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More supportive answers for both payer and payee questions

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I hoped when accessing this site that I would see unbiassed help for both the payer and payee.

  This may very well be hard for people to offer who are or have been burnt by the CSA's decisions (for example doubling payers income ie. as happened to my current partner) or attitude in collecting overdue payments for payee (very slow process in my case but finally done after eight years).
  I unfortunately have not seen a fair attitude in addressing payee's issues, instead they get berated for their right to have financial help from their child's/children's other parent.

  For those paying parents who have the attitude that the government should raise their child and therefore refuse to pay a cent - please try to find acceptance. Once you do realize that it should be you that contributes, it may very well become easier to pay. You will likely develop a more amicable relationship with the payee and your children can only benefit from this.

  For those paying parents who are priviledged enough to earn high incomes, even though you may not like to think about it, the child support is calculated on what lifestyle your child would have had if their parents had stayed together with you earning that income. Please also take comfort in the fact that the reforms are now in place.
  Complete with the cost of children tables and same self support amount for payer and payee. Approx. $34,000 exempt for payee and $13-14000 only for payer in the old system. Work out your current cs liability and then work out the one from the old formula. (eg. 18% (for one child) of remaining income if no relevant dependants and below regular care).
  You will find you are much better off now.
babygirl - if my memory serves me right the income the payee could earn before reducing child support was around 40k.

Regarding your rant I think most regular contributors are helpful to both payers and payees.
babygirl said

I hoped when accessing this site that I would see unbiassed help for both the payer and payee.

I unfortunately have not seen a fair attitude in addressing payee's issues, instead they get berated for their right to have financial help from their child's/children's other parent.
You can't have read many posts, then.  Or did you just not like the responses you were given?

From what I have seen here the moderators and regular contributors here are very responsive to enquiries from both sides.  Yes, there are the occasional jaded individuals - from both sides - both certainly nothing like on other support sites with a more "biased" target audience.

babygirl said
work out the one from the old formula. (eg. 18% (for one child) of remaining income if no relevant dependants and below regular care).
  You will find you are much better off now.
  Under the new formula, my payments instantly increased by 67% for the same incomes.

The following year the amount my ex's income increased was double the amount my income increased (that is, my increase in income was only one third of the total overall increase) yet my payments still went up!

Exactly how have either of those scenarios left me much better off?
  To Fairgo - Is it a rant to speak my truth and the way I have seen it? And yes the exempt income was very likely to be in the region of $40,000 at some stages. I just remember (from my case) it being that particular amount. I believe it varied every year (as did the maximum income cutoff amount) according to averaged wages for the previous year.

  To Silas Stingy - You can make the assumption that I haven't read too many posts if you like. I know how many I have read. I agree that both payers' and payees' have been responded evenly to with their various questions. It is the attitude of the answers that is different to me. Warm and decidedly sympathetic to the payers' and rather cold and curt to the payees', but that of course is my opinion - which I hope I am entitled to?
  I haven't come across an increase in payments for the payer from the reforms before. Can you elaborate with figures instead of percentages? I am genuinely interested to know how this has been calculated. It may be due to a different care arrangement.
Level of care did not change.  Incomes did not change.  Only the formula changed.

Before the change in formula I paid approximately $280 a month.  After the change in formula I paid approximately $470 a month.
  Was it with a formula assessment that it changed with? Or was a change of assessment or private agreement involved? I do not see how, if the payee's exempted income was lowered considerably to be the same as payer's, it could increase. Could it be that there was a mistake made by CSA? Unheard of lol! Obviously impossible for me to understand with limited information. Have you asked a knowledgeable person from CSA to explain the changes to you?
It was none of those things.

The only thing that changed was the C$ formula.
babygirl said
  For those paying parents who are priviledged enough to earn high incomes, even though you may not like to think about it, the child support is calculated on what lifestyle your child would have had if their parents had stayed together with you earning that income.

I agree with that, as long as that is what the Child Support is actually used for. Unfortunately CSA do not care, and the legislation does not deal with, what CS is used for (except for a small number of prescribed non agency payment categories if you have less than regular care)

In my case, with shared care, the payee uses the CS to increase his Super Contributions almost to the exact dollar amount of the CS I pay. I know this due to the financial disclosure required of each party during the COA process. It is certainly not used to contribute to the children's lifestyle, as I pay for that while the children are in the payees care as well as paying the CS. Why do it ? because if I don't, it is the children that will miss out.
As I understand it CS starts at 17% of $27,000 up to 7% on about $140,000, and is divided between the parents depending on the percentage time spent up to 51%, so max payment is 8.5% or $8,500 a year.

Am I right?
?Noperjury,
               you're along the right lines. There are percentages like with tax (except they reduce rather than increase when the income increases). There are 5 brackets/bands (6 if you count the disregarded upper limit).

The brackets are determined not by a set amount but are based upon AMTAWE (Annualised Male Total Average Weekly Earnings).

The first income band is from $0 to 1/2 AMTAWE (note that the Self Support Amount is always taken off first (SSA is 1/3rd AMTAWE and for 2010 is $19618), AMTAWE for 2010 is $58854).
The 2nd is from 1/2 AMTAWE+1 to AMTAWE.
The 3rd is from AMTAWE+1 to AMTAWE * 1.5.
The 4th is from (AMTAWE * 1.5) + 1 to AMTAWE * 2.
The 5th is from (AMTAWE * 2) + 1 to AMTAWE * 2.5.

Income above AMTAWE * 2.5 is disregarded in the formula.

Next there are 8 streams within the bands (sorry, my terminology and not necessarily correct) each stream is for a child type and each has a % attached to it.

The percentage (like tax) is applied to the amount in that Band for the stream being used. The results from all the bands of the stream are then added.

Stream 1 is for 1 child under 13.                    Band 1 is 17%, Band 2 is 15%, Band 3 is 12%, Band 4 is 10%, Band 5 is 7%.
Stream 2 is for 2 children under 13.                Band 1 is 24%, Band 2 is 23%, Band 3 is 20%, Band 4 is 18%, Band 5 is 10%.
Stream 3 is for 3 or more children under 13.     Band 1 is 27%, Band 2 is 26%, Band 3 is 25%, Band 4 is 24%, Band 5 is 18%.

Stream 4 is for 1 child 13+.                           Band 1 is 23%, Band 2 is 22%, Band 3 is 12%, Band 4 is 10%, Band 5 is 9%.
Stream 5 is for 2 children 13+.                       Band 1 is 29%, Band 2 is 28%, Band 3 is 25%, Band 4 is 20%, Band 5 is 13%.
Stream 6 is for 3 or more children 13+.            Band 1 is 32%, Band 2 is 31%, Band 3 is 30%, Band 4 is 29%, Band 5 is 20%.

Stream 7 is for 2 mixed age group children.      Band 1 is 26.5%, Band 2 is 25.5%, Band 3 is 22.5%, Band 4 is 19%, Band 5 is 11.5%.
Stream 8 is for 3+ mixed age group children.    Band 1 is 29.5%, Band 2 is 28.7%, Band 3 is 27.5%, Band 4 is 26.5%, Band 5 is 19%.

Lutherien, if that is pre-tax super contributions, then that will be captured in tax returns and used to increase the taxable income as from 2009-2010 tax returns.
I guess my gripe with the CSA in relation to the additional Super Contributions, is that they say it is up to the payee to do what he likes with the CS, he doesn't have to use it for the children, and it is therefore Ok for him to put the CS (and more than that actually) into his Super and then not to contribute to anything like school fees, uniform, sport, clothing etc. because he says he can't afford to.

You are right that having the pretax super added back in to his salary makes a bit of a difference to the CS calc, but I am sick of hearing that he can't afford anything for the children (other than food when they are with him) when he is able to contribute an extra $10k pa into his Super, and I pay him $5kpa in CS. And the CSA agree with this!
So if I calculate correctly and I lose in Court, the max my ex can profit is $11,000 or thereabouts, coupled with the pension of $25,000 minus tax gives a total of $30,000 per year.

Why don't payee's have to provide proof of use of funds? What can you do if you suspect your child is being neglected by funds being diverted for things like Super as in Luthien's case? Can you go back to Court to lodge another application for custody on the basis that your ex can't manage to provide for the basics like school uniforms with the funds available, and make a case of neglect?
  May I ask what pension your ex is on @ $25,000 per year? Or $961.00 per fortnight?

  A case for neglect would be near impossible to get. Are your children severely underweight or overweight, suffer from untreated illnesses, rarely attend school, exposed to DV or a proven drug addict with needles lying around the house? And most importantly do you have evidence to support this eg. police reports, doctors cert. etc.
  I'm guessing not, even if the other parent is neglectful, it is near impossible to prove. Just because you as a parent would do things differently in regards to the children, you can't control what the other does except in extreme circumstances such as above.

  A better avenue, if you are really concerned for your children is to go for fifty/fifty care, I believe this is much easier to achieve now.
?NoPerjury said
Why don't payee's have to provide proof of use of funds?……….Can you go back to Court to lodge another application for custody on the basis that your ex can't manage to provide for the basics like school uniforms with the funds available, and make a case of neglect?

From the flip side - what about where CS isn't being paid. Why can't non-payment be classed as neglect? Sure makes these basics hard to provide.  :dry:

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
Bill Cosby
 :thumbs:
In my case I have 50/50 care, and I pay CS to make up for the difference in our salaries. At the start I naively thought that the other parent would use the CS to contribute something towards the extra costs of the children, not 50/50, but something like in proportion to our different incomes….or even a token gesture every now and again…but apparently not!

The only way to achieve any contribution at all from the other parent was to use prescribed NAPs and when they ended, to apply for a COA, which reduced the CS somewhat to assist with school fees. But the reduction was still way less than a contribution in proportion to relative incomes received would be, took no account of all the other expenses I have for the children, and basically says he does not have to contribute to anything else. So he doesn't!

The children are not neglected because, where necessary, I pay for two of something and one goes to other house, or the item I paid for goes backwards and forwards between houses (and often doesn't come back at all, so I buy another one…)

I think it would be useful if the CSA published some guidelines as to what CS is supposed to cover, or assist with, because the message the other parent continually gets from the CSA is that he can do what he likes with the CS and does not have to contribute towards anything for the children, other than the food they eat when they are at his place, and so he doesn't.

  Very irritating for you. I guess the other parent doesn't have any more earning capacity?

  Can you stop buying two of everything (at least for a while) and let kids nag receiving parent to get them. See if that works. You sound like you do alot for your children, which is normal to me too. The other party probably knows you will get everything they need so instead he can invest in his retirement.

  Very sneaky of him, you will have to find out his weakness, coz he certainly knows yours. By the way your children wouldn't be "neglected" because of missing out on a few priviledges or nice things. They might think they are at the time lol!

 
Neglect is neglect. I was speaking more along the lines of minor cases of neglect being treated for their respective degree of neglect and custody apportioned accordingly.

Any child growing up under the line of normal is at risk of being bullied, something we as a society talk so much about but with little action to track the root cause and solutions.

As for child support not being paid, a parent should lose rights accordingly providing the lack of payment is not due to a poor financial situation beyond their control.

As a parent, I do everything I can to keep my ex happy so my son doesn't suffer, sometimes this means nearly cutting my left arm off.

The pension is the single parent pension of $575 + FTB a + b of $275 plus then rent assistance $125.. this is per fortnight and totals $975. These are figures from 2007.
Mh, single parent pension. Don't get me started on that one. The Single Parent Payment of about $550 or so per fortnight is considered "taxable" and is considered as "income" for people on Centrelink payments. The FTB and the rent assistance and the pharmaceutical allowance as well as child support payments are not considered "income" by the CSA. In our case the mother receives in excess of $2500 per month in payments from CSA and Centrelink without officially working and with one child in High School. Income for child support purposes is only about $14000. For $2500 net per month she would have to work a job that pays about $36000 gross. Of course she finds every excuse under the sun to not have to work if she can have the money for free. And we have to pay more because she doesn't work…..
Yep, I'm hearing you Babushka.  The mother in our case gets over $2,000 per fortnight, and only $550 of that is classed as income.  Of course, she can't work because she keeps having kids.!!  In her recent COA she stated weekly outgoings of $800/week. We wondered how she was doing this on only $225/week.  Then we learned the wonderful truth about non inclusive income. Hubby (her ex) and I would be lucky to earn $2,000/ month.  Was her COA granted?  You betcha!!
  So the pension is approx $14900 per year not $25000. You have to remember that most families (not just single mothers) are entitled to some family payments as well. The lower earner gets this payment for the child/ren. Higher single income families can still get part payment of FTB.
  I had no choice in being a single mother (of one child) when my son was 2. I worked part time so I could spend as much time as possible with my little one. I don't believe in having children and having other people look after them fulltime. So I am all for one parent staying home. My parents took it in turns.

  Ajae - How much contact does hubby have with child/ren?

  ?NoPerjury - Yes I agree about non payment of childsupport should be considered neglect and parent should lose rights, however in my case the other parent never wanted any responsibility or rights regarding our son. So it wouldn't have been effective for me.
  You just can't understand that kind of hurt (I have seen my son wait for hours with his little backpack on for his dad - refusing to come inside) unless you experience it or witness it for your own child. I am sorry but I can't forgive this. For ten years my son has endured constant rejection from his Dad. Ex has attended one school sports day and one team sports event (my son does sport every wkd), in my son's entire life. He is now 12 years old and in first year of high school. Ex has an average of between zero and 3 nights per year with our son.
  It usually takes six phonecalls (leaving msg's "can you please ring me dad?") for ex to phone son back. Or he just doesn't.

  I have now officially given up begging ex to be a part of our son's life. One day he may have regrets…

  Have you used prescribed payments so that you can make sure your child/ren at least have proper uniforms/shoes/medical needs etc. covered?
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