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CSA eNews for parents - December 2008

New look child support assessments

We have sought and listened to customer feedback and developed assessment notices that are easier to understand. Customers with changes to an existing child support case and new customers will now receive our redesigned child support assessment.

It clearly outlines the eight-step formula we use so you can see exactly how your child support is calculated. If you
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register a case (PDF), or
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change your details with us we will send you a new child support assessment based on the information that you provide.

View an
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example of a new assessment notice.

International travel net tightens

Parents who have not met their child support obligations may be prevented from leaving Australia with a
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Departure Prohibition Order (DPO).

We now use data matching technology provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to apply a DPO to non-paying parents who have travelled during the Christmas holiday period in the past.

DPOs can be lifted when paying parents meet their outstanding child support in full or make satisfactory arrangements to pay the outstanding amount over time. Anyone falling behind with their payments should call us on 131 272 so a customer service officer can help them get back on track.

Supporting same-sex separated parents

From 1 July 2009, parents with children from a previous same-sex relationship can apply for child support, even if they had children and separated before that date.

This follows changes being made to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and Child Support (Registration & Collection) Act 1988 to remove discrimination against same sex couples, including providing recognition for child support.

Further information for same sex couples is available on our website.

Continuing child support when your child turns 18
If your child will be attending school next year and will be turning 18you must apply to continue your child support before your childs 18th birthday.

For example if Matt turns 18 in March 2009 and plans to do Year 12 next year an application to continue child support until the end of his 2009 school year will need to be lodged before he turns 18 in March.

You will need to make an application (PDF) to us and we will consider extending your case based on the information provided.

If granted, the extension will be made to your child support case until the last day of the school year if your child turns 18 and is in full-time secondary education during that year.

Our Christmas closedown period

The CSA will be closed for the Christmas/New Year period from 12.00 noon on Wednesday 24th December and will re-open at 8:30am on Friday the 2nd of January. If you need to access our services over the Christmas break, you can register with CSAonline to view and update your child support details online.

Customer disbursements commenced early this month, allowing available funds to be disbursed overnight and credited to accounts within 48 hours. If child support is available in your account, you will receive the funds within 2 days up to our closedown on 24 December. Disbursements resume as usual on Wednesday 3rd January.

Single parents and child support
Participants are sought for a Deakin University research study that will explore the social, health and financial impact of single-parents receiving or not receiving child support. It will involve completing a questionnaire every six months and a financial logbook each month for 18 months.

Please contact (local call) 1300 760 809
or email: ch%20study for further information.

This study has no official link to the CSA and CSA is not providing parent details to the researchers. This information is provided to parents as a community service.

In our next edition

To improve outcomes under the Child Support Scheme for all separated families, minor changes to the child support legislation will take affect on 6 January to help you make informed decisions for the benefit of your children. Look out for the January edition of eNews for parents for more detail.

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