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SSAT Tribunal - Worthwhile or not?

Member is undecided about whether they should go to the SSAT hearing. Is it all worthwhile?

Hi everyone.

The payee of my children is taking a decision by CSA to the SSAT tribunal.

I have been asked to fill in more forms and attend. I see no reason to.

Would I be casing and adverse decision against me if I do not attend and just leave it up to them.

I believe CSA have looked into everything and made a fair decision.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

annie

Annie,

It would be best for you to attend and provide the information. The CSA might think you are hiding information if you do not provide what is requested.

The hearing could go against you, if you do not attend.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
One advantage I found in dealing with the SSAT is that a part of the process is CSA have to send a complete package of what they have on file about you and about the other party.

It makes for very interesting reading and if you can get over the horror of knowing the CSA have sent your ex partner confidential information about yourself (and even your new husband), you can see what notes, etc. they have made after conversations with not only yourself but also your ex partner. It puts a whole new slant on things.
Thanks. I put in a COA, it got increased by a lot of money and then he objected to what it got increased again by another $10,000.

The boy's father has only every paid $20.00 through the CSA, by hiding income in a business.

SSAT want all my financial details again and I just hate him knowing everything.

I've been saving for a house and now have quite a bit but I pay tax on it all so nothing hidden here.

Don't know why but just don't feel like fighting him any more; it's been 7 years.

SSAT

Sorry, he is the payer.
annie said
I have been asked to fill in more forms and attend. I see no reason to.
annie said
SSAT want all my financial details again and I just hate him knowing everything.
Annie, I have had this experience too with endless objections where for some reason the burden of proof has always been on me as the respondent. I would have thought the burden would be on the person lodging the objection, but there you go!

It is exhausting, but the CSA has told me that no response = agreement with the objection, so I always respond.
annie said
I believe CSA have looked into everything and made a fair decision.
If you really are not up to responding, how would you feel about at least responding as you have above, that you think the decision was well grounded and fair.  At least then it is clear you do not support the objection.
annie said
Don't know why but just don't feel like fighting him any more; it's been 7 years.
I totally understand that feeling and wish you well - sometimes it is time to let go even if justice is not done. Try asking yourself why you might keep fighting - if you can raise the child without a financial contribution from the father, let go of the process and stop fighting. Accept that the system will either provide justice or it won't and move on.

If you really need the financial contribution, the decision becomes much harder. Only you can know whether the cost of securing the contribution is worth the damage to you own life and health.

Take care.

Katie



Thank you

Thank you Katie and everyone else so much for your responses. I have a lot of food for thought.

Sometimes I think it's about time he contributes to their upbringing and I can have some sort of a life like maybe get a hair cut without feeling guilty.

I have private school fees next year as well which was on a court agreement that he would pay half but that is another story.
Annie only you will know if it is time to give up and I know what you mean.

I was surprised at the formality of the SSAT process, although I think they can only make decisions based on law and nothing else, so their range is quite small.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
LifeInsight from my research SSAT have actually overturned a lot of the decisions made by CSA so it does happen.

Annie also didn't say how she made her money so maybe she could have a business too?

Hi

Hey.

No I do not have a business, just have the money from settlement.

I couldn't work full time, raise four boys and have a house that I have to look after, I so sold the house and decided to rent until the boys have grown a bit which is now.

He had almost the same amount of money from the settlement 6 years ago. He also got the business as long as he paid for the children's education which he hasn't and won't, which there is a court order which I may try and enforce.

The main reason for the Change of Assessment (COA) was because the eldest went and lived with him and he asked for child support on my income last year, which was a lot higher then this year.

Considering I let him pay $20.00 a month for 4 kids for 7 years, due to not wanting the fight, and knowing he was hiding it all, due to two brand new cars, speed boats and jet ski's, not to mention a house worth over half a million.

I would not have survived financially if I had to give him so much money in child support so put in a COA which the CSA got suspicious and starting looking into the business further and of course he told a big lie to which he was caught out. In all honesty I am sure the CSA already know what investments I have so I should just fill in the forms.

I just hate him knowing.

SSAT Hearing again

Still undecided about whether I should go to the SSAT hearing. They phoned today advising me that the decision could go against me as they use new evidence to make the decision and I might not get a copy of the new evidence. They said if the decision goes against me I have no right of appeal. Does CSA really know what they are doing. I have no new evidence to give them. CSA have it all and told me that the officer who did the objection was a solicitor in family law and one of their most senior staff. Has anyone had any experiences where they have overturned a decision and to what extent. Like I get $20.00 a month now so how much worse can it be. I have to say $1600 a month which is what they reassessed him is a bit crazy. thanks in advance
To be honest, I would always take part in something like this just in case something completely new gets raised.  If you do not want to go in person, I think you can speak to the panel over the phone.  If you now think your ex has been hit too hard, you could always make the point to the panel that while you want a reasonable sum of money from him (which you weren't getting with $20/week), you think that $1600/month is a bit steep.
I wish we could negotiate unfortunately we are one of the many who act like fools and can never seem to comprimise about anything. I do try but always seem to upset him more then sort anything out. My new found wealth- He is a business owner they have no way of getting the money out of him plus school fees are $10,000 a year so instead of then trying to get him to pay half as per court order I might just let him off but I would doubt I would see one cent. $20.00 a month is all kids need!!! Thanks for the giggle….
Really CSA told me they can do nothing. Sorry, I meant the giggle was for my new found wealth…I wish kids were free and education as well. I could easily find 1600 dollars to spend on the kids. Camp alone is $1200 per child and it just keeps coming but if I don't get it, that's life too as I have lived without it for 7 years and I can live without it for another 7!
Can I laugh now…I will never get it. I know that much about my ex. Did they really make you sell your property etc…If so, why did they tell me there was nothing they could do?
I would never persue it but all he would have to do is sell one of his boats or maybe his jet ski or one of the many houses he owns!
Thanks but will doubt I will persue it. I hope you are young as it will be when he retires that I will ever see a cent but maybe it will be when I die that the kids will get the money.
LifeInsight said
….Good luck with the SSAT - Remember, they always say that their outcome is usually more adverse than the C$A outcome.
This statement is not true and I can tell you that there are some extremly favourable hearing outcomes where the children do recieve advantage through additional funds being awarded. We recently supported a case in WA (Director SPCA was involved) where SSAT reversed the CSA determination and the payer was ordered a significant increase. There are many CSA determinations that have been overturned. We should publish some statistics around this as these are available.
Annie said
They said if the decision goes against me I have no right of appeal
This is also not true.You can appeal an SSAT descision to the AAT. SSAT cases should be published shortly. Certainly the parties should both attend and put their case.

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
 
Yes you are correct, all the documentation says there is no higher apeals process other then going to court. They have also stated this to me on the phone already twice where each time I have said,"How much worse could it get?" and the last girl said," He could pay nothing". I am afraid $20.00 is nothing in the scheme of things. Is the AAT the same as going to court, not sure which one she meant.
annie said
….Is the AAT the same as going to court, not sure which one she meant.
Check out the WEB Guide and the CSA section. The AAT decision review is a recent development and I will look into the detail and see what I can find for you. We will publish any additional details. Currently the Federal Magistrates court deals with appeals. The SSAT and subsequently AAT deal with new evidence or case details brought in after the CSA determination. The Federal Magistrates Court deals with the technical interpretation of the legislation. Perhaps if the CSA determining officers had all the evidence in the first place would the decision have been different?
LifeInsight said
are they collecting the $20 per month?
As regards the collect of $20.00 a Month. The people paying this amount are usually without an income, are unemployed or Beneficiaries. There are new provisions in the legislation to ensure a fairer dispersion of funds between the parents toward child support, but unfortunately if one parent simply does not want to participate or cannot participate with contribution to the children, then it is really hard to make it happen. It is one thing to avoid paying money where there is no contact being offered but it is another to do so when generous and liberal contact is in place. Are there any other ways to encourage payments toward your children? Vouchers or coupons for use in supermarkets? What incentives can you think of that could assist in getting a more equitable payment regime in place where currently there is none?

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
 
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