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Ex wife's decisions changing our good relationship

Over the past 7 years we have had a 50/50 care arrangement in place and my ex would send me a bill for 50 percent of the costs and I would happily pay it. If I had costs then she would pay. When we divorced we both had the same teaching quailificatons and one child. Everything was fair because we had similar incomes an costs.

Over the last two years my ex wife has had two children to different fathers an has decided to become a stay at home mother. This has changed her income substantially. I believe this is her decision.

We still have 50/50 care but now the amount the CSA is asking me to pay an amount hat has dramatically increasesed. My ex wife is saying she now wants me to pay the full amount the CSA has assessed. She is saying her FTB is worked out using this formula.

I find this entire thing to be insulting on many levels. We have had a great and equal relationship for years and I don't see why this should change because of her life choices. She could still be teaching and earning the same as me but she has decided no to. Why should this effect me?

I am looking into a binding agreement but I am not sure if this would fix the FTB situation. I really don't want to deal with all of this because I liked the fair approach we have had for years- it was fair. This is government intruding on people's lives and making matters worse. It's so sad that our good relationship has changed because of money. I shouldn't have to pay money to this woman in weeks where she doesn't even see my daughter because she is with me.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Fergus said

I find this entire thing to be insulting on many levels. We have had a great and equal relationship for years and I don't see why this should change because of her life choices. She could still be teaching and earning the same as me but she has decided no to. Why should this effect me?

 
You've just neatly encapsulated the major problem with the CS scheme. If you were married still and she decided to leae work it would be a joint decidion and it would be made it the full knowledge of the consequences, including that of having a lower income.

However, the moment that marriage is ended, a woman who has children is immediately given carte blanche to make whatever decisions she wants to, while the separated father of her children is expected to pay for them, with no way of having any say. From the time of conception the father is committed to being a cash cow for the mother for the next 18 years. Even if he argues not to procedd with the pregnancy, there is no avenue for him to disavow his legal obligation, while she has a major incentive to continue, even if she is not especially interested in having a child.

In my own case, my ex suddenly decided (after we separated) that she'd like to go to uni full-time (to study social work, her 3rd degree -the previous ones were Visual Arts related, and to get the extra money that Centrelink provides), while I put my own uni (engineering, which I had been doing part-time for 3 years before we separated) on hold because I couldn't afford it. Of course, I couldn't afford it because I was paying nearly 25% more CS than the formula required thanks to a "capacity to earn" determination by the execrable and seriously incompetent Judith Williams, an extortionist who works as a contract thug for the CSA in Brisbane. Moreover, I couldn't afford the time or the energy required, since I had to work 60 hours a week plus just to pay the bills and I still have a significant tax debt from tha time, since it was simply impossible to keep up.

That particularly egregious piece of discrimination really got my goat and I've never once cooperated with the CSA since. The organisation is flawed in its conception and is staffed by people who wilfully and routinely break the law in pursuing a vicious agenda against separated fathers.

The only possible thing to do with it is to abolish it and start over.
Fergus said
I am looking into a binding agreement but I am not sure if this would fix the FTB situation.

There are two separate issues in regards to the FTB situation. One is the FTB-Claw back, that is for every $1 paid in CS the FTB is reduced by 50c. A binding agreement that say, resulted in $0 payments would be a remedy for this, but could be dependant upon the second issue.

The second issue is due to:

Income from child support and spousal maintenance - The Maintenance Action Test said
To get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A for children of a previous relationship, reasonable action to obtain child support must be taken. This is known as the Maintenance Action Test. Blind pensioners are exempt from the Maintenance Action Test.

i.e. the FTB part A will be reduced to $52.64. As such, perhaps a binding agreement above $0, perhaps $1, could be the answer to maximising the FTB. However, I'm not conversant with the underlying legislation that is the basis of the provided interpretation.

However, I would suspect due to the requirements of a binding agreement, that both parties have to agree, and especially considering that the CS loss would be greater than the FTB gain, that the other parent would agree to a binding agreement. I would suggest that due to the changed position and that CS is in fact grossly unfair, due to it being based upon a ridiculously high child cost, as briefly explained below, that you should not pay any other amounts to the other parent unless the other parent has this enforced by the way of a change of assessment. An exception would be Prescribed NAPs (Non-Agency Payments). You may wish to have a look at the relevant section of the CSA guide, so here's a link Chapter 5.3: Non-agency payments, crediting lump sum payments and offsetting liabilities

With regard to the cost of the child, cost of children. The basis for this is an amount in excess of $500,000 for the average child at a time when the average wage was under $50,000. It takes very little to easily conclusively determine that the average family could not afford to spend such an amount and to also live the average life. The basis of the research(sic) underlying this is basically one of accumulating related child costs. However, subsequent research that has taken an approach based upon real-life/situational data compared the disposable incomes of families with and without children, it obtained what children actually cost on average rather than what they could cost without considering spending restrictions (which incidentally(not) favours the FTB claw-back taxation aspect of CS). The result was that the average child cost about $50,000 rather than $500,000, so CS is based upon an amount that is excessive by a factor of at least 10; that is without even considering the inflationary factor between the dates of the later research, which would significantly increase the factor further.
A binding agreement won't fix the FTB issue. Once the agreement is accepted by CSA, they will issue a Provisional Notional Assessment which runs for 23 days. For that 23 day period FAO will base her FTB-A on the amount of child support as stated in your agreement. Once the 23 days expires and the provisional notional assessment becomes a Notional Assessment, FAO will use the Notional Assessment to calculate if the FTB-A should be reduced.

In plain english that means that the FTB issue will be sorted for the first 23 days after your agreement is accepted, but after that FAO will continue to base the FTB on the same assessment you are using now.

Guide 2.7.4 - Notional Assessments said
The notional assessment is the child support amount that would have been payable but for the child support agreement (taking into account the relevant circumstances of a case, including change of assessment) (section 146A).

The notional assessment amount is sent to Centrelink and is used in calculating the relevant amount of Family Tax Benefit Part A payable to the payee. However, prior to the notional assessment issuing, the child support amount payable under the agreement will be used in calculating the relevant amount of Family Tax Benefit Part A payable to the payee.

A notional assessment will apply to all child support agreements (other than lump sum payment provisions), where the application for acceptance is received by CSA on or after 1 July 2008 (section 146B).
$50,000 works out to be $2,777 per year.  I doubt anyone would tell you that would cover the cost of a child.  However, I am open to being shown to be wrong.

Almost nobody earns enough to be assessed to pay $500,000 child support over the course of the child's life, let alone everybody.

Burbs:  The FTB issue would be that the ex is required to receive the child support assessed.  A binding agreement would seem to solve that problem because the FTB would be paid according to the notional assessment rather than the actual amount received.
Eplicse said
$50,000 works out to be $2,777 per year.  I doubt anyone would tell you that would cover the cost of a child.  However, I am open to being shown to be wrong.
I don't spend that much on my teen. Approximate costs are $10 extra per week for groceries, $19 per month for a mobile, little for utilities, less than $10 per quarter overall, $400 for school fees uniform and equipment and I could not pay the fees if I didn't want to, the same for clothing although I'd say less. $600 for birthday and Christmas presents. No change at all in housing cost. So 1 teen costs me $2200, which could be less and my teen is fine with this. Although didn't the post say that was some years ago so wouldn't that be a lot more now what with rising costs. Sounds like you need to hop on the a bus to the real world clippy.
Eclipse said
Burbs:  The FTB issue would be that the ex is required to receive the child support assessed.  A binding agreement would seem to solve that problem because the FTB would be paid according to the notional assessment rather than the actual amount received.

The FTB issue is that the receiving parent's FTB - A is based on the amount of child support received over the maintenance income free area. If you have a binding agreement for $0 per year, FAO will not use this amount when calculating the FTB entitlement, they will instead use the notional assessment and there will be no change to the receiving parent's FTB.

Here's an example…

Dad's current assessment is to pay $10,000 per year for one child.
The FTB - A entitlement of Mum the max rate of $5018.75 per year (without taking CS into account)
The maintenance free income area for the current FY is $1401.60 and therefore the FTB - A entitlement is reduced by $4299 ((10,000 - 1401.60) x 50%)
This is, as MikeT likes to call it, the 'FTB clawback' and it will leave Mum on the base rate of FTB - A

If they have an agreement for $0 per year, CSA will send a notional assessment to FAO advising them that the child support payable, if not for the agreement, would be $10,000 and the end result will be the same.

If the receiving parent is only collecting child support due to the reduction of her FTB - A, having a binding agreement for a lesser amount will not solve the problem as the underlying assessment remains the same.

What Eclipse is mentioning works when you have the opposite, a low child support assessment with a paying parent willing to sign an agreement for a higher amount, but i do not think this is the case with Fergus' situation.



 
You may be right, Matilda (about me needing to get out).  I suppose that is what I get for saying 'anyone'.  

Burbs:  I may have read fergus' post incorrectly, but I got out of it that he is concerned with his increase in child support. I read into that that the FTB problem is that the ex cannot agree to anything less because of FTB requirements - ie if she agrees to less she may lose the FTB entitlement altogether.  If that is the issue, the binding agreement would fix the problem.

Of course if the issue is that the ex would receive less child support and the same amount of FTB, the FTB issue would be the lack of increase (as you said).
Why is it that the CSA makes all separated families have dirty high conflict arguements? They hand out pamphlets that say "what about the kids?" Yet they cause such drama. The average separated father gets ripped off to high heaven while Mum receives regardless. Makes me angry!
Unfortunately that is all the help that I would be! Sorry mate!
Matilda

You must have a very thin teen if you reckon he only costs you an extra $10 a week in food!  Mine would eat more than that extra in a day - he comes home from school and has 2 packets of noodles, a packet of soup and eats twice as much as me for dinner.  Not to mention all the fruit and snacks he takes to school!  He would like tuck shop every day which is another $5 per day but we only do tuck shop once per week. When my 2 boys are at their father's for school holidays my grocery bill is cut in half so I spend at least $120 a week on them.  As for utilities, my teen has to be cooerced out of the shower - even had to buy a timer to put in the shower so he knows when 5 minutes is up or he will stay there for ages. 

I am paying $30 a week in guitar lessons for the eldest, probably going to have to do maths tutoring for the youngest, then there are the constant notes from school for $10 here $5 there.  He had a French Lunch as part of French lessons for $40 including the coach there.  I have to pay $150 each term for their sports.  they do winter soccer at $150 each and new uniform and soccer boots and shin pads when they grow out of them.  Summer hockey which is $50 and cricket at school for another $50 plus $6 when they get the bus, mouth guards, hockey stick. School camps are about $250, some years both of them have been at camp. 

I give the eldest $40 a month pocket money and the youngest $15 which will rise soon.  Haircuts are $20 every 6 weeks or so.  The Dentist 6 monthly, which is covered by health insurance but an extra $30 a month for the kids insurance.  My eldest suffers from hayfever and we always have to buy him Zirtec.  The youngest asthma so we get Ventolin regularly.  I drive them to and from school for extra curricular activities.  Sometimes we get pizza or takeway and they eat as much as an adult now.  When they turn 16 and want to get their driver's licence I will have to pay for all of that and lessons.  Hopefully they will get jobs to help out but as long as it doesn't interfere with their school work. All the raffles and pie drives that come home, not to mention all the fundraisers at soccer during the winter. 

Then of course there is school uniform, clothes, buying material for their school sewing projects or artwork or metalwork.  Not to mention that I am in a 4 bedroom house with a pool (which costs 100's and 100's dollars a year and if they didn't live with me I would downsize and definately get rid of the pool!).  We need a family car to fit us and the guitar and the friends who are dropped off and picked up all the time, instead of a small 2 door car.  During school holidays I don't expect them to stay home all day so we go to the City or museums, parks, lunch out.  birthday party presents for the birthdays they are invited too. Fancy dress outfits for end of year leaving parties, blah blah blah blah blah.  I could go on.  We like to go camping for holidays so we have the camping fees, keeping the equipment usable etc etc etc. Oh yes the internet downloads amount so that they can do their projects for school (and download ipod tunes), mobile phones.  I don't work in the city where I could earn a lot more money, instead I work close by so that I can get home easily if there were a problem and it only takes 5 minutes to get home so I am home with them to help with homework and everything for a lot longer.  I am sure when I go away and think some more I will remember all the other things I am paying for the kids!

$2,777 a year wouldn't even touch the surface.  

Of course my boys do have quite a good lifestyle, but it is far less than the lifestyle they had when I was with my ex and the lifestyle they should have with a father earning over $200,000 a year.

My point being that I find it quite astounding that Matilda says that this is the real world for her.  It certainly isn't for me and my boys. 

I am aware that posting this might get me a lot of flack - I am used to it - but children do not cost less than $2,777 a year - not if you want to feed them and give them a halfway decent life!

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Plarissa said
You must have a very thin teen if you reckon he only costs you an extra $10 a week in food!  Mine would eat more than that extra in a day - he comes home from school and has 2 packets of noodles, a packet of soup and eats twice as much as me for dinner.  Not to mention all the fruit and snacks he takes to school!  He would like tuck shop every day which is another $5 per day but we only do tuck shop once per week. When my 2 boys are at their father's for school holidays my grocery bill is cut in half so I spend at least $120 a week on them.  As for utilities, my teen has to be cooerced out of the shower - even had to buy a timer to put in the shower so he knows when 5 minutes is up or he will stay there for ages.  

Thin, nope, mines a little overweight, been so since school holidays. I might even have to reduce food. Would you like me to judge yours like you have mine? You seem arrogant out of touch and not sensitive. Water use costs little it's sewerage and supply that costs which is the same no matter how many live in the place.

Plarissa said
My point being that I find it quite astounding that Matilda says that this is the real world for her.  It certainly isn't for me and my boys.

I am aware that posting this might get me a lot of flack - I am used to it - but children do not cost less than $2,777 a year - not if you want to feed them and give them a halfway decent life!
Your point is wrong and you make wrong guesses. It is our world and we are quite happy and mine costs what I said. I keep all my money and budgets on computer and have done for many years. We have a decent life as well, pretty nasty of you to say that we don't.  We have a 4 bedroom house in nice area. I'm also doing what a parent should do and preparing mine for the real world. Mine will value and respect money. I could even reduce costs more. I could not pay voluntary school fees that would save $400 a year but because I budget well there is no need.

Would you like me to say you are doing your children no good by teaching them to be pretentious? That is just an example I don't know if it is true but it would be easy to reach that view considering what you have said. You should think about others before you make your wrong insults. You know you will get flak and still make the post, that sounds like you are sick in the head. Some might ask if you get off getting flack.
I am sorry to have upset you Matilda.  I can see your points and it does come across as judgemental - but I still cannot see how it is possible to bring up a teenager and it cost yyou only $10 a week extra in food.  I sit here shaking my head because it just does not seem possible.  Even those Coles adverts for meals for $10 for a family of four, which have been criticised as being unrealistic, work out at $2.50 per person per night.  At 7 nights a week - that alone $17.50 each week alone - although I spend more than that on evening meals often.  Not to mention all the school lunches.  I should have put a smiley face after the thin teenager comment as it was tongue in cheek and a joke, my fault.

As far as utilities are concerned, I was meaning that heating the water for the shower is expensive, and becoming more so as electricity goes up again and again. 

I made the comment about flak because I have been on this board for a while now and I am used to people making jugements and assumptions and pulling people's posts apart without any knowledge of the poster and their story.  I just expected that to happen again.  Maybe I have got so used to it, that I have unfortunately become like them. 

However I jumped in because I found it so astounding that you said that is all it costs you to raise your teenager.  Completely astounding and so totally outside the range of anyone else I know raising teenagers.I just don't see how it is possible.  You didn't say whether your teen is a boy or girl, I have two boys and I see my friends spending heaps on their teenage girls, for waxing, haircuts, clothes, and hundreds and hundreds of dollars on fancy dresses for the year 10 and year 12 formals. 

L

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
This comes down to the difference in parenting styles and expectations between two people. LarissaP expects to be able to live a middle-class lifestyle nd to spend the money that a middle-class professional might be expected to spend on their children, while Matilda is reasonably satisfied with spending much less.

The question then becomes whether Larissa should be subsidised beyond the level regarded as reasonable by Matilda. I would say that there should not be any compulsion to do so, but that if both Larissa and her ex earn good money it's up to them to work it out. If they can't, then their kids miss out on the extras that she regards as reasonable, or she provides them off her own bat.

We don't have any idea what Larissa's ex thinks is a reasonable level of expenditure on children or what he wants for them. Should Larissa's view automatically apply? I think not.

Speaking for myself, it costs me about $150/week/child when they're with me, which is about half the time. Total cost to me is therefore around $7500/annum. As a comparison, I spend about $3000 per annum on beer. I don't claim any form of subsidy including FTB, but their mother claims everything she can get her hands on, from FTB to housing commission accommodation and everything in between. Their mother spends more because she chooses to enrol them in tuition once a week rather than supervise study herself each night. I refuse to pay for that, because I do supervise study and I'm not convinced that the tuition is anything more than supervised homework. I'm not including in that the cost of driving them to and from school, as they could catch a bus but I have preferred to pick them up.

My income last year, which was a bad one for business, was around $35000 from my business, her income is around $80000 as a social worker for Qld Health. She's never offered me a cent to help pay for the kids when they're with me, but she sure tried to get more out of me when she thought she could a few years ago. It's because of that that I'm self-employed.

I know this is a ramble, but the point is simple: if you want certain things that the other parent doesn't want, pay up yourself or accept that they're not going to happen instead of demanding that the Government should step in to back you up. You just might find that stepping back and accepting the other parent's right to disagree will lead to better outcomes all round.
Plarissa said
I am sorry to have upset you Matilda.  
You didn't but I could see how you would upset many and I think it's shocking that you don't think before your write stuff.

Plarissa said
I can see your points and it does come across as judgemental - but I still cannot see how it is possible to bring up a teenager and it cost yyou only $10 a week extra in food.  I sit here shaking my head because it just does not seem possible.  Even those Coles adverts for meals for $10 for a family of four, which have been criticised as being unrealistic, work out at $2.50 per person per night.  At 7 nights a week - that alone $17.50 each week alone - although I spend more than that on evening meals often.  Not to mention all the school lunches.
My idea, try it and see if you can make it work rather than saying it cannot. Let's try some meals.
Spaghetti Bologanaise, 100g mince per person (80c per person, so $2.40 for 3), 50g spaghetti per person (10c per person so 30c for 3), tin of plum tomatoes (89c), 1 onion (say 50c), clove of garlic (say 50c), salt and pepper negligible (say 50c which is much more than it would be). So SB for for $4.59 for 3 so $1.53 per person.
Macaroni Cheese, macaroni (10c per person, so 30c) milk (about 250 ml = 30c), salt and pepper (say 50c),  cheese 100g = 80c, flour 1.5 hpd tablespoons (say 50c, again way over). So MC for 3 is $2.40 or 80c per person.

I could shake my head and be disgusted that you are going for welfare support but you lead a lifestyle that contradicts this. You could easily move towards providing something for those really in need. Do you not feel selfish about being so contradictory? I would.

Plarissa said
I should have put a smiley face after the thin teenager comment as it was tongue in cheek and a joke, my fault.
No, you shouldn't have said something like that at all, specially if you don't know it to be true. To joke about such things isn't nice.

Plarissa said
As far as utilities are concerned, I was meaning that heating the water for the shower is expensive, and becoming more so as electricity goes up again and again.
Luxury, not need for so much. No reason to apply to others.

Plarissa said
I made the comment about flak because I have been on this board for a while now and I am used to people making jugements and assumptions and pulling people's posts apart without any knowledge of the poster and their story. I just expected that to happen again. Maybe I have got so used to it, that I have unfortunately become like them.
So you must be pretty high up to be confident that you are OK to do what you sound like saying is wrong. So are you the boss on here or something? Or just wanting to be the boss? Sounds like one or the other to me.

Plarissa said
However I jumped in because I found it so astounding that you said that is all it costs you to raise your teenager.  Completely astounding and so totally outside the range of anyone else I know raising teenagers. I just don't see how it is possible.  You didn't say whether your teen is a boy or girl, I have two boys and I see my friends spending heaps on their teenage girls, for waxing, haircuts, clothes, and hundreds and hundreds of dollars on fancy dresses for the year 10 and year 12 formals.
 
You are saying that support should be based upon gender? Real women/girl (men and boys but more so women and girls due to how things are) should feel good about themself as a person not be taught to be insecure and in need of products to hide behind, at least in my opinion anyway. Sewing machine is useful so are some bargain fabric shops. The saying Look before you leap may be worth thinking about.

Craigo, your kindness in resaying what I said is nice, thank you. Not sure about the child support reasonable level other than it makes sense that child support should not be about paying for luxuries. It shouldn't be used by the mother or father for their own. I see Plarissa as doing that, a lot of what she spends although on the children could well be for herself (I think Plarissa sounds like a female name, but in case I'm wrong I'm sorry). I think its like self-esteem that she wants the children to appear well before others. I not sure I'm saying this right but I hope I have made my point about what I see as something that may be and also may not be. A bit like a mother or father putting them in for beauty pageants and think that support should pay for that when really its about them getting the feeling that their son or daughter is the tops.
My growing teenage boys would not be filled up on 100g mince and 50g spaghetti.  More like double that or they are into the fruit and yoghurt and making sandwiches after dinner.

I could shake my head and be disgusted that you are going for welfare support but you lead a lifestyle that contradicts this
Matilda, where did I say I get welfare support? Is that not an assumption you have made?  I get no welfare support.

You are saying that support should be based upon gender? Real women/girl (men and boys but more so women and girls due to how things are) should feel good about themself as a person not be taught to be insecure and in need of products to hide behind, at least in my opinion anyway. Sewing machine is useful so are some bargain fabric shops. The saying Look before you leap may be worth thinking about.
 No Matilda, I did not say that.  I just said that it seems that girls seem to cost more than boys, actually I didn't even say that, I said my friends seem to spend an awful lot on their teenage girls.  I am really not sure how you extrapolate from my words that I have a  belief that support should be based upon gender? Real women/girl (men and boys but more so women and girls due to how things are) should feel good about themself as a person not be taught to be insecure and in need of products to hide behind,

It appears I am not the only one making assumptions and judgements.

I see Plarissa as doing that, a lot of what she spends although on the children could well be for herself
Not quite sure how guitar lessons, soccer, cricket, party presents, school camps, school excursions etc are spending money on myself?  Camping maybe, but kids can't go camping without me nor go on holiday alone so it is quite a stretch to say that taking my children camping on holiday is spending money on myself.  Takeaway Pizza , yep when I get it for the kids I get some for myself too.  That wasn't really the point though was it. The point was you said that you spent less than $2777 a year on your teen and I said I did not see how that was possible.  That list of things I spend on, some are definately discretionary and I choose to do them for my boys, because they had that when I was married and I want them to enjoy sport and have some of those extras.

The rest is not discretionary.  They go to public school, they wear uniform, they wear clothes, they need to go to the dentis, they have to do sport which I have to pay for (the high schooler can choose a sport that is free but he has not been able to get into that one because they are allocated from year 12 down and he is in year 8 and very often it is full by the time he makes his choice). I suppose I could tell him he will have to just sit in his classroom and not participate but I dont' even know if the school would let him do that.  I suppose could ignore all the notes from school asking for $5 for the bounce session, $10 for the book session with the guest speaker and on and and on it goes, and not let my kids go.  I personally don't see that as an option.

think its like self-esteem that she wants the children to appear well before others. I not sure I'm saying this right but I hope I have made my point about what I see as something that may be and also may not be. A bit like a mother or father putting them in for beauty pageants and think that support should pay for that when really its about them getting the feeling that their son or daughter is the tops.
 Really Matilda, that is another long stretch.  You think I am doing this so that the kids look good in front of others?  Really??

Could it be that I want to give them what they had while we were married.  That I dont' want them to lose more than they already have because their father and I separated?  That I love my children and want to give them opportunities, interests and a good time during their childhood?

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Plarissa said
Matilda, where did I say I get welfare support? Is that not an assumption you have made?  I get no welfare support.
Nowehere. What I said was going for. In your sense not now having it but going to get it but I meant going for like in supporting. That is you seem to be going for people, not you, getting welfare. Again you need to slow down and think before you say anything.

Plarissa said
My growing teenage boys would not be filled up on 100g mince and 50g spaghetti.  More like double that or they are into the fruit and yoghurt and making sandwiches after dinner.
Why are you applying my situation to yours when it's about you criticising mine? Anyway just double the cost and the result is still well within the mark.

Plarissa said
No Matilda, I did not say that.  I just said that it seems that girls seem to cost more than boys, actually I didn't even say that, I said my friends seem to spend an awful lot on their teenage girls.  I am really not sure how you extrapolate from my words that I have a  belief that support should be based upon gender? Real women/girl (men and boys but more so women and girls due to how things are) should feel good about themself as a person not be taught to be insecure and in need of products to hide behind,

It appears I am not the only one making assumptions and judgements.
It was a question not me saying that is the what is. It should be started with Are you, rather than You are. You seemed to be saying girls cost more. So because this is about cost of support of children the obvious way is that there should be more for girls. Why else would you bring in the sex of the children? Unless you are just being argumentative and critical for some sort of control freak thing about you.

Not quite sure how guitar lessons, soccer, cricket, party presents, school camps, school excursions etc are spending money on myself? and so
That bit was me talking to Craigo. I guessed that it would be beyond you to see what I was saying so why I talked to Craigo about what I see as happening.

Anyway the point is that $2777 is plenty for a teen, it may involve a little extra work but that is part of being a parent, though I see it as pleasure not work. It seems that you are now upset because my point can be done and just trying to have a go at me. So I go with you winning at being bossy but my point is good both is win win which is good. Also good is that you may think more and a win for the loads if that happens.
Child costs can vary a lot between people depending on their expectations and how they live.

Many people on small incomes survive on those incomes, but without what others would call their necessities.

Child support should be for the child and I believe that far to often that is not the case. Maybe the child support agency should turn the cash into vouchers for childrens items, eg school fees, electricity, water, school clothes, kids books, haircuts for kids, medical expenses, ect. Then I believe all child support would actually be for the child.

Just my thoughts.
kalimnadancer said
Child support should be for the child and I believe that far to often that is not the case. Maybe the child support agency should turn the cash into vouchers for childrens items, eg school fees, electricity, water, school clothes, kids books, haircuts for kids, medical expenses, ect. Then I believe all child support would actually be for the child.

That idea has been floated before but it won't get much traction. It would be seen as income management just like Centrelink's Basics card and I could see every rights group kicking up a big stink about that…

Kalimnadancer, I'm in favour of any scheme that gives the money to the child. Your proposal is one way, another would be to have the money linked to the child's account rather than the parent's, with a separate access card, so that it is explicit to all when the child's money is being spent and when the parent's is. Even if it doesn't change the way money is spent, it would make explicit the fact that the money is for the child specifically and may make people think a little before using it for other things.

Of course, as Burbs says, there would be lots of single-mother's groups and do-gooders who'd complain bitterly. Funny how those people never complain when it's fathers who're being forced to do things they don't want to do…
I have included a link to research into the cost of raising a child by UQ School of Social Work and Human Services in 2008 here. It has a fairly good explanation into what is considered when the cost of raising a child is calculated.

My own children cost me in excess of $120/each/week and that does not include school as they go to private school. With school included it is close to $400/week.

By the way not everything can be paid using vouchers……and it is not just a matter of logistics.
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