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Overnight care and care percentage

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I have my child 3 days every week, on two of those days I have for 13hrs to 14hrs of the day, CSA tells me the legislation in regards to care percentages requires overnight stays, I believe that the childs other parent is just trying to maximise their family tax and child support, whilst I believe I am being the carer 3 days a week.  When i lookeded up the legislation in under care, sect 49 paragraph 2, a notes states, "Generally, a person's percentage of care is worked out, based on the number of nights" etc, it doesnt specifically state overnight, so is this rule strictly binding or just general, the other days I dont have my child i work night shift any way so I wonder if that makes a diffeerence. Any Thoughts.  
Jamsandwich,
                  the legislation does not only allow for overnight's to be considered, as you yourself have discovered. I believe that this has in fact been to SSAT (Social Securities Appeal Tribunal) and the CSA decision to exclude daytime care overruled, although this decision hasn't as yet been published, there should be a post somewhere here in regards to this. I believe the CSA now have to use iether their incorrect method of calculating care percentages or if you go to Family Assistance Office their method which correctly includes day time care. Therefore I'd recommend going to Family Assistance Office to have your level of care calculated.

Here's what the June 2009 e-leltter to parents says :-

CSA E-Letter to Parents said
 Alignment of care determinations between CSA and the Family Assistance Office

The Family Assistance Office and the Child Support Agency (CSA) currently determine the level of care used to calculate your family assistance and child support payments in different ways.

The Australian Government recently announced plans to improve the process and align the rules used for determining care levels for separated parents who are both child support and family assistance customers.

From 1 July 2010, separated parents will be able to have care determinations, or any update to care arrangements, made at one agency  either the CSA or Family Assistance Office. The other agency will simply recognise your level of care or change in circumstance and update your case details.

It will apply to all care determinations made on or after 1 July 2010.

By aligning the rules for determining care levels, the Government aims to reduce conflict between parents, and remove the strain on parents who have to deal with two agencies and two different sets of rules.

These changes will also make it easier for parents to update their details when their circumstances change and reduce objections and appeals resulting from separate determinations made in each agency.

More information and a fact sheet is available online at www.fahcsia.gov.au or visit www.csa.gov.au

Thus you will simply and more pertinently, rightly have the extra 100 or so nights care taken into consideration and then that the fuller principal object of the legislation,
Section 4(1) of the Child Support Assessment Act 1989 said
to ensure that children receive a proper level of financial support from their parents
, will be put into effect.

Resorting to a system that denies calculation of this portion of care (i.e. dily care), and which is blatantly contrary to the legislation and it's clear objective by way of section 4(1) is, in my opinion, proof yet again of the CSA's very systemic refusal to consider the support of the children and rather to resort to pushing collection amounts as high as they can, they are forsaking their very existence and name for the sake of another agenda that of collecting financially at the cost of children. If I or you were to attempt such an act I have little doubt that we would be branded as callous persons willing to exploit children for monetary gain.

If the above does not work then you should seek to take the matter to SSAT, perhaps to also seek compensation from the CSA for their refusal to apply the legislation and to thus not comply with yet more objectives of the legislation (section 4(2)© ) which states;
Section 4(2)(c) of the Child Support Assessment Act 1989 said
that persons who provide ongoing daily care for children should be able to have the level of financial support to be provided for the children readily determined without the need to resort to court proceedings

Last edit: by MikeT

Jamsandwich,

If you want to get the correct percentages in place. Work it out based on hours and then see if the ex will agree. If so then both of you inform CSA.

If ex does not agree do not wait another year, instead:

1. Object to CSA's decision on the care percentages they have determined.

2. Apply to family assistance to have care percentages determined by hours or care instead of nights etc… They too may resist this due to their methodologies however their legislation allows for hours of care in calculating care percentages.

3. CSA may acknowledge your objection given the the ruling from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal earlier this year. The decision in on this site - down load it and send it to them.

4. If they ignore you then appeal to the SSAT with the same argument.

5. If the SSAT fails you then appeal to the AAT.

Given the decision mentioned earlier from the AAT I can't see the issue going back to them.

:) Thankyou for the infomation Its really helpful. Its what I have been looking for, I am off to chat with a CSA rep today and then will see how things go.
Note for Secretary_SPCA, what if each parent goes to separate bodies (e.g. "lives with parent" goes to CSA to adopt their "increase the CS to the maximum possible" calculation process, whilst the "spends time with" parent goes to the fairer FAO). Which decision is used? One agency over the other, last in counts, first in counts or perhaps constant changing as each goes to the other?

Surely the only correct way is that both adopt the same method of determining the level of care and that if need be that the legislation is changed (not that I think it needs to be, but admit I'm not at all cluey about the Family Tax legislation).

P.S. Good luck JamSandwich
MikeT said
Note for Secretary_SPCA, what if each parent goes to separate bodies (e.g. "lives with parent" goes to CSA to adopt their "increase the CS to the maximum possible" calculation process, whilst the "spends time with" parent goes to the fairer FAO). Which decision is used? One agency over the other, last in counts, first in counts or perhaps constant changing as each goes to the other?

Surely the only correct way is that both adopt the same method of determining the level of care and that if need be that the legislation is changed (not that I think it needs to be, but admit I'm not at all cluey about the Family Tax legislation).
My understanding is that both will be the same and there is much work currently being done by FaHCSIA and Child Support to alignment of systems in both. I am pretty sure this has been raised at the CSNSEG forum and I will scan back over some of the issues registers.


Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Hay jamsandwich - you can find that AAT decision under this heading on here - General discussion of AAT decisions.
The CSA determined that I have 42% care (6 nights out of every14). The FTB people determined I have just over 35% when you calculate on an hourly basis - as requested by my ex. Two government agencies using different methods. I prefer the CSA method. I imagine that at some point in the future both will align with the FTB method.
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