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CSA being unfair? I am at a loss on what to do and in the verge of loosing another marriage.

Hi all, I am at a loss on what to do and in the verge of loosing another marriage.

I divorced about 8 years ago and have 3 children with my ex wife.  Girl nearly 10, Boy nearly 14 and another one 16.

I have a court order in place that states I take care of the children twice in a year (but this was when I had to travel over 1000km to see them and ex didn't want to share drive and meet half way any more than that).  We also had an agreement verbally that I take care of them (since I moved closer to be see them more often) around 70 nights per year.

I have paid (privately into her account via a deduction from my pay) maintenance all the time no fail and always paid the amount that CSA estimated (she got a case with them).

I remarried and got another child (5yo) that attends prep.

My wife is 40 yo and for the last 5 years developed a disability similar to MS and is currently receiving a disability pension ($40 dollars per fortnight due to my gross income being over a certain level they reckon).

She can't drive and work and often has many accidents and this creates a lot of problems for us and extra expenses.

My ex told my once she will never work again and will milk me for as long as she possibly can.
  • She is in a de facto relationship however declares that she is a single mother.
  • The de facto has hit the children a few times and police was called but she takes the de facto's side.
  • She says that she pays rent but the house really belongs to the father that gives her receipts.
  • She got 2 of children diagnosed with autism to get more money from Centrelink she is in the process of getting the third diagnosed.
  • She removed the 16yo from school a few years back (even thought he wants to go to school) to allegedly home school him to try and get more support.  But she spends the days on the computer and doesn't help him.
  • When I was leaving away she rang me once saying if I didn't take care of the older child that she would have to give him away as she could not cope and he was a danger to the other children.
  • I took him and while I was trying to get help she organised a plot and got child protection to remove him away from me without my knowledge so she could blackmail for more support such as DSQ support (long story but true I can elaborate).
  • She has carers various times per week to spend time with the children while she is in the computer and to clean the house (I can't even get help for my wife go and figure).
Anyway, after all this, my 16 yo decided that he didn't want to come over any longer for various reason (see girlfriend and doesn't like my wife), so my ex after contacting Centrelink within days and finding out she could not get any more money went running to CSA that gave me 14 days to prove that I take care of him or else pay more.

I don't know what else to do, help I really need help I am at my wits end no one listens that I can't even afford to take my wife to a doctor let alone pay more maintenance, my wife cannot cope with this injustice any longer and because of her disability it is going to break us apart too.

I tried telling my ex to be kind and explain everything saying that I can't even pay for petrol to go to work or get the children but she doesn't care.

I am so sorry for this long post by I so need help.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

The classic scenario - the children get ditched when they turn 16 as the FTB has mostly dried up.

Firstly you should report her relationship to Centrelink.

If you did have sole care of your 16 yo then your child support liability would reduce and would only have to pay for two. You may find the 14yo might follow soon after. You will also still get some FTB.

Check your care percentages for child support as 70 nights per year means you pay less child support than below 52 nights care per year.

As your wife has MS and you are her carer you can apply to C$A for a change of assessment to reduce your liability as she cannot support your child or herself. Do this last.

Maintain private payments as long as you can as if C$A review any past assessments etc…, because your case has been private collect, C$A can only collect three months arrears from the date the ex asks them to collect.

Do everything in writing with C$A and do not trust anything they say over the phone nor disclose any of your financial information unless you absolutely have to.

Good luck

Soundslike your ex is good at collecting every dollar.

Teenagers I heard, often want to give parental visits a miss and hang out with their mates. Probably some visits will get missed and some the teen will be there. The other children would still be visiting.

Perhaps the child support persons may classify the missed care time now taken up by the wife as casual and not predictable, wherein the teen may still be in your care, or not, as the case may be. Even if you had to pay extra because one child is deducted from your 70 nights care, it shouldn't be much, afterall 70 nights is about twenty percent of the year and one third of twenty is only about 7 percent. Let the teen know that if he wants to stay with you as per normal, he is welcome.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

My 16 YO is living with his mum and doesn't really want to come anylonger as he has his own friends and girlfriends and the fact that I won't let him spend the days on the computer, his mum won't inforce it either because it means more money for her.
CSA rang me and said that it has been over 3 months they first made contact with me in relation to him and they would like to close the Change of Assesment. They said they were going to give me 7 days to show them evidence of the agreement we have in place, I told them to ring the ex and ask her it was her CA not mine. The agreement doesn't really apply anyway as it was done while I was quiet a fair distance away.
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