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SSAT treatment

Exploitation by ex and life is difficult

Hi all,

This is my first post, and may be my last. I just need to share the most horrible experience of my life, which was the way I was treated during my SSAT review. Some background may help.

I fell pregnant to my lawyer. He was giving me legal advice on an urgent domestic violent case on the night of conception and told me to meet him at his place. I can't express all of the trust I had in him because of the cases he has handled… Well I sure feel like an idiot now… It was all just a scam to get me in bed. He really pushed me into sleeping with him that night, and I really believed he cared about my welfare. I was so wrong.

Well, I fell pregnant and he has made my life a living hell since and showed his true colours. He started saying half way through the pregnancy that he didn't believe me that my daughter was his, he wouldn't even give me medical information my doctors needed for our health. So I engaged lawyers to give him the proof he sought, and boy did that upset him… I guess because he knew I'd tell them the truth about our relationship and the details… Or he was just upset I proved he was my daughters father.

He wouldn't even pay for half of the paternity test, or give me the information my doctors needed after I proved it. He not once even asked about our health through the pregnancy. I was ditched with full responsibility in my final year of uni like a piece of trash. So I issued proceedings for childbirth maintenance.

During proceedings he broke every single court order made, didn't even try to comply with them, and breached many many other serious rules and laws. He never once faced consequences for it. He made no discovery at all, he dragged it on and seemed to behave however he liked. He works for his dad's firm that were recently reprimanded for 4 serious offences, but given the seriousness of the conduct, it seems like the reprimand was extremely lenient.  Anyway, long story short, he very effectively used his position as a lawyer, my former lawyer, use the Court process to abuse me financially and emotionally. It was dragged on a year and was a nightmare to go through with a newborn.

Meanwhile, as I was on ftb and started my Honours, I was legally obligated to get child support and put him on my daughter's birth certificate. However, he wasn't legally obligated to sign the certificate or admit he was my daughters father, and so I was forced to go to court for a s106A. In case you're wondering, no, I didn't even get costs for that when he made me go through that even though he already had proof he was the father. He is a 43 year old lawyer trying to argue he wanted an abortion to get out of legal responsibility, but every Friday his family light their candles for Shabbat. He behaved disgracefully to avoid responsibility and take away my daughters rights, it was the most difficult experience of my life to be put through that and watch him get away with so much.

Anyway, one thing is he claims an extremely modest income for a lawyer of 13 years, and a lot came out from our subpoenas that showed that it isn't his real income. So we were going through a COA after it was declared (he actually applied wanting to lower it even more from the crappy $16 a day he was paying, arguing my parents should pay for his daughter) and I cross applied. I showed the evidence of the large amounts going into his accounts and the extravegant lifestyle he lives which doesn't even come close to the modest income he claims and the $1 surplus he claims a week, with more than 3 properties, one worth more than a million unencumbered, and I could go on and on and on. They're extraordinary financial discrepancies, yet COA ignored it all.

We were in family court, so applied for departure and unfortunately had a new judge that he managed to mislead and she wasn't familiar with our case, so she said I was trying to jump ahead by asking for it to be heard with everything else at Court, and told me to go back to CSA. Jump ahead, can you imagine how that felt when he wouldn't even sign or admit he was my daughters father and I had to have it declared and couldn't even get a cent until she was 6months old? But I was jumping ahead… 😔

So I objected and it was successful. They increased his child support a little bit, but increased my income by more. They went through every cent of assistance my parents gave me to meet my expenses and increased my income by $30, 000 from $18, 000. I have a son with special needs that's 10 and was left abandoned pregnant, I only own a car, but they increased my income by more than his despite all of his large financial resources, property and lifestyle. They didn't factor in the 100's of thousands going into his accounts, his properties, his new sports car, his month long holidays overseas, his almost a million in managed funds, just me when I have two children in my 100% care.

So I appealed to the SSAT. It was without a doubt the most hurtful and distressing experience of my life. I had to get the Member that wanted to act like the wicked witch of the west. He was allowed to bully and intimidate me all of the way through. He was allowed to take the directions from a noisey public place with a women next to him laughing all of the way through it. Then the Member started screaming at ME at the top of her lungs for absolutely no reason at all. It was so abusive and humiliating. I felt like breaking out into tears. I knew I was up against some serious impropriety and my hands were tied. It was as though a point was made to show that he was above the law and we were worthless.

Again my evidence was ignored. I showed I repaid my parents with the court settlement money- ignored. My income was increased from $4,000 support I was given from my parents, up to $30k.

His accounts and black money- ignored. His properties- ignored. His cars and lifestyle and savings- ignored. His proven lies- ignored. His non-compliance with directions- ignored!!!!

What was much, much worst was the way I was treated by both of them, as though we're worthless human beings. He was completely supported and it seems like he was encouraged every time he verbally berated and intimidated me- I couldn't even mention my ivo on him. They were both so disgracefully nasty and cruel to me- there was no reason for it. It wasn't worth it. I have suffered so much pain because of the way they both behaved.

They don't allow you to get SSAT recordings not because of privacy, they wouldn't have allowed him to take the Directions in public with people near him if they cared at all about mine and my children's privacy, they don't do it so that their misconduct isn't exposed or the tax fraud they're covering up. I'm pretty convinced she new him, she shared many laughs with him and acted like she knew his dad, his boss, who they conceded that his firm are paying his personal expenses- don't worry, it wasn't factored in to her decision though.

This isn't about gender, and I wish people would wake up and realise that. It's about social status and power. They bully the weak, the vulnerable, the poor, the ones taking care of their children- and reward those that are dishonest, engaging in egregious fraud, and have social power. I was bullied and intimidated by her to divert the attention away from the tax fraud that was swept under the carpet. To try to intimidate me out of pursuing the review. She was at her worst during the Directions hearing when they know that you can't get a recording and definitely won't have a lawyer. It was disgraceful, and my children and I didn't deserve to be treated that way.

So this is now my life for the next 18 years. This 43 year old lawyer arguing that he wanted an abortion, lying about the night of conception, breaking rules and laws, committing tax fraud- and receiving the full support and protection from his fraternity.

Yes, I reported him to the board for sexual misconduct, only to learn that there's no rule against it in Australia unless a judge is mislead. Why don't they say that to my daughter when she's asking where her father is and his off sleeping with his prostitute and stripper clients and couldn't even care enough to even want to meet her.

I haven't seen the slightest conscience from a lawyer, or a single consequence for him, laws only apply to me, and it doesn't even matter if I've done nothing wrong, I'm still always the one punished and he's always protected. I'm punished over and over for having his child and not doing what he wanted, I'm punished for making him take legal responsibility of his daughter, I'm punished for being his client that he slept with, I'm punished for his tax fraud- but I've never been punished so harshly and unfairly as I was in the SSAT. They just didn't care, didn't even want to pretend that they weren't biased and humane. They wanted to hurt me because they knew they could.

Hopefully not many others will have this experience, this is just my agony for having a baby to a bully of a crooked lawyer that's going to make me suffer for the rest of my life with the support of his fraternity. There's no justice in my position. There's just psychopaths that reward dishonesty, greed and heartlessness and punish everything else.
With regard to income, perhaps the ATO would be more likely to investigate the other parent's income. Any change to income they make should be applied, an exception being if an income amount order was in place (a reason 8 COA could very well be an income amount order).

Otherwise it is hard to comment as your complaints appear to be about how you feel you have been treated emotionally rather than about procedural/technical issues. Perhaps others will provide emotional assistance, my main area is with CS.

With regard to no recording. I'd say ignore that and record it yourself without informing them. If on phone record the call from a separate device with the phone on speaker.
Having unprotected sex with your lawyer whilst not having enough finances to look after a baby. Despite this story surely you have to take some of the blame for creating this situation rather than blaming everyone else? use a condom! Be more careful because you reap what you sow (literally in this case)

Thats not me insulting you but, all i see is blame in this post. You don't even talk about your child in a positive way, only as a financial tool.

How much more money do you want? Isnt $120ish a week enough?  (more now) for child support? Not only that, you probably get parenting payment, rent assistance and FTB which combined is about 650 - 700 a week AND it seems your parents gave you large amounts of money too on top of that. (almost $76 a week according to you)

Seems like you are doing alright to me compared to some people. Ive worked it out conservatively  at at least 800 a week roughly for doing nothing. 

Last edit: by The Wolf

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you.... Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Hi Dev,

Thank you for your reply.

Legal Aid told me to report him and his firm to the ATO after they saw the ridiculous decision we were given by the SSAT. I feel like I need a lawyer to help me to make sure the ATO treat it with the seriousness it deserves. I also want to make sure I'm protected because he's a criminal lawyer and I don't know what's going on with this money, it could be drug money or money laundering, and I don't want to put my children in danger.

The disparity between what he claims he earns and all of his accumulated wealth is massive. I've even shown evidence of his salary growing. My lawyer wrote alleging he is committing fraud, which a lawyer would never do, particularly against another lawyer unless they were sure. Still, CSA and SSAT seemed to ignore it all. Don't they have a civic and legal duty to report it when they have evidence of that nature before them? I was told the ATO work closely with CSA by my lawyer, like an office away, so we're all very shocked both the CSA and SSAT have seemed to ignore it.

Of course my feelings are hurt. More than that, it was highly distressing and has caused a lot of emotional pain to have the member and him treat me the way they did. There wasn't even the illusion of procedural fairness when you're being screamed at, and his allowed to break privacy laws and other laws, and I can't even finish a sentence without them both jumping down my throat. How do you respond when a grown lawyer is allowed to argue that he wanted an abortion and the member allows it, when my daughter is now almost 2. Her life isn't up for legal debate in the SSAT. They're disgraceful, absolutely sickening and inhumane. I hope I just got the one horrible Member, but somehow I doubt it and think I never stood a chance up against lawyers, I was set up to fail and the bias was very evident throughout it. Even lawyers that have seen the decision are pretty shocked and upset by the clear double standard that comes across. She seemed very docile when it came to him, and just wanted to give him whatever he wanted.

You can't record the hearings, it's not allowed. Besides, you wouldn't be able to use it. I just simply want a copy of the recordings and to get a transcript like you can in every other Court or Tribunal except the SSAT. I want to show the way the member screamed at me during the directions, and all of the privacy breaches and lies they allowed the other party tell even with proof that he was lying. I want to show their bias and the way the seemed to cover-up for him, and make many exceptions. They accepted his oral evidence over the hard facts and evidence consistently through it. They just didn't seem to care.

I need a lawyer that can compile all of this and the evidence to the ATO. Maybe a tax lawyer, if I can find some that don't know him and his dad? I suspect they know many people to have gotten away with so much for so long. They def know many lawyers in Melbourne and have a name for being crooks.

The decision only lasts a few months, and then goes back down to like $15 because his dad has kept his income the same and so low for the last 3 years. Who on earth could believe a lawyer with15 years experience could earn under $70k? Especially with so many assets and funds. Even his SMSF was almost over by $200k undeclared. I wish I didn't have to go through all of this again, or that Coa were competent enough to get it right the first time without the emotional distress… But they don't seem to know what they're doing. I spoke to one the other day, and she just didn't have a clue, seemed to already wanted to excuse everything. They just don't seem to want to do their job.
I was at his house and he practically forced me to sleep with his fat old ass. He was giving me legal advice on domestic violence and I couldn't have been more vulnerable. What he did to a client was wrong and everyone knows it! He used his position and trust to put me in that situation and it's called sexual misconduct anywhere else in the world!!!

He's over 10 years older, he is a professional, he is the irresponsible one lying through his teeth and behaving disgracefully to avoid any responsibility of his daughter- he has pushed me into financial hardship.

Do you really think I don't take responsibility when I have two kids in my 100% care? Could you really be that obnoxious and have such a lack of understanding of what that's like when you have the full responsibility and are abandoned? When your daughter is completely abandoned? Come on! It's hard enough going through what I have on my own without him doing all he can to destroy us physically, financially and emotionally. Have some human compassion and emotional intelligence.

You don't always twist things to blame everyone else like he has. Responsible adults take responsibility of their actions, especially when children are involved, and nobody- NOBODY can claim I haven't or would be so stupid not to. I have the whole of society on my side that know the situation, and everyone knows that what he has done is wrong. I am lucky I at least have those educated people to give me back my sanity.

This is the issue, some men think that they're entitled to everything and it's very easy for women to be demonised. Instead of blaming everyone else, even when they're clearly not to blame, how about you concede that every case is different?

It's not my fault I trusted him and believed him. He was my lawyer and he abused his position to get me into bed when I was most vulnerable. He is a lawyer and he is an old man, he should have known better. Simples. Now I'm raising my beautiful daughter, and the least, the very least he could do is take legal responsibility and help us financially. So far, I have had to carry the full burden of everything, not him! I am the only one that has taken any responsibility- not him. And I'm the only one that has to take the stigma and judgement from you- not him.
Admin said
There were some additional posted comments made that have been added here. I am not sure who 'Land' is…

 Land you're way off, my income is $18k. How can you support yourself, let alone two children on that amount? Get real, thank god I have parents that have helped me make ends meet. If he were on the dole maybe I could understand, but he isn't. He's just an irresponsible greedy pig. The more he helps, the less I have to depend on the government or anyone else to help us. How's this? He's not only not declaring his income, but he expects taxpayers to pay for his daughter too! Disgraceful.

I have the full financial burden and would be rich too if I didn't have childcare and all expenses as well as caring responsibility on my shoulders and a job I could take longer hours in, but instead, because of selfish irresponsible people like him, I can't and we are all made to suffer. I get judged and stuck in financial hardship because of his on refusal to take adequate responsibility AND I have to take the blame for it.

My children do deserve better, and thank god they come from a good family like mine rather than one like he's that turn their back on children. Even if I were a billionaire- he should take responsibility too!

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Disgusting SSAT said
This is my first post, and may be my last. I just need to share the most horrible experience of my life, which was the way I was treated during my SSAT review. ..
You are not alone in the experiences you share if that is any comfort. After reading a number of your posts I was not clear exactly what your current non taxable and taxable income was. I was also unclear if there is another (ex) partner on the scene for which you originally sought Domestic Violence advice  from the solicitor.

There are a number of very competent authorities on Child Support here and it seems, from your story, that you are not getting appropriate financial support from the father in this instance. Child support is simply based around two primary factors. How much time does the child spend with you and how much (declared) income you both earn (that's a simple version I need to state in case my more experienced colleagues jump on me here). It is inexorably linked into the ATO system and the Payee (the receiver) usually complains it is never enough and the Payer it is too much.

The other problem with CS is that the system is complex. What you think is straightforward and surely could not be interpreted differently is never straightforward. CS officers are the most creative bunch of administrators I have ever come across. A recent case at the SSAT righted a shocking wrong only to find two days later a new Change of Assessment application lodged by the payee left us back at square one with just as much paperwork , angst and frustration as before and with the Payer still being dealt with unfairly by deemed withdrawals from his employer.

As a  general and probably a flippant observation, there is no fairness to Child Support, no compassion for financial hardship as the bar is so high you will be destitute and homeless before you get up a successful application and special circumstances are so special no one knows what they are. The amount of time and angst in managing a COA response is often so high that it is not worth responding to and in some cases sets up the environment for a Domestic Violence incident. I have had to deal with some very angry people in some of these cases.

In your case it is unclear what information you seek. It is clear you are hard done by as many hundreds and thousands are in this system. I cannot advise you on the social issues you find yourself in, nor make comment on the circumstances which got you to this point, but suggest that family and friends currently supporting you is the best way forward. The Change of Assessment process is one you can leverage on a regular basis. If there is particular information on some aspect of either the family law or child support systems you need help on let us know.
Disgusting SSAT said
Hopefully not many others will have this experience, t… There's no justice in my position. There's just psychopaths that reward dishonesty, greed and heartlessness and punish everything else.
I think this is pretty much the world we live in today and in any environment be it the financial world, investment world, property market, banking and investment there are scammers and charlatans out there. The best thing you can do is to continue to foster the relationship you have with friends and family for support and step out from there.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Disgusting SSAT said
I was at his house and he practically forced me to sleep with his fat old ass.
I call that as rubbish

Disgusting SSAT said
 he has pushed me into financial hardship.
No, YOU did this by having unprotected sex with your lawyer. You then chose to keep the baby.

Disgusting SSAT said
Do you really think I dont take responsibility
Responsible adults take responsibility of their actions,
Its patently obvious you are taking no responsibility whatsoever. Its also obvious you write point two but do not practise it.

Disgusting SSAT said
Could you really be that obnoxious and have such a lack of understanding of what thats like when you have the full responsibility When your daughter is completely abandoned?
My daughter was kicked out by her mum when she was 12 and the police brought her back to my house where she has lived right up until last week, I dont expect everyone to give me money for free though, i appreciate the help i get/got  but thanks for the insult.

Disgusting SSAT said
This is the issue, some men think that they are entitled to everything its very easy for women to be demonised. Instead of blaming everyone else, even when they are clearly not to blame,
I see you doing (again) exactly what you say men are doing. You are blaming every single person except yourself, like not even for anything at all

Disgusting SSAT said
Its  not my fault I trusted him and believed him.
Its BLATANTLY your fault, stop passing the buck for your own decisions. What kind of person sleeps with a lawyer whilst talking about domestic violence.. its YOU that did this

Disgusting SSAT said
He was my lawyer and he abused his position to get me into bed when I was most vulnerable. He is a lawyer and he is an old man, he should have known better. Simples. Now Im raising my beautiful daughter, and the least, the very least he could do is take legal responsibility and help us financially.
Again, stop blaming other people. 43 is not old, and if you think it is why did you have unprotected sex with an old man? and.. he IS helping you financially, so is your parents, so is your government. Dont give me rubbish about not being able to make at least a bit of money yourself to help the situation. I managed it.

Disgusting SSAT said
 So far, I have had to carry the full burden of everything, not him!
 I am the only one that has taken any responsibility
No, you look like the person who has taken none, despite what you do. even your parents are sharing this burden and he is giving you money, just not as much free money as you want

Disgusting SSAT said
You're way off, my income is $18k.
I call this as absolute rubbish. i KNOW how much parenting payment is. I KNOW how much family tax payments are and i KNOW (according to you) the other help you get via the CSA and your parents.

Parenting payment and family tax alone would be over $31000 so stop telling porkies.

If this is how you behaved at SSAT no wonder you lost. And one last point, what kind of person takes their SSAT phone call in the way you did, you should have been at home, in a room, with quiet and notes. Your ill prepared for call is also your own fault.
This is not a gender thing, its a stop blaming other humans thing.
good luck

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you.... Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Thank you Secratary, that's precisely the intelligent and insightful response I was hoping for

I wouldn't say payers have it harder though because I certainly know many women that have 100% and have never received a cent of help from their child's dad, and the arrears are incredible. I would say though that the system supports fraud and dishonesty and punished the ones that are honest and are caring for their children.

I completely agree, unless you're homeless it is hard to mount the Coa. It's almost as though that's what they want. It's good to know that they work close to the ATO. Maybe my lawyers are wrong and there isn't fraud if they've done nothing about it?

I also agree with it creating greater chances of D.V. I was definitely left in greater danger, especially after all of the privacy breaches and antagonism they seemed to encourage. I'm not sure I'll go through it again because of the stress, but it's not legal or fair. My sons dad and I were only 21 when we had him and he was so much more honest and responsible than this disgusting 43 year old lawyer.

.... (edits) opinion not relevant.. Please try to keep on track relating to legal issues as this forum is not a social feel good place but an authoritative site for legal and complex administrative issues relating to the SSAT now AAT and related subject matter. 

It's always the ones in glass houses that are the first to throw stones. Maybe look at your own situation. Poor kid with mental health problems. Having a child for 4 days a fortnight does not make you a parent, but a babysitter.
secretary SPCA said
I don't agree on that statement. We have many parents who only have four days and what they do in four days to have a relationship is unbelievable Some parents do more in a four day fortnightly cycle than others do in months
Now, I need to go spend some of the 100% care I have of my children which is a lot more parenting than many people could ever understand, and I wouldn't trade a second for the world.

Btw- I support men and women that love their kids. I'm not for men's or women's rights, I'm for the rights of the child!
Site Moderator said
I can't see much value in where this dialogue is heading currently. It will be moved to another forum unless there are specific questions relating to outcomes at the SSAT.. or some other Child Support legislative query. The DV issues, tragic as they are, are not part of this discussion that is wandering in a social discourse on 'Life as we know it'… Please do not post hurtful comments

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Disgusting SSAT said
Thank you Secratary, that is precisely the intelligent and insightful response I was hoping for
Or, you just want everyone to agree with you?

Disgusting SSAT said
It;s always the ones in glass houses that are the first to throw stones. Maybe look at your own situation. Poor kid with mental health problems. Having a child for 4 days a fortnight does not make you a parent, but a babysitter
Ok, the only evidence i see here is that you had an appointment with a lawyer and for some bizarre reason had sex with him. He then wanted you to have an abortion but you decided not to.

You had the baby, was "forced" into claiming child support and got some but thought it was not enough

You claim to have an income of only 18k a year despite parenting payment, rent assistance, family tax and child support taking your income WELL OVER $30000 per year

In your own words, not only did the CSA not believe a lot of what you said OR did not see it as relevant thy actually increased YOUR income during the process so you must have been hiding something

You then had this reviewed and then went to SSAT where you also failed. You prepared for this by taking the call in a public place where it was noisy (sorry if im wrong)

What actual legally allowed and considerable evidence have you shown here to even remotely support your claim or being hard done by to the extent you claim, you almost claim rape in your posts!!! ?

I haven't seen any and to be honest  All i have seen is a person playing the victim based on emotions, and emotions are not evidence. It does not matter what you "feel" Its your evidence that counts AND if that evidence is relevant

Disgusting SSAT said
Btw- I support men and women that love their kids
With your above comments about babysitters its quite clear you do not. All the parents who are struggling to see their kids insulted in one sweeping cliché

I'm going to bow out of this conversation now

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you.... Purple Monkey Dishwasher
My income is 18, 000 due to getting no child support!!! That's the income I have from Centrelink!!! 

Last edit: by OneRingRules

Disgusting SSAT - I have read The Wolf's posts, and at no stage would I consider them to be abusive. He has merely pointed things out in a very calm and rational manner.

On the other hand, you have not posted in a calm and rational manner. You have cast aspersions against a large number of our posters. You have insulted parents who have the 'standard' every second weekend (two days a fortnight), although you were generous with your '4 days a fortnight' by calling them babysitters. There are a large number of posters on here who have been fighting the system to get more time for their children to spend with them. So sadly, sometimes the 2-4 days per fortnight is not their choice.

Going by the details you provided in your posts, you were approximately 31 years of age when you were 'coerced' into have sex with a man 12 years your senior. (I hate to imagine what you think about the 9 year age difference between me and my spouse.) You were attending university undertaking honours study so it would be assumed that you are an intelligent person, not a young impressionable and naïve 18 year old.

And why is your income only $18,000 per year? There are plenty of women who have young children who earn far more than that. You said that you could work longer hours. Although this is confusing, as you said the $18,000 was from Centrelink which implies that you are not working.  Well there really isn't anything stopping you from working, as you would be eligible for various assistances via Centrelink.

But then again, you said "Even if I were a billionaire- he should take responsibility too!" Interesting comment.

Maybe this forum is not the place for you. Good luck with everything.
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