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Multi-Case Allowance Concerns

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A concern I have about the CSA "multi-case Allowance".

I recently received notification from CSA that my ex is now on a "multi-case Allowance". I contacted CSA to ask what this was about.

CSA were contacted by my ex claiming he was now "separated" and he is "paying" his partner child support.

Whilst I can prove that he still resides with his partner and their child and they are in fact in a "marriage-like" relationship, it is of no concern to CSA "apparently". As long as he claims he is separated and paying her that's all the proof they need to maintain the "multi-case Allowance". I have asked for the objection to be pressed further.

This is a chap that earns aprox. $40K per year, has major care of our two children, has a child with this "separated" partner, selling his house etc etc. Perhaps with the help of Centrelink Payments he could afford to pay child support to her but still…

It is a concern to me mainly because he has told me nothing about separating from this person, he and I have shared responsibility for OUR two children, yet if they need to maintain "separate lives" who is looking after our children if she shouldn't be?

I could ring CSA and say I'm separated now, show a letter from my parents saying I'm living with my partner till I find a suitable place to live, get a separate bank account etc etc…start claiming single parenting payment for say one of my children, whilst my partner "keeps" the other and he too claims the single parenting payment..all the while we aren't really separated now are we ;)  But this is not how I operate.

How can I protect myself from any additional cases that my ex adds to CSA?

How easy is it to say that you're in a relationship with someone, had their child, lived with them for a while, separated, paying child support now (where in fact you aren't - maybe paying them grocery money) and such when Jane Doe is just someone helping you with a claim, the child is really Fred Smiths and that Jack Jones is pulling the wool over your eyes?

This post may sound like a rant however, it's more about finding a way to protect myself and others who have fallen into the loop hole.
I think you're right that it's a rant, primarily because if the multi-case allowance didn't apply then the relevant dependant allowance would apply. Also, considering, according to other posts that you have made, that you have said you're not working and on benefits that they would make no difference at all anyway. It also appears to be weird, unless you have at least three sets of children to different other parents, that you have implied that the other parent is on parenting payment single in another post.

Considering what you have said here's some calculation results.

In both results the other parent has been given an ATI (Adjusted taxable income) of 40K. There are 5 children, all under 13. 2 are from your relationship with the other partner (the CS children), 2 from your current relationship and 1 from the other parent's current (first result i.e. Relevant dependant child) and expired (second result multi-case child) relationship. I have assumed a 299/66 split in all cases (i.e. regular care to the parent without the primary care).

For result 1 you would pay the minimum CS for the 1 case which is $6.90 per week. The relevant dependant amount, not that it makes a difference, is calculated at $3465.

For result 2 you would pay the minimum CS for 1 case which is $6.90 per week. The other parent would pay $26.72 per week CS to the third parent. The multi-case allowance applied against the case between yourself and the other parent would be $1834 (not that this applies anyway).

Assuming that you were to do the same thing and separate, assuming your current partner has an income of 40K. Then still you would pay the minimum CS of $6.90 per week to the other parent. However as you are not earning above the SSA (Self support Amount) no multi-case allowance would apply (i.e. you have $0 CS income to be input into the cost of children tables and thus will have $0 cost of children). You would however receive $85.21 per week in CS from the latest partner.

So actually what you believe to be a scam against yourself, or a loop hole, would in fact not be so. However I do admit that I'm a little bit rusty with CS calculations and that I have had to make some guesses as to the scenario on which to perform the calculations.
Thanks for the feedback MikeT.

The facts.

My ex is receiving single parenting pension whilst living with his partner who is also receiving the single parenting pension.

Both claim they are separated. The ex has verbally announced to CSA that he is paying his partner child support.

My concerns are not with how much more child support I will need to pay. And yes, the amount would be minuscule.

My concern is more about how easy it is for people to say they are separated but are in fact not.




Mermaidiannav,
                        I can't see how you can claim that this chap is on 40K when in another breath you claim he's on Government benefits. I do agree that the CSA frequently too readily accept what parents say about their situation, without doubt most frequently recipients over the liable parent. This highlights the very readily seen observation that the CSA is primarily concerned with what they can collect and transfer and thus claim as reductions in FTB paid i.e. all but in words a tax on being a working non-primary parent of separation. However the other parent and the other parent of the other parent's child must have both convinced not only the CSA, but also Centrelink that the separation is legitimate. Likely not the easiest of tasks if their addresses are the same. I'd suggest that rather than the CSA, your gripe, if it has foundation, should rather be with Centrelink (I believe the CSA would cross check with Centrelink anyway).

I can't really see why you show concern that the other parent's other parent is involved in the care of your children as from what you say the other parent is on a single parent pension and would therefore not be working, or only working part time or in an industry that is very poorly paid and likely in breach of the minimum payment legislation. However I believe that shared responsibility normally has two components day to day responsibility which is normally given to the parent with the care at the time and long term care which is what is shared responnsibility. Thus for day to day decisions such as who has care of the child, the parent with the care has the responsibility to make such decisions.

My son when with the other parent spends time with the other parent's family without my knowledge, likewise the other parent accepts that at times my son spends time with other members of my family without the other parent's knowledge. I believe that my son benefits from such arrangements. I believe that the less control a parent tries to enforce the more control that the parent actually ends up having and more importantly that the resultant control obtained is far better for all involved.
You can still get Govt. benefits if you earn up to approx. $43K per year.






Thanks mermaidinnav, I didn't realise you could get parent payment single at such a high wage (I thought it was linked to something like 15 hours work). However, after having a quick look it would only be part payment not that I can easily see what that amount would be. Also at 40K rather than the all too often $0 of parents of 5-7 year olds the other parent is doing the right thing in regards to both financial responsibility and in setting a good example of societal responsibility.

Should you perhaps not recognise some of the good aspects? One of the major complaints that the spends time with parents frequently object to is the bad societal impression given to their children of the lives with parent who does not act responsibly in the above ways.

Oh and this is something I found in regards to being separated but living in the same house:-

It's called separated under one roof.

The status is generally approved on the basis that the situation is not long term, and proof of the separation will be sought.
Centrelink will ask to see medicare cards, bills, bank statements, 3rd parties who can verify (e.g. counsellors, doctors etc hold more weight but friends and relatives may help too) There are specific forms to complete.
Some offices will process them on site, but most offices will forward the paperwork to a specialised team to make the assessment.
It might be a difficult process because the information that will be requested is quite in-depth and may seem invasive but its 'important to provide as much information as possible so that a decision can be made.
I've not disregarded nor not recognised good aspects.

I was hoping for more enlightening information which you have provided and for that I am thankful.

And on a side note, hypothetically speaking of course.

If you were separated under one roof knowing the arrangement was not long term, would you notify the children of the separation? Or would you assume "business as usual"

I know contributing factors may include the age, maturity, bond etc of those involved.

I am looking for information here at FLWB that can help me learn more about the transitions of separation anxiety. Would you be able to direct me to any particular advice?

Thanks,

 

Mermainiannav said
If you were separated under one roof knowing the arrangement was not long term, would you notify the children of the separation? Or would you assume "business as usual"

uhhm there's so many factors. However say in my current situation that my wife and I considered this for financial reasons and we had the temerity to do this for financial reasons then I would actually tell my son, who's 12. I would also explain to the other parent that is what I'm doing (noting that this makes it an even harder decision due to the risk). My guess is that the other parent would go with this (however then there are considerations that others who would then be in the know may be a risk). I mention my son's age because this is a significant factor, children at age 5 and 7 are perhaps too young to understand such things, there again the relationships with the parents and the children would also be a factor. To be honest I don't think I could do such a thing as if I did I'd be looking behind me (well in all directions) all the time. Every phone call would worry me etc etc etc etc.

(p.s. I consider this response not fully thought out, it could take me days, weeks or months to fully consider all the various factors.)


Mermaininnav said
I am looking for information here at FLWB that can help me learn more about the transitions of separation anxiety. Would you be able to direct me to any particular advice?
You could click on the search tab and enter +separation +anxiety (+ before a word means that word has to exist, - means that the word mustn't exist). There's 5 pages worth (although different levels of access may result in you retrieving fewer).

If this is an important issue then I believe that FLWG has access to a psychologist (hope I got the term correct) who may be able to assist. Hopefully Secretary_SPCA will assist if you feel that this is an option you wish to follow.
mermaidiannav, you have brought up an important issue. Since the csa brought in this change (very recently) it has actually in my opinion encouraged an increased incidence of fraud.
My ex who earns a good income has suddenly separated from his wife with whom he has one child. This implementing of multi case allowance/cap has decreased his CS by $2000 per annum and when our son turns thirteen, he will save $4000 per year. This represents the difference between multicase cap and relevant dependant child amount.

His wife will receive an extra $24000 in centrelink benefits - single parent pension and ftb a and b.

They are still living as members of a couple.

I also know of several others abusing the system with the multicase cap and pretending to be separated. It is more of a bonus to these centrelink rip offs that this legislation was brought in - now they save on cs as well.

If CSA don't want to know (yes i informed them and got the same result as you) maybe centrelink will.

Moderator Note!
Warning the above information and calculations provided by Babygirl are incorrect

(as explained below).

Last edit: by MikeT

babygirl said
mermaidiannav, you have brought up an important issue. Since the csa brought in this change (very recently) it has actually in my opinion encouraged an increased incidence of fraud.
My ex who earns a good income has suddenly separated from his wife with whom he has one child. This implementing of multi case allowance/cap has decreased his CS by $2000 per annum and when our son turns thirteen, he will save $4000 per year. This represents the difference between multicase cap and relevant dependant child amount.

His wife will receive an extra $24000 in centrelink benefits - single parent pension and ftb a and b.

They are still living as members of a couple.

I also know of several others abusing the system with the multicase cap and pretending to be separated. It is more of a bonus to these centrelink rip offs that this legislation was brought in - now they save on cs as well.

If CSA don't want to know (yes i informed them and got the same result as you) maybe centrelink will.

Babygirl,
           I don't believe that your calculations are at all correct and certainly don't take into consideration the other parent's current situation. Assuming that you have been successful in persuading the CSA that you ex is earning the 70k then using what you have previously said (your son is 10 or 12, 12 in most cases but with 8 years CS to go he must be 10????, with no contact as the ex wants no part in your son's life, that is except of course the contact that you say he also has????, but this is still under regular care so that has been assumed, that there is another 1 child (the now mutli-case child but previously the Relevant dependant). I have made the highest cost in regards to multi-case allowance/cap, that is that there is no contact between the mulit-case child (even though I cannot see how this could be if they live under the same roof)).

At 70k before multi-case the other parent would be paying $6924 in CS, after multi-case the other parent would be paying $10456 in CS, $5941 to yourself and $5941 to the other parent.

Now if the 40k that you previously spoke of for the other parent's income applies then the amounts are obviously reduced, pre mc would be $2876, whilst post mc would be $4305 of which you would get $2446 (a $430 difference in what you get).

To get the $2000 difference you have asserted is the case your ex would have to be earning something like $143k, However even if that were not the case, then it still does not not equate to a $4k difference when the CS child becomes 13, the difference becomes about $3200 although this is again greatly overshadowed by the total difference in CS paid between relevant dependant and multi-case. In fact the 4k difference, based upon the children involved never comes into play due to the cost of children cap.

The above calculations have been based upon both "lives with" parents earning less than the self support amount. If this were not the case then this would only serve to further reduce the CS liability and thus the differences and the reported issue(sic).

Furthermore in previous posts you have scolded the the other parent's partner for not wanting to pay for your child. Your example above obviously omits any consideration for her child and shows that your condemnation of this practice should apply to yourself.
First of all love the big red writing.

I have the letters from cs here so I don't need to worry about trying to do calculations that is your area of interest mike t.

I also don't need to disclose any exact income or ages although you can probably ascertain that if my son is about to turn thirteen, then yes it is apparent to most that he is 12.

You are obviously a bit confused but please don't try to make me look the fool. I do have two stepsons who are 11 and 10 (and my partner has regular care of them) perhaps that is where you went wrong?

Yes my ex's wife has always had a problem with cs, that is why they are pretending to be separated. I am not to be condemned for not being considerate of her childs needs. The system just seems to look after those who do the wrong thing. Oh and she never had to pay CS, she doesn't work - my ex does (just to be clear I do not have an issue with her not working at all - just with your wording.)

I did not need to persuade CS that he earnt the extra $70000 that he failed to tell CSA, it is clear on his tax return that he did.
Babygirl said
You are obviously a bit confused but please don't try to make me look the fool. I do have two stepsons who are 11 and 10 (and my partner has regular care of them) perhaps that is where you went wrong?

I'm not confused at all. You have clearly fabricated data to support your flawed argument. It is you yourself who have made yourself the fool, sheesh the calculators, which have been verified and are even used by some in the CSA, are available on here, you only had to use them and your fabrication could have been more convincing.
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