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Private arrangement - now leading to COA??

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I would appreciate some advice….
situation is my husband is a full time stay at home parent with our 2 children aged 3 & 4. his son is 12 yo and we have care for 124 nights per year (every weekend and 20 nights of holidays)

We have no requirement to pay ANY child support as husband's taxable income is $0.

For last 2 years we have been paying $25 per week, plus all school expenses, sport and other activities, including holidays, birthday parties etc.

I work full time, we have mortgage, car, (don't own either) no assets in husband's name. husband has hobby selling on e-bay, no taxable income though for last 2 years. ok, mother is on disability pension, and has now decided she cannot live on that and called to say she is seeking COA through CSA and she was advised by CSA on phone about 6 months ago that she has a case…..

Due to the fact that she is disabled and living in poverty and we are comfortable and can afford holidays, house, car, food etc. as his son has been on holidays with her and us, i said sn't it all about son enjoying life and getting to go on holidays whether it is mum or dad?? i asked if son was affected by living 'differently' with her, initially she said, no, i just can't buy him all the things like technology, since then she has changed and said 'well if i don't have bread and milk, son might not care, but I do, and how I feel does affect him'. i am annoyed as although i feel for her situation i am not responsible for looking after her, our responsibility is for son, and if necessary we can have him full time, or at least for school weeks.

I do not want to go through CSA again, we have in the past and it is very time consuming and invasive and doesn't seem to be about finding the truth. so do i just let the process go through with CSA, knowing that it will more than likely assess as $0 or less than $25 per week and then we just pay that?? by the way, the mother also called to ask me to keep paying the $25 per week and if CSA don't assess more than $25, can i keep paying that anyway????

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

I'd suggest that you inform the other parent that you will either pay the amount assessed by the CSA, which would be $0 (due to low income and then the level of care being greater than 14% negating the minimum rate of CS), or the $25 (or $0 or whatever amount you feel is acceptable).

My reasoning is that I have my suspicions about the other parent's motives as the level of care at (34%) is one where your partner will get no FTB (35% being the line) and thus that the other parent will be in receipt of 100% FTB, but minimising the cost of supporting the child by letting your partner have such a high level of care.

Of course you could always offer to take the burden of caring for the child which would, according to the other parent's purported inability to purchase esential staples form the FTB payments for the child, greater increase that parent's ability to provide for them-self.

Perhaps you should consider calling in child protection services for the disclosed neglect.

Last edit: by MikeT

The other option could be a limited child support agreement. That way if she does agree to the $25 as MikeT said, you don't have to worry about her going for COA for the next 3 years and ignoring any sort of verbal arrangement you might have had.
Burbs said
The other option could be a limited child support agreement.
One of the requirements for a Limited agreement is that there is a current assessment in place, there appears to not be one in this case. Furthermore if circumstances change and the notional assessment changes by 15% or more from the previous notional assessment then the agreement can be terminated by either party. This could perhaps be more bother than formula based assessment and in all reality, due to the amount of CS agreed upon having to be as much as a notional assessment, much the same as CS assessment.

In my original post I forgot to say that without CS assessment, except in special circumstances, the other parent may not be getting the full amount of FTB as only part the base of part A is paid, if I recall correctly, if there is no CS assessment (this is all linked to the FTB claw-back, i.e. for $1 paid in CS FTB is reduced by 50c). As such the reason for this request could be to benefit from the full amount of Part A FTB as opposed to just the base part A.
I think I could be missing something. Why would there be a COA application if there was no assessment? I was under the impression that there is no requirement to pay any child support due to the income being below the Self Support Amount and there being at least regular care...
Burbs said
Why would there be a COA application if there was no assessment?

My assumption was that the original poster isn't that well versed with the CSA and likely considers that the private agreement was an assessment as such and that to change this equates to a change of assessment.

If you think about it "Change of Assessment" is not a very good description of what is a departure away from solely formula based assessment and is perhaps more an indication of the CSA's lack of consideration or understanding of the average customer or alternately perhaps an indication of a willingness of the CSA's to obfuscate in order to abuse their power. It certainly doesn't accurately reflect the respective legislation.

If you look at what a departure does, it substitutes something in place of what is in the basic formula.  Section 35C then provides that the assessment should be made taking into account that substituted piece of information when making an assessment.

What you end up with is an assessment that is different to the assessment that was in place before the departure.  I think most people would recognise that as a change to the assessment.
Eclipse said
What you end up with is an assessment that is different to the assessment that was in place before the departure.  I think most people would recognise that as a change to the assessment.

However, there are other changes  that may occur, that change an assessment that are not via a departure. Such as a change to the level of care or an income estimate. Such changes  change an assessment generally by way of set administrative processes that require little other than an administrative decision. However, a departure is quite distinct from those more administrative changes. A departure requires a far greater legislative consideration, or at least they should do. A Departure is basically a court order hence why Part 6A, then refers to the decisions allowable under Division 4 of Part 7. Furthermore a departure that sets the annual rate, under 98S(a), does not then resort to the formula at all. By the definition/explanation that you have provided, a departure under 98S(a) is not a change to an assessment but is in fact entirely a replacement of formula based assessment.
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