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am in WA and she is in ACT.  Obviously seeing child is very difficult, and with such minimal contact, CSA maintenance is high.  She will not allow me to have child for any length of time, and i anticipate the courts would rule the same way to save disruption in schools etc.

So how then can i argue to the CSA that the minimal contact is not through desire on my part, but through necessity by the courts and by selfishness on hers - to have my assessment reduced.

Secondly - just a thought on incomes.  If an ex buys a property and lives in it as a family home with new boyfriend, and new boyfriend (now legally defacto) buys investment properties, but they are careful to keep her name off title so no income is recorded, surely as a "legally defined defacto relationship" a portion of the income from the investment properties can be identified / implied as hers.  if they separated for example, and went to court, she would likely be entitled to a share as a defacto, whether her name was on title or not - so why does the CSA let ex-partners hide income this way …
ljektj said
So how then can i argue to the CSA that the minimal contact is not through desire on my part, but through necessity by the courts and by selfishness on hers - to have my assessment reduced.
The short answer is you cannot as basically there is no argument. The CSA does little if anything to enforce the rights of a child to know and be cared for by it's parents. The CSA will only really consider the level of care when applying the formula.

However if you were to get an agreed parenting plan or court orders then the CSA would have to go by these unless you were not attempting to meet the contact regime. I would suggest that you consider your child's humane rights to know and be cared for by it's parents and look to working out a means to facilitate this.

The first port of call would be to work out what is possible and put together some workable scenarios. My son used to be in Port Macquarie, I'm in Southern Sydney/Southern Highlands. I had 1 weekend per month and half of the school holidays, which equated to 66 nights. Initially we took it in turns to drive to changeover, this was then converted to my son flying. If you are close to an airport then I couldn't see why this wouldn't be an option. However age is another factor that has to considered, younger children result in more complications the younger they are (e.g. 5 years olds can't fly unaccompanied, babies would probably be unsuitable for overnight stays).

With your what is possible and workable scenarios your second port of call would be a FRC (Family Relationship Centre). This is mediation and it may result in an acceptable agreement called a parenting plan. If lodged with the CSA this would then be the basis of the level of care. However it would be advisable, if the parenting plan is acceptable, to have this converted to and filed as court orders (consent orders). It holds more weight, such as being enforceable.

If you do not establish an acceptable agreement through the FRC, then it's on to the courts (you need a certificate from a FRC to say you've done the mediation before you can go to court except in exceptional circumstances). The courts if allowed to decide are making better and better decision in general and children are frequently getting access to their fathers. I'll leave specifics to those better qualified. However my suggestion is to consider joining the SRL-Resource (Click on Community at the top and then on SRL-Resource to the left). The SRL-Resource may be able to help you help yourself.

With regard to the latter question, I think, but I'm not sure that being a de-facto is basically the same and thus the other parent should have a share of the income from any financial resources factored in. However the CSA works in wonderous ways at times and often the real deciding factor appears to be what increases the FTB clawback the most (i.e. for every $1 transferred as CS the FTB is reduced by 50c). You should certainly look toward a reason 8 change of assessment, which encompasses financial resources. You may also be able to claim contact expenses (reason 1 Change of Assessment), if those contact expenses are greater than 5% of your taxable income for the period, this could also include telephone contact costs. If you have less than regular care (14%) this can also include costs such as staying at a hotel (such costs are disregard at or above regular care as this is deemed to be included in the reduction).

You may wish to look at the CSA's guide with regard to these matters, here's a few links :-

The CSA guide reason 1 - high costs in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, a child

The CSA Guide reason 8 - a parents income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity

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