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I have just started a relationship. Centrelink have classified my kids as his dependents...

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Hello thank you for your time.
I have two children under five. I am recently on welfare. I have a new partner who rightfully pays child support for two children from a previous relationship. We declared our relationship and due to his income being about 80k i am no longer eligible for single parent (obviously) nor single parent partnered. He is not financially able after tax.and child support. car loan to support me and two other children. Centrelink have decided my kids are his dependents (they have no father on the birth certificate) he was not who he claimed to be.
So my question is as i am now on 630 a fortnight and rent of my contribution of 450 a fortnight..Will my boys be classified as his dependents by csa as we have not been together for two years. I stopped working as my kids were not coping without me and was paying 80% of my full time wages in childcare. We've been honest with Centrelink and i am now feeling really stuck and my partner feels happy the kids are seen as his…but does the Centrelink dependent classification extend to csa as there is no other parent to obtain support from.
Thank you so much for your input and interest.
Jess said
Will my boys be classified as his dependents by csa as we have not been together for two years.

Unless there are court orders (Family Law 66M/124 in WA) saying that he has a legal duty then the answer is no. Normally relevant dependent children are biological children of the parent (e.g. if you had a child together then that child would be a relevant dependent). The two years that you mention is for a  reason 10 departure (the common term is change of assessment). You may wish to have a read of The CSA Guide - 2.6.16: Reason 10 responsibility of the parent to maintain a resident child. The requirements are very restrictive and as it's a departure (COA) then even if there were a legitimate claim, if it were from a liable parent the bias of the CSA against liable parents would probably lead to a legitimate claim being claim to not be so, additionally there is a very high chance that the bias would extend to a decision that further increases the CS liability.
Hi Mike and thank you for your information. So its best not to approach CSA by him as it may prove to increase his csa payments to his ex? That would see us crippled for sure..
This is such a huge problem and needs to be fixed. Basically in declaring your relationship, Family Assistance has taken control in making financial decisions for your children from you and given it to your new partner. Where is a feminist when you need one. This is a really bad situation.

The only relief you get is that his C$A liability increases the threshold for eligibiity for FTB which in no way makes up for what you have lost by declaring your relationship. I would be writing to the minister of DHS and the commonwealth Ombudsman and then call Family Assistance and Centrelink to reregister for parenting payment etc.. citing that you cannot afford to be in a relationship with this person.
Fairgo said
…I would be writing to the minister of DHS and the commonwealth Ombudsman and then call Family Assistance and Centrelink to reregister for parenting payment etc.. citing that you cannot afford to be in a relationship with this person.
Is this a new emerging issue people? Something that is fairly widespread that would need to have some policy change? Who wants the template as I am unable to get to it before the deadline date.



Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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This is not new and happens to every person on parenting payment single & family benefits who declares a new relationship with someone who is working.

The loss of parenting payment is fair enough as the two are sharing a bed and house, but to then go and use the new partner's income to assess family benefits, which is virtually taking financial decisions about the children away from the mother, just asks for trouble and can cause many single mothers to not declare a new relationship.

I believe the answer here would be to continue to use the biological parents income to determine family benefits eligibility and not who lives under the same roof.
Fairgo said
This is not new and happens to every person on parenting payment single & family benefits who declares a new relationship with someone who is working.

The loss of parenting payment is fair enough as the two are sharing a bed and house, but to then go and use the new partner's income to assess family benefits, which is virtually taking financial decisions about the children away from the mother, just asks for trouble and can cause many single mothers to not declare a new relationship.

I believe the answer here would be to continue to use the biological parents income to determine family benefits eligibility and not who lives under the same roof.
 

This is not at all a new problem, but it is a significant one.

I think it does need follow up.

I agree with Fairgo's solution.  The problem arisses because CSA regard the parents as responsible, but FTB regard the household as responsible, even when one of the adults is not a biological parent to the children. That is neither consistent nor fair.
I think it is a big issue. In my case I'm a separated father with 2 children aged 12 & 7.

Children were on a 50/50 shared care arrangement (no orders). 12 year old has recently decided to live with his mother full time while 7 yr old is still 50/50. My taxable income is $95k while ex's is $72k. Monthly child support is approx $810. (up from $340)

I have a new partner with 3 children. She earns $20k & gets only the minimum child support from kids father. She was getting various Govt allowances of about $600 per week.

We've decided to move in together & this is where the problem starts.

CSA says despite the new situation my CS payments don't change as my new partners children are not my responsiblity (?) unless I adopt them in 2 years time.

Centrelink will reduce her allowances to about $200 per week because she now has a partner (Me) with a good income. Our new rent is slightly less than the combined rent of our 2 current houses.

So, by moving in together we are financially disadvantaged by approx $1800 per month.

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
It's even worse if your partner is not receiving any child support.
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