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17yr old under spell. The 17yr old has decided to live with his mum, and as she wants as much money as she can (and to hurt birth father), she refuses to allow him to stay with us during holidays.

Hi. I'm new to this forum and am a step mum.

My 17yr old has decided to live with his mum, and as she wants as much money as she can (and to hurt birth father), she refuses to allow him to stay with us during holidays.

The CSA formula is worked out on nights care, and because she has brainwashed him into believing it's his decision, we have no nights care and pay maximum maintenance.

We agree we should pay for his support, please don't think we don't want to pay, but the amount is what we question.

It is not our decision for him not to spend time with us, it is the mothers.  How is this fair when we have no control over nights care?

If his mother wasn't a vindictive person he would be here in a flash but he doesn't want to upset mum.

Anyone else with similar issues? We'd appreciate your input.

He's probably too old for a court order but it still causes heartache being shut out.

When 'Life' is hard and things are tough,

and you feel like you've had enough.

Remember always this one thing true,

Someone else depends on YOU.

Mums the word

This is not unusual - I am currently helping with a case that has the same circumstances. At the age the boy is there is little you can really do. You can try talking to him but that could work against you - if, as you say, he has been brainwashed. The CSA rules change in July, so your payments might decrease. At 17 there is not long to go before the payments stop.

What court orders are in place? The mother can not refuse you having him - him refusing to come is another matter. How far off 18 is he?

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 

CSA payments

In most cases CSA payments will stop at age 18, but if the child goes on to further education or trade training, the child could receive further CSA payments. I would contact the CSA and ask for the back payments that she has not paid. Any contact with the CSA must be in writing as they can 'forget' what they said to you over the phone.

Have you used the new CSA calculator on this site, to work out your payments in July.

Not having court orders makes it impossible to really change the current situation. CSA will not care about your financial hardship.

I notice you say that your husband is supporting your daughter; do you receive CSA payments for her?

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 

Mums the word

Thanks will keep watching this site as no doubt there will be some curve balls thrown at us. Thanks again.

When 'Life' is hard and things are tough,

and you feel like you've had enough.

Remember always this one thing true,

Someone else depends on YOU.
overcsa said
My 17yr old has decided to live with his mum, and as she wants as much money as she can (and to hurt birth father), she refuses to allow him to stay with us during holidays.
This is not unusual after a number of years of withholding contact and is one reason we worked so hard to have the law changed and the involvement of the Federal Magistrates to better expedite orders.

What can be done? Well Mediation may be able to assist but you will probably need a court order to make the party attend by the way the entrenched situation exists.

For the mother to "decide" contact is not appropriate and enforce a regime like this is against the law.

Take her to the "Feds" as an SRL (Self Represented Litigant"). You have remedial and almost instant action available through a Federal Magistrates Court. You would get some sort of contact orders in weeks. Even if you prepared the paper work and told her this was happening and gave her the chance to get contact going overnight then that would achieve the result.

Take a tough line here. It is the child's fundemental right to know the other parent.
overcsa said
The CSA formula is worked out on nights care, and because she has brainwashed him into believing it's his decision, we have no nights care and pay maximum maintenance.
From July 1 this changes and significant DAY care counts. How many days contact do you have? That now counts as nights care see the posts relating to this in the CSA forums.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
To SPCA.

How on earth do you propose to

1. obtain and

2. enforce

an order in respect to a 17 yo?
Although Courts make orders for younger children the reality is that in some States a child can leave home and go and live on the streets and get financial support when they are 14 years old.

Given this option the Courts will generally not interfere with the child's choice unless there are some very good and serious reasons to do so.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas.
I haven't been to court but have had legal advise, plus advice from the family law courts that my daughter who was 13 at the time would NOT be forced to live with me by the courts as she would be seen as a flight risk at her age. My 11 year old expressed a desire to live with her father for a while and I was advised that I could go to court to keep her with me but that her wishes would be taken into consideration.

My 17 year old has basically been wiped out of all discussions re contact and residents due to his age - the advice given was that he would be free to make his own mind up.

Hope that helps - it doesn't show a legally binding age but does show the thinking of the "authorities"

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
Hi Jadzia.

Yes I thought the courts would follow that line of thinking, because at that age they should be independent enough to make up their own minds.

We know we can't, nor would we want to, force him to be somewhere he doesn't want to; however we believe that he wants to spend time with us, but is afraid to because of mum's reaction.

Which brings me to the point I tiptoed around earlier, 'by making nights or days in care such a large factor in working out maintenance payments, the CSA have basically given the vindictive (and I know not all are) payee the opportunity to dig the proverbial knife in all the more'.

When 'Life' is hard and things are tough,

and you feel like you've had enough.

Remember always this one thing true,

Someone else depends on YOU.
It's a tough one overcsa. Maybe as SPCA suggests try the family relationship centres for mediation. Maybe they can help the Mother understand that it is fear of her that is preventing your son from visiting and the possible consequences (i.e growing resentment on the boys part towards her).

The added benefit of this is that even if it doesn't work your son knows you have tried everything in your means to continue a meaningful relationship with him which leaves the door open for him to contact you when he is more independant.

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
The FRC can also try to arrange a "child consult". He may refuse to attend that too, but if he does attend it may provide very useful feedback as to what the real issue is. Both parents would have to agree to it, and therein lies the difficulty. No harm in trying.
Thank you both for your input.

Yes I think I will try the FRC, even if it helps us to understand the whys.

Kids can be so cruel :'(.

At least his school is sending out reports.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who is paying child support to their 18 (or older) year old.

How does this work and what circumstances warrant it?

When 'Life' is hard and things are tough,

and you feel like you've had enough.

Remember always this one thing true,

Someone else depends on YOU.
Have a look at the family law Act at s66L.

Section 66L(1) provides that the court must not make an order for the maintenance of a child who is 18 or over unless it is satisfied that maintenance is necessary either:  

- to enable the child to complete their education, or

- because of a mental or physical disability of the child.

The court may also make a child maintenance order for a child who is 17 to take effect when the child turns 18. This is to avoid a gap in payments between the time the child turns 18 and the granting of any court order.

The court must not make an order extending beyond the day on which the child will turn 18 unless it is satisfied of one of the requirements of s 66L(1) (s 66L(2)). A child maintenance order stops being in force on the day on which the child turns 18 unless it is expressed to continue in force after then (s 66L(3)). See Rothstein v Child Support Registrar (1994) FLC 92-490.  

A child maintenance order made under s 66L stops being in force if the child ceases that education or ceases to have a disability (s 66VA(a)). The payee has a duty to inform the payer as soon as practicable of the change in circumstances (s 66VA(2)). Overpayments of maintenance may be recovered in a court having jurisdiction under Pt VII.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.
Testing-one-two.

This helps enormously, as I have heard various accounts.  But the legal verification puts my mind at rest.

If our case goes to court (which I presume it would have to, to get an extension) I feel confident that there would be no case put forward strong enough to warrant such an order.  This means we only have to survive a bit longer and then our contributions become voluntary; what we can afford or think is necessary and not what is way out of our reach, ordered by the CSA, and solely for the benefit of the payee.

Thank you so much. :thumbs:

When 'Life' is hard and things are tough,

and you feel like you've had enough.

Remember always this one thing true,

Someone else depends on YOU.
overcsa said
I would be interested to hear from anyone who is paying child support to their 18 (or older) year old.

How does this work and what circumstances warrant it?
I am also interested to hear about this as I have the unusual situation of a child who will turn 18 in grade 11. She will therefore still be in full time secondary education the following year when she turns 19 in year 12.

My understanding is that without a court order child support can only be extended until the end of the year the child turns 18 and then only if the child is in secondary education, not tertiary or trade education.

Does anyone know anything and should we start another topic as this is a bit off track for this one?



Child turning 18

Hi Katie

My Partner is in that situation at the moment.

The CSA have said that the child has to finish secondary education the year they turn 18 and there has to be written proof that the child is in full time education. Then CSA stops.

It also has to be full time education, where my step daughter is only part time.

We have had two different opinions from CSA telephone operators.

The CSA sent us out a letter saying that the step daughter was turning 18 and a letter to the mother and a request for proof she is in full time education.

If child support is to continue past the year she turns 18, if in education, the child has to apply to the courts for further support.

We are currently waiting to see if the mother applies for CSA to continue.
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