has a practice outside of the Defence, as most Defence Lawyers will only guide you on Military Law within business hours.

I'm not sure of the details as to how to go about receiving Child Support, but Defence Force members are NOT above the law and the CSA paperwork would be sent off accordingly to the respective pay area no matter if he agrees or not.

Chld support what it should be like

I could not agree more with you any more as it is true, there should be a set amount like the pension, aus study, part a part b, center link payments are set a certain amount so child support should be set at a certain amount across the board, to make it fair. only in certain  stances like a disability or serious illness should the father be made to pay more to help with the health cost to care for the child, as that is a necessary need not a wanted need.

In other things like school if the full time caring parent wants to have the child in a private school then that is her/his choice unless the father/mother is happy to pay half as well, as that is a wanted need not a necessary need for the child. So that's where i think things really need to be looked at not what some one earns but on how much it really cost to raise a standed child. If a father/mother dose not see his/her child he/she should bear the full 50% of the cost of the child, so say the government works it out to be $5000 to raise a child for the year than yes he/she pays half of it which is fair, and if he/she sees more of the child than his/hers payments should decrease as worked out to a daily amount as he/she will be paying for the things needed for the child while in his/hers care, regardless of how much he earns.

You would also find that the paying parent would probably be more willing to help and happier as well. And knowing that the money he/she works hard for to raise his/hers new family dose not go to his/hers ex so he/she can happily spend it, so in stead of getting lets say $120 a week child support it would then go down to around $50 a week which i think is fair to raise a child.

For the mum/dads that are getting more than $50 a week im sure they would kick up a big stink as that probably pays for their smokes or their hair or a nite out with friends, yes i know that kids like to go out and have fun but they don't have to have every thing and that's where a standed comes in on raising a child if it cost you more than $5000 a year in total than that's your choice unless as i have already said they have certain circumstances like a disability or serious illness then that's where the father/mother be made to pay more to help with the health cost to care for the child, as that is a necessary need not a wanted need. What kids want and need are to different things and parents need to realize that there is a standed on what kids need.

And there would not be those greedy mums/dads out their that try every thing to get every dollar out of the ex just because they can and just to be spiteful to make them happy and there ex pixxed off, as that would not be able to happen as it is a set rate and that's it. Would make life so much easier for all family's and the child support agency.

If only people where smart enough for something like this to happen, maybe one day.
The Guest refers to the first post in this topic and also posted a document file instead of this text
"So that's where i think things really need to be looked at not what some one earns but on how much it really cost to raise a standed child".



I disagree - it is YOUR child. What you earn is relevant. Do you want to see your child(ren) live in Dickensian poverty?



Monti

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Regarding payers or payees that choose not to work and bludge off the system and child support even though they could work, I have a suggestion.

If they have qualifications, check the employment adds for a certain timeframe and search for jobs requiring their qualification. When you have enought (let's say 10 ads), apply for a change of assessment with the CSA under reason 8 capacity to earn. If they have not applied for any of the jobs or can show an effort, you can easily proof that they are avoiding work even though there is opportunity to do so. If they are not sick and have no obligation to look after someone else that prevents them from working, bingo.

Ask to change the assessment to the highest amount of salary indicated in the ads to be used as the income to calculate child support. Has anyone tried this approach? I reckon this should work…..

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

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