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How does CSA work out Relevant dependent children???

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Hi there, I was just wanting to know how CSA work out Relevant dependent children?

My partner pays child support for his daughter, her mother has had 3 other children to her now husband. Just recently received our "NEW" child support amount and because she has declared her youngest child born July 2011 my partner has to pay $2.33 more. It's not much but how come we have to pay more? How can she get away with not declaring her other 2 children aged 6 and 4 years old?

How is she able to do that, and what can we do to rectify this? CSA also still maintains that we owe her????

H E L P   P L E A S E!!!
Basically a parent has a responsibility to maintain a child that is either adopted or biologically that parent's child (i.e. a relevant dependant child). If the shoe were on the other foot and you and your partner had a child then that child (or children) would be included.

The cost of a Relevant dependant is calculated in the same way as a child support child is calculated, except that only the one parent's income is used as opposed to the combined incomes for the actual CS children. The resultant cost of that child is then subtracted from that parent's child support income.

Cost of children is calculated out in a similar way how tax is calculated. That is brackets cover income ranges and for a certain tax bracket you pay a certain percentage plus the full amount of any lower brackets. It's a little more complicated though. First there are 6 income brackets :

1) $0 to (0.5 * AMTAWE) (Annualised Male Total Average Weekly Earnings)

2) (0.5 * AMTAWE) + $1 to AMTAWE

3) AMTAWE + $1 to (1.5 * AMTAWE)

4) (1.5 * AMTAWE) + $1 to (2.0 * AMTAWE)

5) (2.0 * AMTAWE) + $1 to (2.5 * AMTAWE)

6) (2.5 * AMTAWE) + $1 and over


Each bracket has a set percentage allocated to it, except the 6th, as no further cost of children is applied when this bracket is reached.

A further complication is that the number and the age of the children results in the brackets each having a number of percentages (8) one for each child age/number permutation (age being either under 13 or 13+ i.e. 2 age groups). Up to 3 children are considered and if more than 3 then the oldest are considered first.

There are set percentages for 1, 2 and 3 children under 13 and for 1, 2 and 3 children 13+. There are two for children of mixed ages i.e. 2 mixed age children and 3 mixed age children.

AMTAWE is supplied via the ABS a new amount being applied from 1st January each year. The Self Support amount is also a factor (1/3rd) of AMTAWE. Note that the CSA will often refer to MTAWE instead of AMTAWE (MTAWE is actually a weekly amount).


Here's a link to the Cost of Children tables on the CSA's website Cost of Children Tables (2011)

P.S. there are two child support calculators available from the home page, the advanced calculator will, if you check the "show calculations" box, display many of the intermediary values such as the cost of children.
I'm aslo in the same situation but have 2 children both under 2 and am expecting our 3 child together. We got the new child support amount and are paying more because the ex of my partners child declared her new born baby!! How can that be fair?

Is their anything we can do??? If that works both ways why do we still pay her more???
Hey there we have 3 children together and still our child support seems to be going up not coming down!!!! How is that fair and why is that my children get less then my partners other child?????

My partner pay's more then enough child support to support his 1 child!!!! If CSA was a fair and justice place ALL children would be EQUAL!!! Something the system really needs to sort out!!!!!
DVS69 said
Hey there we have 3 children together and still our child support seems to be going up not coming down!!!! How is that fair and why is that my children get less then my partners other child?????

Your children, as far as your partner's income is concerned, if they are relevant dependants, should actually get the first cut of the cake and therefore the greater proportional cost. CS will tend to go up over time. One factor will be the income increase over time another will be the age of the children that are taken into consideration under formula assessment. However, when your children turn 13, the CS will effectively reduce as they will then be deemed to cost more.

One thing I most certainly did not say is that CS is fair. It most certainly is not. However, it is fair that other children are considered when determining. One of the most unfair aspects of CS is the cost of children. The basis of the costs is research(sic) that very much accumulates potential costs rather than any research into actual costs. In short the cost of the average child was considered to be over $500,000 when the average wage was under $50,000. You don't have to be a genius to realise that parents would be unable to survive if there was any truth to such a conclusion. There has been a more recent piece of research, this looked at the difference in disposable incomes of families with and without children. This came up with a cost that was less by a factor of at least 10 (i.e. around $50,000 per child). The research was done some years after and thus the factor should be significantly greater due to inflation. I myself am in the position of having been on both sides of the fence. I was the liable parent, I am now the recipient. In my situation I myself concluded that CS was something like 10 times too high. The fact is, is that CS is not about the support of children, it is a tax, in all but name, on the liable parents of separated children. That is for a $1 collected in CS the government gains by reducing FTB payments by 50c. Basically CS is a systemic exploitation of children of separation for financial gain.
guest said
I'm aslo in the same situation but have 2 children both under 2 and am expecting our 3 child together. We got the new child support amount and are paying more because the ex of my partners child declared her new born baby!! How can that be fair?

As I previously said, in regard to the amounts (i.e.  the cost of children) it is unfair. However, again to reiterate, it is fair that a child of another relationship is considered as affecting the parents ability to financially contribute to the CS liability (note that the formula considers both parent's incomes equally, in fact in some circumstances it's not until the very last stages that the liable parent can be determined).

guest said
Is their anything we can do???
I'd suggest campaigning against the fundamentally flawed cost of children. If you're not claiming the 2 under 2's as RDC's then do so.


guest said
If that works both ways why do we still pay her more???
When you have the new child you will pay less CS if you register the child as an RDC (and if the CSA do their job properly, which very frequently isn't the case). You can use the calculator from the home page to see by how much. If you use the advanced calculator and click on "show calculations" then the underlying costs including the cost of the RDC's (RDCA) is displayed.
MikeT said
 The fact is, is that CS is not about the support of children, it is a tax, in all but name, on the liable parents of separated children. That is for a $1 collected in CS the government gains by reducing FTB payments by 50c. Basically CS is a systemic exploitation of children of separation for financial gain.


does that statement apply to all cases of CS? ..my partner commenced new employment towards the end of 2010 prior to this he was receiving government payments so his taxable income increased by almost $30,000 (if my maths is correct) in the last financial year and is now liable to pay $300 each month in CS to his ex partner for his 2 children, aged 2 and 4. The mother relies on parenting payments from the family assistance office for these 2 children so if your statement applies to all cases it would be correct to assume that techincally $150 would be deducted from her government payments each month and therefore she would only recieve an additional $150 each month?
What about having 2 other children and not declaring them to CSA and just declare the child they had recently? What can you do about someone who only tells CSA part of the story where leaving out the fact they have 2 other children that aren't mentioned in the child support formula?

How can you claim child support when the child your claiming for hasn't been in you care in but her mothers care in another state for the past 6mths? The letters always read "THE MOTHER" has 100% of the care of the child????
love.n.trust said
does that statement apply to all cases of CS?

No, in fact it doesn't apply to all CS cases. If the recipient is not in receipt of FTB (i.e. their income, including any partners income, is above the cut off (around about $150,000 I think) then there is no FTB to be clawed back. However, I don't think the Government considers such cases. Basically all the CSA do is report the amount collected or transferred to the DHS and then to Government which I believe then cuts this in half to calculate(sic) the taxation benefit of CS.

love.n.trust said
The mother relies on parenting payments from the family assistance office for these 2 children so if your statement applies to all cases it would be correct to assume that techincally $150 would be deducted from her government payments each month and therefore she would only recieve an additional $150 each month?
yes half the CS money is the tax by way of FTB clawback.
guest said
What about having 2 other children and not declaring them to CSA and just declare the child they had recently? What can you do about someone who only tells CSA part of the story where leaving out the fact they have 2 other children that aren't mentioned in the child support formula?
If they aren't declared then the parent with the additional RDC's loses out and ends up being disadvantaged. That is unless the cost of those RDC's would be $0, as it is if the parent's ATI (adjusted taxable income) is below the Self Support Amount. In this scenario there would be no impact on the CS.

guest said
How can you claim child support when the child your claiming for hasn't been in you care in but her mothers care in another state for the past 6mths? The letters always read "THE MOTHER" has 100% of the care of the child????
Care doesn't necessarily have to be physical care under the legislation. However, financially it would make no difference to the liable parent's CS liability, if the child is with the other parent or a non-parent carer, rather the other parent may end up with a liability. There was a recent topic that covered this type of scenario. The child was kicked out of home by the mother, the child wanted to go to the same school and residing with the father's parents would facilitate this. The child could be deemed to still be in the father's care as decisions regarding care would be the father's even though child would reside with the father's parents in the week. (Note! this is if I recall the topic correctly).
MikeT said
love.n.trust said
The mother relies on parenting payments from the family assistance office for these 2 children so if your statement applies to all cases it would be correct to assume that techincally $150 would be deducted from her government payments each month and therefore she would only recieve an additional $150 each month?
yes half the CS money is the tax by way of FTB clawback.
would this information be relfected on the CSA assessment(s) or in any other document the father may be able to obtain?




love.n.trust said
would this information be relfected on the CSA assessment(s) or in any other document the father may be able to obtain?

I don't think so. In fact I don't think the other parent is even informed of the intermediate amounts, just the amount that is received as part a and part b.
Actually MikeT, your not entirely correct with half of CS being "clawed back".  There is a "Maintenance Income Test" done by Centrelink where the payee gets to keep X amount before it begins to be reduced by the 50c in the $1.  At this moment the figures are:
Single Parent or member of a couple - $1,401.60
Couple both receiving maintenance - $2,803.20
For each additional child add - $467.20

Only the CS received above these amounts reduce the FTB by 50c in every $1.  Eg. A single parent (payee) who receives $1800 p.a in CS for 2 children will not have her FTB reduced at all.  If her CS was $2000 she would be reduced by $65.60 p.a.  The first $1868.80 wouldn't be affected at all ($1401.60 + 467.20).  Ultimately that's an additional $1934.40 p.a of free money.  


If you wish to have a look, it can be found here - Family Tax Benefit - Department of Human Services  

DVS69… although the assessment will be reduced when your new baby is born, this does not apply for a 4th (or more) dependent child.  Relevant Dependents are capped at 3!  Yes this is true.  Our 6 children are deemed at only costing $7776 p.a, but hubby's 1 child to his ex is deemed at costing $4837 p.a…. hubby earns just over the threshold for us to be entitled to a Health Care Card, yet his ex is sitting pretty with no mortgage, has had 2 more kids to another man and is on a Centrelink pension, so she has concessions and entitlements galore.  
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