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Child Support Matters - Issue 7




CSA Online
CSAonline, is a secure Internet service, now two years old and around 62,800 parents are now using the service. Since the service went live in April 2006, more parents are choosing to do business with the CSA electronically and enjoying the flexibility of receiving their correspondence, checking child support information and lodging online, when and where it suits them. In the lead up to the new Scheme, it?s especially important for you to keep your details up to date and ensure you don?t miss important information. CSAonline is a quick and easy way to do this.

To log in or register for CSAonline visit www.csa.gov.au


More money for more kids
More than ever before parents are working together after separation to financially and emotionally support their children. We calculate child support for 52.4 per cent of parents who then transfer payments without our  involvement. Assuming 100% of these private collect customers transfer at least the amount of the assessment, in 2006-07, 633,648 paying parents contributed an average of $4,026 in child support for the year - that's about $77 a week. Of those, almost 29 per cent transferred more than $100 a week; another 35 per cent transferred between $10 and $100 a week; 30 per cent transferred less than $10 per week; and only 5 per cent did not  contribute anything in the last 12 months. This is up on 2005-06 where 628,330 paying parents contributed an average of $3,901 in child support for the year, which is about $75 a week. Parents who transfer child support privately and are unhappy with the outcome can ask CSA to manage the transfers again in most circumstances.


A Dad's story - marriage break up is not a family break up
It is nearly ten years since I broke up with my wife. It was the toughest and most heartbreaking time of my life. We had young girls and not being able to see them whenever I wanted to was almost too hard to comprehend. I still miss my girls when they aren't with me, but I see them one night during the week and every second  weekend. We also talk regularly on the phone. I am very involved in their upbringing and schooling and we share
holidays.

My ex-wife and I make sure our kids see us getting along, and I try to have one-on-one time with each of them to talk about their issues and feelings. Separation involves change and sadness for the kids too, moving from house to house, remembering schoolbooks, clothes, and things they need to have at both houses.

I believe forming a solid business-like relationship with your ex-partner helps you move on and makes it easier on the children. You have to put the emotional and personal reasons for your divorce behind you for the sake of your kids. My wife and I came to an agreement a few years ago about child support. I pay a set monthly amount to help support our kids. The Child Support Agency isn't involved and this works well for us. Early on in our separation when the girls were very young, their mum came up with an idea that if they were at mum's and missing me they could send me a rainbow and vice versa. The rainbow went from house to house. To this day, years later, we still send rainbows.


Giving your relationship another go!
Under the new Scheme if you and the other parent decide to get back together we can suspend your child support payments for up to six months. No child support will be payable, unless there is unpaid child support. If you are still together after six months, CSA will automatically end the assessment. If you are a Centrelink customer and have a child support assessment, you need to tell both us and the Family Assistance Office if you're getting back together, or if you separate again. The Family Assistance Office will need to know your new income details and any other changes in your circumstances to reassess your family assistance and/or income support. If you and the other parent are thinking about getting back together more information is available at www.csa.gov.au (search 'reconciliation')

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