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IS there two sets of rules... One for Payers... One for Payee's

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How much is fair just and equitable????     C$A… where is there accountability with their decisions…

I attended the C$A in person to provide details of my 2009/10 group certificate so I could update my earning. My main driver for this was I have a COA still ongoing where the C$A is counting $145 000.00 (was a capital gain from selling a family home that the ATO ruled was not, despite living in itthat's another story) on top of my normal yearly salary.

The person serving me (actually was very helpful, however I did have to stop myself laughing when  it was repeatedly suggested that I wait until I lodge my tax return as I am be doing myself out of some tax deduction????)

Anyhow, my group certificate triggered a new assessment which meant I notified that I would be reverting back to my normal care. (I have posted a background here, basically I had to reduce my care as I couldn't't afford iton top of an inflated C$ assessment due to the capital gains, my ex does not pay towards joint debts whilst I'm trying to finalise a property settlement, she saysadjust it at the end)

How easy it is to get off track mmmm

The new income amount was entered straight into the new C$ A computer, then the person serving me

Telephoned my ex, when thought the usual preamble and advised her I was notifying them of my 09/10 income and wanted to go back to my previous care level She agreed with my indicated care level, advised her that a new assessment would be forwarded to her shortly and  that was that.

The CO entered the care details into the computer and was in the process of printing out a copy for we when another Co came to the counter and told the CO "serving" me, that my eX was on the phone and she wanted to talk to the CO again.

The other CO said no, as he was dealing with me, however he would arrange to call her back. The other Co when away and came back again saying that she does not agree to the level of care she said she agreed if it changes the current C$ assessment ( What I think she means was if it reduces the amount, she does not agree. (Her reason was as clear as that.)

The CO said that it is too late, he when through the proper procedures with the phone call to her, and if she now disputed the care level, she would have to lodge an objection.

After all that, I left the office feeling quite happy that I have a just C$ assessment (still based on an income over $100K, so the children are "well provided for" and with the knowledge that I would be seeing my children 2 extra nights per fortnight.

Until..

Two days after, I received a call from the CO that served me advising that my eX called back, spoke to a Manager (Now there's clearly one rule so one side and not the other I can't even get put to "MY" allocated case office when I have made the request in the past

Story goes, he advised that the Manager overturned his course of action and now my eX does not agree with the  care level I explain what has been occurring prior to the extra assessment including the capital gains and that I have had the higher level of care for some 9 months prior.

The CO asks if there is a court order, I say no, not even a parenting plan, something I have been trying to finalise for some time, but eX won't sign, only feedback as to reason "I'm not in the right space ATM"

I explain we are going through mediation (slowly mind youand a process I initiated) The Co say without an such signed of parenting plan or court order in place and with my eX deputing care,  The C$A will base my care level on what my eX says it will be and I have to report every fortnight what care I have had .

End result, last weekend, eX does not drop off my childrensomething she wanted to do (or make them available for me to collect) I miss out on seeing my children

Where is this going I'm sure it would not surprise some.

A phone call today from another CO from the C$Sand despite what I know I should do be a write only customer (as a side note, why is it I am called a customer of the C$A) but I wanted to hear what they had to say as I just want to see my children.

Anyhow, they advise as I have had zero care level of my children, a new assessment is being generated and I will get the usual copy of the bill.. oops assessment in the mail shortly. No opportunity to explain that my Ex has not dropped off my children standard question / answer Do you have a signed parenting plan/court order in placeIf so, we can base your care level on that even if she doesn't drop the children off My answer "No, not yet and there is still (2) mediation sessions left with the last being end of October this year  where is the C$A's interest for the children and support for separated family here A system executed like this, is nothing short of damaging to children not to mention people who are trying to rebuilt after a separation.

A call to a lawyerto see if I can get some type of hearing so I can see my children.. Answer..No.. Need to wait until you can get a certificate…(and I will say hearthere is NO domestic violence issues here, I have been a hands on Dad for the best part of my children life whilst still living as a family)

I have read with interest another post here talking about should C$ payments cease whilst

       (a)   The other party refuses to sign a parenting plan without offering any valid reason or even suggesting changes that would make that

           party happier; and

(b)   Where one party is refusing to allow care as a means of increasing C$ payments, again in the absence of any valid reason.

Then my answer is YES the C $ payments most definitely should cease.   I also want to add in finishing, I have NEVER missed a C$ payment.

What's my point Is this a case of (2) sets of rules. (1) for the payeeand (1) for the payer???

Anyhow..now I am no longer fuming, and I feel like I can talk/write about it..thanks for listening,  as well as, if anyone has any advise as to how I can address this situation, I'm all ears..

An urgent application o the Federal Magistrates Court for an interim order for contact could be worth looking into

That would give you the opportunity to have a magistrate scrutinise all those events

It sounds like the ex is doing parental alienation - magistrates take a dim view of that…
There appears to be one rule for payees and another for payers. This is due to the fact that they need to be collecting more $$$ in all areas of operations. If they collect more they get a pay bonus and also justify their existence. Management of the C$A have recently been instructed to ingrain a collection mentality into all employees.

If you have not completed your property settlement C$A tend to be even more protective of the payee making sure they can extract as much as they can from you.

Yes you need to get some orders into place regarding care of the children. You are at a critical point in the break-up and I recommend you get sound financial advice about the future regarding your settlement and child support, most of which can be found on here.

I recommend that you only deal with C$A in writing. Use the phone or face to face for general info and do not disclose any information to them that is not on your tax return.

There have been some recent legislative changes that may help. From the 1st July 2010 you can ask Family Assistance to work out the care percentages and C$A have to follow their decision, however if you have already asked C$A to do this then you cannot go to Family Assistance. I say this as Family Assistance work in very different way to C$A - There is no bias against payer, no collection mentality or pay bonuses, more reasonable and timely appeals processes, and you will be treated with more respect.
I know I should have listened to your previous advise…Fairgo… once bitten… I WILL stick to a write only customer of C$A.

I did get the  advise you mentioned… after you said that in another reply… Long story short, the property side of things has actually come

forward in leaps and bounds… The consent orders have been signed, awaiting filing, I just need to arrange the finance and dealing with the

bank.. Never knew it was a process to have someone removed from mortgage doc's.. Banks have their hurdles as well..

Also, I contacted the FAO recently to look at claiming the family benefit part B (if think, could be part A) it is hardly worth it, I am in the process of filling in the form… which is large than a COA… All for less than $200 i n total, however I think it will be worth it especially as due to the  federal election, it may mean I can claim other rebates for the cost of the children..

What I did find confusing (and while the FAO were MUCH friendlier on the phone and forthcoming with their advise) there was a difference

between the care levels…as far as the family part B payment is concerned.

The FAO say it is payable/claimable where there is 36% or more care level which by their calculation they say needs to be 146 nights per year or more..

The C$A say 36 % care (or more) starts at 128 nights or more. I have (actually did have 134 nights per year). The FAO said to fill in the form and see if I will still qualify.

If they are working  together, shouldn't this be the same???

and Seriously…. thanks for the advice..I am waiting to speak to my lawyer about this.. I am disappointed if this option is available as I have already been informed by them that there is nothing I can do until I complete the remaining mediation sessions… so I will follow up.
Re the FAO - you will see on the form that you can express your care percentage in days or hours instead of only nights. Just depends on which method is the most practical and represents actual time. I've only just filled out one of those forms and it's a lot easier than a change of assessment form from C$A.

For calculating care percentages always use FAO and do not mention it to CSA at all. Once FAO are done with their assessment they will inform C$A of their decision and they have to abide by it.

The process should be the same between the two agencies and I think it is, but what has not changed is the collection mentality of C$A in how they treat payers and the appeals process especially. You can usually sort out an appeal with FAO in a matter of weeks. With C$A it's still 3 - 12 months. FAO are more reasonable in the decision making process where as C$A's decision making process is designed to stop you from appealing due the frustration it causes.

It is always worth claiming Family Assistance. Even for a few hundred $$$. It is worth it to not having to deal with the C$A on the issue of care percentages. Also if you qualify for Health Care Card that will save you a few $$$, and also a portion of the education rebate which will help pay for the computer/internet costs incurred when the kids are with you.

Good luck
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