Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

Should Child Support be paid to a parent where the child no longer lives?

Add Topic
Should Child Support be paid to the biological mother when the child is 17 and working and no longer living at biological mothers house?  Also, the biological father has not been able to get in touch with the child and has no idea where that child is?
jjudimurphy said
Should Child Support be paid to the biological mother when the child is 17 and working and no longer living at biological mothers house?
There is no definite yes or no answer. It depends.

If a child is earning an income, then if that income is a significant income (over at least 224.35 for 2011) then a reason 4 COA can take the child's income into consideration. That's a simplification, the issue is more complex and like any COA likely interpreted to suit the collection of the maximum rather than the proper fair and just amount. Here's a link to the The CSA Guide - 2.6.10: Reason 4 - income of the child, where there is more detailed information.

If the child is not living at the mother's house then it is very likely that a terminating event has occurred as per:

The CSA Guide - 2.10.3: Terminating events said
Terminating event in relation to a child

A terminating event happens in relation to a child if they leave the care of all parties to the child support assessment. That is:

    both parents of the child cease to be eligible carers, i.e. they no longer have at least 35% care; and
    there is no nonparent entitled to be paid child support in relation to the child (i.e. no nonparent carer who is entitled to child support because of a child support assessment) (section 12(2AA)).

Where a child changes care and a parent or nonparent carer continues to provide at least 35% care, a terminating event has not occurred and the assessment continues. Note that the nonparent carer must have applied for child support  if a child moves into the fulltime care of a nonparent carer who has not applied for child support, there is a terminating event.

Example

M and F have been assessed in respect of the costs of their child A, and M has 100% care of A. On 2 February 2009, A moves from Ms 100% care to Fs 100% care. M advised CSA of this on 10 July 2009. This is not a terminating event but rather a change in care, as A is in the care of a party to the assessment. As the care change was notified more than 28 days after the date of event, it will only be given effect to from 10 July 2009, the date of notification.


Example

M and F have been assessed in respect of the costs of their child A, who is in Ms 60% care and Gs 40% care. G is a nonparent carer and is a party to the assessment. On 3 March 2009, A moved from Ms 60% care to Gs 100% care. M advised CSA of the care change on 19 April 2009. This is not a terminating event but rather a change in care, as A is in the care of a party to the assessment. As the care change was notified more than 28 days after the event, it will only be given effect to from 19 April, the date of notification.


Example

M and F have been assessed in respect of the costs of their child A, with M and F each having 50% care. A moves to Gs 100% care on 19 August 2009. G is not a party to the child support assessment, and does not apply for child support. F advises CSA of the care change on 29 November 2009. This is a terminating event and will take effect from 19 August 2009, the date of event.


and also :

The CSa Guide - 2.2.1: Basics of care said
Older children living away from home

Generally, older children who live independently and separately from their parents (and any non-parent carers) provide for many of their own care needs. This may include meeting their own ongoing daily needs (such as meal preparation, transport, socialising, etc) as well as making their own decisions about their daily activities, schooling and health issues. Therefore, it may be difficult to establish whether a person provides care for an older child who lives separately from that person.

Where a person provides substantial financial support to an older child living away from home, CSA will generally consider that financial support as an indicator that the person is continuing to provide care for the child. The support can be in relation to daily costs such as food, accommodation and transport, and/or in relation to longer term costs such as school fees, paying for airfares home for holidays, clothing, health and dental care, etc.

Example

M and F have one child, A, who is 16 and working part time after leaving school early. M helps A find a suitable flat and pays the bond so that A can move closer to work. M helps A to pay for rent and utilities, and assists with other expenses such as buying work clothes and arranging and paying for medical appointments. M also helps A with decisions about things like finding alternative study options for further education. Every weekend M does A's laundry and provides cooked meals for the week. CSA would determine that M continues to care for A for child support purposes despite A living separately from M.


While financial support is often a key factor in determining whether a person cares for a child who lives away from home, it will not always be the sole determinant. In cases where the financial support provided is limited, and/or where other factors exist that suggest that the person continues to care for the child, CSA will consider whether the person is actively involved in major decisions relating to the child. For example, decisions relating to the child's health, schooling, relationships, career, etc may be indicators that the person continues to provide care for the child.

Example

M and F have one child, A, who is 17 and working as an apprentice. A decides to rent a room in a share house. F helps A move in and pays the cost of petrol on the occasions A comes back for a visit. F also makes deposits into A's bank account every now and then if A needs some extra cash to make ends meet. A pays for rent, utilities and any other expenses, and shares in household chores including meal preparation and cleaning. Unless there were other relevant factors, CSA would determine that A is living independently and F does not care for A for child support purposes.


However, if the child is under the care of a non-parent carer, they can claim CS from both parents but they could have one as private collect and not actually collect thus letting that parent off paying CS.


jjudimurphy said
Also, the biological father has not been able to get in touch with the child and has no idea where that child is?
You could try getting an order for the location of the child to be made known:-

The Family Law Courts Website - Recovery Orders said
In some situations, you may ask the Court to issue other orders to help locate the child; for example:

Location order  requires a person to give the Court information about the childs location

Commonwealth Information order  requires a Commonwealth Government Department, such as Centrelink, to give the Court information about the childs location that is contained in or comes into the records of the department.

Publication order  allows the media to publish details and photographs of the missing child and the person they are believed to be with. However, each case is different and the terms of the publication order can vary. This is usually a last resort and you should seek legal advice first.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets