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Law of Limitation Act

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Does law of limitation act applies to CSA debt, if after 15 years or so, CSA comes and says that you have $$$ debt that goes for 15 old years? - The debt is too old to be collected.
CS Debt persists through bankruptcy and death of payer, so I imagine the Law of Limitation will not apply
Recommend you check with a legal person or financial planner. A phone call to either may be free. Some solicitors give the first visit free.
I had the CSA do a reconciliation on my 2000 year tax return to find out that I owe them $2000 and because it is outside of the courts 7 years duridiction there wasnt a dame thing I could do about it.
But I am still in the process of fighting it because there dates for the recon was prior to the judge awarding me minium payments.


The law of limitation will apply. Did you know about this debt of 2000? Were you informed? Did someone told you? If not, CSA has no powers to assess a case beyond 7 years. They will have to go to court.

I think most of the fathers do not know legsilation and also CSA registrars are mainly collection agents.

Please say no to waht they say. Its all the CSA legal guide, where all law is written and CSA is illegal if they are assessing anything beyond 7 years. They have to go to court.

We must raise voice against CSA. Also, never ever deal with CSA over the phone, but face them face-to-face. And at that time, use negotiation technique by being strong and say - I can't pay that much ??? see waht happens… It will reduce your debt.
The first I knew about it was a letter stating that I owed $1500. for the reconciliation. I disputed it and said that the income amount was wrong. They investigated my income further to find out that the amount owed was $2000.
They had dated there decision prior to a courts ruling.
They had no dealings with the courts.

Where does it say that the CSA cant go beyond 7 years.?
It is bit complicated, but need to apply few legislations here.

First, the debt is arising from incorrect income amount. This is goes under the heading - Varied the assessment. On the CSA URL - Using the Child Support Guide | Child Support Guide, it says:

How long should a decision apply?
CSA cannot make a change of assessment decision that affects the child support assessment payable for a day that is more than eighteen months before the date upon which a parent or non-parent carer lodged their change of assessment application (section 98S(3B)(a)). In the case of a CSA-initiated change of assessment, CSA cannot make a change of assessment decision that affects the child support assessment payable for a day that is more than eighteen months before the date CSA notified the parties in writing of its intention to change the assessment (section 98S(3B)(b)).

However, if a court has granted leave under section 112, CSA can make a retrospective change to the assessment for the period specified by the court in the order granting leave (sections 98S(3C) and 112(6)). However, CSA is not obliged to make a change to the assessment for the period the court has granted leave (section 112(8)). The court cannot specify a period that includes a day that is more than 7 years earlier than the date of the application to court for leave to make a retrospective change (section 112(7)).

The reasons for a change of assessment may help to determine the duration of a decision. Other factors will also be considered in deciding how long the change of assessment should apply.

CSA will make a decision that produces an appropriate change to the assessment and if possible allows for future changes in circumstances to be assessed without the need for a further application to change the assessment. If it is likely that future events may affect the assessment it is best to make a decision for a shorter period.

To provide as much certainty and consistency for the parties as possible, CSA will make decisions which cover the longest period possible, having regard to the circumstances of the case. CSA will take into account the beginning and end of child support periods when making a decision.

Second - Limitation Act - There is no case where this has been applied to CSA from one case where it was considered by the court. (I will try find out and post the link). Within common law, there has been a case -

There is no evidence that this cat cannot be applied to govt. debts. It has rarely been argued by anyone, as we are always scared by govt.

7 years limitation come from limitation act. One of my question to the govt is that when child support applies Financial Act and treat paying parent like a spreadsheet, then why Limitation Act cannot apply.

Mind you - this act only applies if you have not accepted the debt i.e. when you frist time recieved the letter, a letter to CSA must be posted back stating that the demand for the arears are barred by the Statutue of Limitation and that the matter is closed. - If you have not done this, you cannot argue in court. The next step should have been to take CSA to magistrate court.

Boston.  Bush lawyer or bad lawyer?

It is more complicated than you think, Boston.  Read section 109 of The Constitution and take note of which jurisdictions the Limitation Acts are made under in Australia.

Also, the part of the CSA's Guide you refer to relates to a particular process under the legislation, it is not a rule of general application.
Thanks Boston.
I now have a case to fight as the CSA didnt get a court order past 18 months and they have gone outside the 7 year time frame when they did my reconciliation and stole money from my back account.


I gave an example of the case from juridictions outside of Australia. I have not been able to find a case within Australia that applies to child support. However, in past, I came across a case where it was considered by the court and could not be applied due to some other ground. But interesting point is that the court considered it.

You said:

Also, the part of the CSA's Guide you refer to relates to a particular process under the legislation, it is not a rule of general application.

I do not agree. Most of us do not fight back and accept what been said. I have fought without a lawyer in court, when I was in AU and have got alot of things sorted out by refering to the judge the lines within the law.

The 7 year limit is within the law and does not give right to vary the assessment beyond 18 months. For example, on the today's date an assessment can only be varied upto last 18 months and not beyond. Otherwise remove this proceedure from the guide. This is refering to section 98S(3B)(a).

This whole thing can be argued in court. There are grounds, I believe.

My point was that cases from other jurisdictions are only helpful if the sytem of laws is similar.  The law in Australia is pretty clear when it comes to conflict of laws.

In relation to the 7 years thing, that only applies to Part 6A, not to the rest of the Act.  You can disagree as much as you like.  No court will find otherwise, because the legislation is clear.

Could you explain in simple english as when does the 7 years thing applies? What situations?

What exactly does it refer to then?
My sense is that the various limitations acts don't operate in the case of this reconciliation process because the debts created are "new", despite being generated from old data. The fact that there has been no collection action on the debts for a period in excess of the debt collection limitation period simply doesn't apply at present, since the claimed sum has never been previously claimed.

It's a bit like someone being charged with a crime after a long period has elapsed following the discovery of new evidence, as opposed to someone who has already been tried for a crime being tried again on the old evidence.

Of course, our politicians don't like double jeopardy anyway.
I still do not get it. What is the section 98S(3B)(a) refers to? It is about varying the assessment. This is time bound. Example, child is 18 +, mother realizes that when the child was 2 yrs old, father had given wrong info about the pay, etc or the child support finds this out. Now the CSA sends the letter to the father that this amount is the debt. Wrong !!! They can only open the case for last 18 months. Please read the Financial Act, which does say that it is only the court can do this.

Is Eclispe a lawyer in this forum?

An assessment closes every year and is replaced by new assessment. This is where the departure from an assessment applies.

Or are we saying that govt. is the big brother and they do what they feel like.

Fight or like Australia have been under the Queen will live under the Queen, where as India got independent in 1947.

Demostration against the law is what India has done always.

I will fight against as the law was made by people not GOD.
Actually Boston, for a normal administrative assessment a child support closes or is 'finalised' only when after the child support period ends the C$A has ATO supplied income amounts for BOTH parents and not before.

And if one tax returns isn't done until 20 years later, the child support period will still go through the reconciliation/finalisation process.

Yet another way CSA lets one parent financially control the other after separation.

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby
Limitation Act will apply. Simple…as aussie it could be WHAT debt, I do not know…..This is where it starts…

It will apply to all debt (including govt., if fought for) that is dated or claimed for 7 yrs from now. It has to.

A debt cannot go for ever. It just cannot. But no one has fought for. FIGHT. People in the court room are humans and ediots.

Insane, child support law and CSA are. I want to support my child - pay for him or her and not to the other parent. CSA and the Family act DOES not provide for that.

Its time to stand up and change the law, as it was made by politicians. Why?

Why do you want to habe interest on CSA debt? Who gets that…Aussie govt.

Aussie govt has found the way to become their own blood.  

I am not going to give you legal advice, which is what you are asking for.  I will expand (slightly) on my earlier vague response.

As I provided, Limitations Acts in Australia are State and Territories legislation, but Child Support is Commonwealth legislation.  There is plenty of case law that discusses the inconsistency of laws and the primacy of Commonwealth laws over State laws in instances of inconsistency.

You can try to argue it in court, but you run the risk of losing because you will be arguing that a State Act should operate to constrain the operation of an Act of the Commonwealth.
Cool… The Child Support Law also states that if you have in capacity to pay debt, then it cannot be recoverd by law.

So, I will now give you a practical and legal way out -

1. Get on dole.
2. How - get and Indian, Paki or Middleastern Doctor and if been firendly, get a certificate that you are going through depression.
3. Now you get disability benefit.

Not a chance that any govt. body can challange this.

Live on this. Get a house from centrelink.

And get into contracting and never make enough in books.

I have known so many people in Au with this situation - having thioer own property and a business and a social security house.

So please explain me legally, how can this work.

This is why I say - either follow the law or revolt. I will choose the other and still be legal and faithfull citizen.

Law is in books, but if you have a voice you can change thinks.

Unfortunately, I have been living in UK and the people here think still about Australians as criminals.

Sorry to, as I was. One thing that Australians can't do is - stand for themsleves - revolt.

This is how I feel…why can't all the fathers of Australia (child support prisoners) get together on the street and demonstrate.

India got independence like that…why now reform the child suppor that comes from people and govt.
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