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Can payee discharge arrears owed to CSA by payer without penalty to payee FTB

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My daughters father only recently started seeing her again after a 4plus year absence (she is 6) She was very happy to see him and I was very happy for her.

 He unfortunately has accrued a child support debt of $6000+ dollars and has a departure prohibition order placed on him by the CSA. He is currently assessed to pay $25 per week by the CSA. (he has paid approx $2000 in child support since her birth and i have 100% care)

 He has asked that we enter into a fully private agreement (no CSA collect or private collect registered with CSA just fully private agreement) other wise he will not continue to see his daughter.

 He has stated that he would agree to pay $3000 of the $6000 he owes in arrears if i did this (made private agreement) which i understand would mean i would have a $3800 debt to the family assistance office as it would be deemed that i have not tried to collect child support and therefore they would consider that they have overpaid me by $3800 in the last 3 years

 My concern is not for the $ he has not paid and i do not expect him to pay in the future

 My understanding is that i can not do this (make private agreement) as it will affect FTB ( I am in receipt of full family tax benefit) and bring my FTB to the base rate which unfortunately i can not at this time afford to do. I really want my daughter to see her father and would hate for her to have him remove himself once again from her life.

 Can anyone advise if there is any way i can discharge his debt and make a private agreement without consequence to my FTB so that my daughters father will continue to have contact with her

 Thank you

 FrustratedMum O_o 

Please Note - Her father says agreement is legal it would not affect FTB in any way

Please note that my daughters father keeps trying to tell me that he has received legal advice from several sources including his lawyer HE SAYS AND I QUOTE FROM AN EMAIL (I kept his lawyers details out)

"that for one if we make a legal agreement and I break it, it becomes void and you can go back through the system, as for them docking you if I dont pay is not right as they top you up. You keep full benefits. If this agreement has no effect on your current situation I cannot understand why you wouldnt go ahead with it, all I ask is you call XXX His lawyer and he will explain it in detail and give you the laws that you can look up yourself "


Here is a link to the laws her father has referred me to http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/csa1989294/s117.html is there any validity to his claims.
The link that has been provided links to section 117 and is in regard to departure orders (generally know as Change of Assessment). They do not relate to agreements directly.

With regard to agreements. There are two sorts a) Limited and b) Binding.

Limited agreements are less strict in some senses but more so in others. To be acceptable they must have the child support amount at least as much as a notional assessment (i.e. normal formula based assessment that is undertaken just to determine the CS amount) and there must be an administrative assessment in place. Either party can terminate a limited agreement if the notional assessment varies by 15% or more from the previous notional agreement. An identical agreement must be signed by the parties.

Binding agreements can be for any amount. However, in addition to the signatures of the parties they also require certification from the legal representatives that both parties have received independent legal advice. They can only be terminated by another, terminating, binding agreement or by a court order setting aside the agreement.

Here's a link to the relevant section of the CSA Guide. The CSA Guide - 2.7.1: What is a child support agreement?. I's suggested that you also read the rest of section 2.7 (2.7.1-2.7.5). The above is a very brief summary and is not fully comprehensive.
Hi Mike thanks for your response. It seemed to me that the link was somewhat off track but not understanding legal speak thought i would post the link he had sent me.

For those of you following this post if you have not not see my first post i have cut and paste it here as follows so you have the history of the discussion (This is the first forum i have been on ever and I do not know how to link the thread)

My daughters father only recently started seeing her again after a 4plus year absence (she is 6) She was very happy to see him and I was very happy for her.

He unfortunately has accrued a child support debt of $6000+ dollars and has a departure prohibition order placed on him by the CSA. He is currently assessed to pay $25 per week by the CSA. (he has paid approx $2000 in child support since her birth and i have 100% care)

He has asked that we enter into a fully private agreement (no CSA collect or private collect registered with CSA just fully private agreement) other wise he will not continue to see his daughter.

He has stated that he would agree to pay $3000 of the $6000 he owes in arrears if i did this (made private agreement) which i understand would mean i would have a $3800 debt to the family assistance office as it would be deemed that i have not tried to collect child support and therefore they would consider that they have overpaid me by $3800 in the last 3 years

My concern is not for the $ he has not paid and i do not expect him to pay in the future

My understanding is that i can not do this (make private agreement) as it will affect FTB ( I am in receipt of full family tax benefit) and bring my FTB to the base rate which unfortunately i can not at this time afford to do. I really want my daughter to see her father and would hate for her to have him remove himself once again from her life.

Can anyone advise if there is any way i can discharge his debt and make a private agreement without consequence to my FTB so that my daughters father will continue to have contact with her


Please note I am not wanting to make any underhanded deals I want to do what is lawful, but do not want to inhibit my FTB or cause me a FTB debt and I also want my daughters father not to stop seeing her as this would break her little heart.

He is adamant that i am able to make an agreement without affecting my FTB and said he has had been given this advice from his lawyer and the family relationship centre. If it is possible that the advice he has been given is in anyway correct i just want to know so that i am fully informed so as i know my options

Also can someone please advise if he were to pay his debt in full with CSA am i able to enter into a fully private agreement without it affecting FTB??
I personally would much rather continue with CSA but consider the cost of my daughter losing contact from her father a fairly high price.

I guess my other concern is that if i were to make an agreement outside the CSA he could also just stop seeing her:(  

Thank you

FrustratedMum O_o

Last edit: by MikeT

Child Support Debt through CSA fees and charges

I have a couple of posts on this site and am trying to attach them to each other but dont know how so here is another one sorry arrrggggh.

My daughters father has outstanding arrears of $6000+ child support through the CSA. He keeps stating that if he were to pay the arrears in full that i would only get half and the rest would go in fees. I assume this is not accurate. I understand that he would have fees on outstanding arrears but that would be separate to the amount owed in child support and that if he pays in full they may even waive said fees….Is this correct 

Thanks again
FrustratedMum said
I have a couple of posts on this site and am trying to attach them to each other but dont know how so here is another one sorry arrrggggh.

My daughters father has outstanding arrears of $6000+ child support through the CSA. He keeps stating that if he were to pay the arrears in full that i would only get half and the rest would go in fees. I assume this is not accurate. I understand that he would have fees on outstanding arrears but that would be separate to the amount owed in child support and that if he pays in full they may even waive said fees….Is this correct

Thanks again
I've moved everything into this post. Please note that you cannot make consecutive posts to the same topic without someone else responding (this is an anti-spam measure). You can, for a limited period, make amendments to a post that you have made. This, although meant primarily for making corrections, could be used to add additional information.

To link to another topic(page) you should be able to click on the Page button (between the Add link and the Add Image buttons). Personally I normally copy and paste the ip address from the page and just use Add Link (I don't think I've ever used add page ….. just tried, it's not at all helpful so I'd suggest adding as a link).
Thank you Mike appreciate your help

Changed

Just wanted to make note that in post #39487 i had written

"Please note i am wanting to make any underhanded deals"

I intended to say

"Please note i am not wanting to make any underhanded deals"

There is a fair bit of difference one word can make top the context of sentence WOW

Last edit: by MikeT

  It is a bit upsetting that he is holding you to ransom over contact ie: he will only see her if you let him off the hook with debt and a private agreement to his benefit. Both of which will definitely affect your receipt of FTB etc and cause hardship.

  It is ultimately his decision to see his daughter and it is not fair on you to feel responsible in anyway if he does not put this as a high priority for him.

  You will absolutely be disadvantaged by both of his demands (having a debt to centrelink and receiving less family payments and less from him = your daughter missing out), not to mention that after he has succeeded in holding you to ransom once that he is highly likely to continue to do so for many years.

  It is a no from me - don't be bullied!
ditto from me as well - and that's from personal experience!
Hi Valere and babygirl thankyou for your thoughts and guidance.

From my own personal experience my own father died when i was 4. I would have loved to have had him in my life but hey what is past is past.

I really want my little girl to experience her father if at all possible and on the few occasions he has seen her he has actually been a really great experience for her and has made her smile from ear to ear.

My main concern is not to disadvantage my daughter nor in anyway to deny HER contact with her father and the thought of trying to explain that her dad has decided not to see her because we quibbled over child support as she grows older is something i have a real hard time coming to terms with trying to explain to both her and myself.

I consider his thoughts on child support very irrational and being held to ransom is definitely how i am feeling but i guess i am looking for any option that will encourage his continuing contact with his daughter so that she can enjoy the words "my daddy" and apply them to someone not just hear other kids say the words

Just to make mention that his continuing contact also includes contact from 2 half brothers and another half brother/sister on the way that i wish to encourage
  I see where you are coming from and yes he would definitely enrich your daughters life as her dad.  
  Maybe you could point out that the more he sees of her the less child support he has to pay…

  Respond to his ridiculous requests with the proposition that you are open to building up to a fifty/fifty care arrangement as she gets older and he can look to reduce his child support that way and that you will endeavour to always support a relationship between daughter and father. That what he proposes will cause you hardship and that you would prefer CSA to handle the financial transactions so you both can concentrate on raising your child.

  Bear in mind also that he will get a reduction in CS when he the baby is born.
FrustratedMum said
Hi Valere and babygirl thankyou for your thoughts and guidance.

From my own personal experience my own father died when i was 4. I would have loved to have had him in my life but hey what is past is past.

I really want my little girl to experience her father if at all possible and on the few occasions he has seen her he has actually been a really great experience for her and has made her smile from ear to ear.

My main concern is not to disadvantage my daughter nor in anyway to deny HER contact with her father and the thought of trying to explain that her dad has decided not to see her because we quibbled over child support as she grows older is something i have a real hard time coming to terms with trying to explain to both her and myself.

I consider his thoughts on child support very irrational and being held to ransom is definitely how i am feeling but i guess i am looking for any option that will encourage his continuing contact with his daughter so that she can enjoy the words "my daddy" and apply them to someone not just hear other kids say the words

Just to make mention that his continuing contact also includes contact from 2 half brothers and another half brother/sister on the way that i wish to encourage
 

Firstly, well done you for wanting to help your kids have a decent relationship with their dad. You sound like a really sensible person and I'm sure your daughter will be grateful as she grows up. Kids need fathers, even if mothers don't want them around.

I also think you've highlighted a serious problem with the system, which I came up against as well when I was seeking to go private collect. The ex resisted for months and months, citing Centrelink, despite the fact that she receives no benefits, although she did in the past. Centrelink told her that if she was to come to an agreement, they "MAY" seek to recover certain payments she had received and gave her a figure of $15000, which naturally spooked her. At the same time, CSA were telling me that there was no problem with doing it: "there is no Centrelink impediment".  In the end, she had to tell Centrelink that she was scared of violence simply to protect herself against possible retaliation from them, so I'm now marked as "violent" by Centrelink simply to allow her out of their clutches!

Just to make it quite clear, CSA said "OK, no problem"; Centrelink said "you can do that, but we MIGHT bash you if you do". This was to two parties who were trying to resolve an on-going problem that had largely been created by the CSA in the first place.

It highlights for me the unworkable complexity that has been created in the pursuit of clawing back as much from non-custodial parents as possible. It creates division and it is not conducive to good post-separation relationships. Frankly, it's a disaster and it needs urgent reform.
Hi Craigo

Your situation in your x having to claim violence is in itself very scary situation to resort to. I hope that you still have a solid relationship with your child or children.

It so far to me seems from all responses i have received from CSA, Family Assistance Office and posts on this site that the system does indeed make it very hard for parents to try to be fair, reasonable, considerate and forgiving - instead enhance conflict and in my case diminish my daughters fathers contact with her (root cause money).

I find it hard to understand that i can not discharge my daughters father his debt without being being in bigger debt instead myself. If i were to discharge her fathers full $6000+ debt i would then owe approx $7000+ in over paid FTB (for not having sought child support) = nearly a total cost of $13000+ 

It seems that somewhere in this situation that what is best for the children has been lost.

I know it takes money to raise children and i would sincerely like for her father to pay his arrears but it also takes parents to raise children. I would think a system that indeed allowed for less conflict through allowing parents to make agreements without so many monetary consequences (FTB debt, Centerlink debt ect) would make for a much happier situation for the children, maybe not financially but it takes a lot more than money to make a happy home (encouraging lack of conflict i would think a bigger investment in our childrens lives).

As you very well stated the current system creates division and it is not conducive to good post-separation relationships, these relationships obviously also do include the children

I have just emailed my daughters father and said i can not make an agreement due to the fact that the costs of doing so would be way to difficult for me to afford and so his debt with CSA will remain until he pays it and accumulate I said i will then go on private collect.

I can only hope that he still sees his daughter and she is not the fall guy/girl in this but somehow i am pretty sure she will be. I hope i am wrong for her sake.

As far as i am aware if i go on private collect it will have no adverse affect on FTB once he has paid the arrears. Please advise if i have this wrong

Will keep you posted
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