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Reasonable costs for support of children

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Hi All,

I have an appeal in the FMC againast a decsion by the SSAT and one of the issues was they rejected my argument about establishing grounds for high cost to spend time with a child.

I have 3 boys. Ages 15, 18 and 20. The 18 year old is still covered for CS by a change of assessment.

One of the things the SSAT said was that I should only be entitled to live in a 2 bed apartment to accommodate the visits. I have the children every 2nd week for 3 nights. They seems to suggest that I should keep the 3 boys in one bedroom when they visit. They are used to having their own rooms at their mothers home and occasionally when they visit me they like to bring friends.

Does anyone know any precedents or parts of the Act that set out what is reasonable in this regard?

Also the SSAT suggsted that I could only claim around $30 per visit for food costs. That is $10 per day/night for 3 big boys or $1.10 each per meal. Again, does anyone know any precedents or parts of the Act that set out what is reasonable in this regard?

Last edit: by MikeT


I would like to say that you should receive more reasonable or favourable treatment from the FMC than the SSAT or C$A.

The only part of the CS Assessment Act that I know of that relates to your case is section 117.

Good luck
Well, after a very sleepless night I have been through my first session in front of the FMC as part of a "mention".

The magistrate had 34 mentions on his list this morning so the chances of getting anything heard in detail was not likely. It was machine gun case hearing.

As my appeal is against a series of erroneous decisions by the SSAT it can only be appealed in the FMC on a matter of law. My application clearly stated what sections of the law I was appealing (which were mainly sub-sections of S117 of the CS Assessment Act). The first thing the magistrate did was to remind me that the appeal had to be on a matter of law and asked me to justify where the SSAT had erred in interpreting the law. As soon as I started to give my reasons I was told that I was making arguments based on fact.

I argued that the facts were used in the application of the law and that the 2 were intertwined and that in order to argue that the law had been misapplied, I would need to show that the facts had been misinterpreted. The magistrate cut me off dead on that one. He said that I had to demonstrate that the Tribunal had misinterpreted the law but could not use fact as the basis of doing it. I was not prepared for the argument and I thought he was about to throw the case out completely.

My final "plea" was that I was convinced that I could show that the Tribunal had misapplied the law and that I would like to be given the chance to demonstrate it. Reluctantly a date for a hearing was set (in November) but the magistrate warned me that if I could not demonstrate that the SSAT has misapplied the law that I may have costs awarded against me. It was just a warning but he was giving me a strong hint that if I tried to argue on matters of fact that this might be the outcome.

The problem is that the law is used to interpret the facts and the facts are analysed in applying the law. The 2 are so closely interlinked that it is difficult to know the line to take to get the message across, especially for a lay person.

So now I need to get some advive on how to argue that the SSAT decision was erroneous in the application of the law and would welcome any advice along these lines.

Thanks to everyone that has helped me to get this far. Everyone's advice has been well received and very mush appreciated. I have spent weeks preparing for this case and the thought that it could have been thrown out before I even got to argue my case is very daunting. Maybe the mounds of paperwork I had at court were enough for the magistrate to believe my argument that I should be given the chance to have a go???

Last edit: by Artemis

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