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Reason 8 and care level

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Hi everyone,

My husband and his ex have had a mutual agreement for the past 3 years. She quit her job, without a valid reason, even considering buying a house. She lodged for CSA collect and got a 0 income, whilst at past assessments she earned around 75k. We never went CSA collect but she requested assessments and that was fine by us. She now changed the level of care to 0%, which is a lie. We used to pay 1100 plus private health and travel costs of approx 400 per months after she moved. CSA now wants to collect 1900 each month plus areas owing (1600 all up), as she reckons he hasn't paid her for the past months. We provided CSA with evidence on payments made to her account, air fares and private health details, to proof the level of care and payments. We had them 43 days so far this year and were supposed to have them for Xmas. The agreed dates for next year add up to 59 nights. Despite evidence and agreements, she doesn't agree to the level of care and doesn't agree to further visitation above 53 nights this year. She found excuses for them not to visit us last school holidays also. We also have evidence on this.

We can not afford the extra 900 dollar per month for her to sit on her bump and even to buy house. I started law school recently and I am not eligible for HECS. We are looking at down grading our already small apartment to a 1 bedroom and we will cancel private health.

I know I can apply under reason 8, capacity to earn! How likely will this be granted? Also I am hoping that they will recognize the evidence provided for the level of care. We will otherwise ask her to attend mediation and court to draw up parenting orders, but I am not sure if this will be successful, even though she is most probably going to deny access to receive higher payments. The oldest is almost 15 and while the youngest is 10.

Also, as she moved away, wouldn't she be reliable for at least 50 percent of the travel costs?

Given that they recognize the evidence and our objection on reason 8 (coa) the estimate would drop to 1100, which we already pay and we will cancel private health and try to include the travel costs, as they are above 5 percent of dhs income for these days.

Any suggestions or advice?

Sent from my iPhone
I would question her capacity to earn, unless of course if she has a disabilty which limits her earning capacity.
It sounds like you have quite a bit of evidence to change your level of care, but I think if you might need something legal drawn up for further access to the children if she won't let you see them more than 53 days a year.

Best of luck.

Just reading thru this posts it seems there is a general bias with CSA to work in favor of the parent with more level of care.
While you still have  a recent pattern of care you should consider getting orders for care in court. You will need to do mediation first, but court orders will give you a stronger position when C$A assess you based on care.

If she only recently moved the children away without your consent, you could also object to that to in the orders, and the court may order her to return.

You should not sit on this, as time passes, you lose your recent pattern of care as evidence you even HAD some care. And for the sake of the kids too.

To question her capacity to earn you will need to prove (not just hint) that her MAJOR reason for restructuring her employment was to get more CS. This can be difficult if you dont have a recording of her admitting it.

i assume by now you have taken some action of some sort….
Just read this on my findings for my recent COA regarding "Reason 8" when I questioned that the other parents earning capacity ( she works only 22 hrs a week).

"The child support legislation provides that a decision determining a person's earning capacity to earn an income can only be made if the following 3 criteria are met:

1. The parent is either:
- not working despite ample opportunity to do so or
- has reduced his or her hours of work to below full time work for their occupation or industry, or
- has changed his or her occupation, industry or work pattern

AND

2. The parent's decision not to work, to reduce the number of hours worked or to change his or her occupation, industry or work pattern is not justified by either
- his or her caring responsibilities
- his or her state of health

AND

3. The parent has failed to show that the decision about his or her work arrangements was not substantially motivated by the effect this would have on the child support assessment"

Hope this information has helped you to decide whether to question the other parent's earning capacity.

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