Thankyou for comments thus far. I can tell you she is going ballistic that I am not passing the passports to her. Apparently her mother is coming to my workplace today to "talk" to me about it! And it is suggested I give her the passports - not likely!
I assure you her concern is not that I may flee with the children. Her concern is a loss of control about where I may take the children and for how long - even if it is completely in my court ordered time. She feels she has a right to prevent travel if it is not in a form acceptable to her. And a 14 hours flight would not be acceptable to her - she has said repeatedly.
I have written to the passport office to alert them of the possibility of an attempt to cancel passports as suggested.
I have no problem holding on to the passports except for the vitriol I am currently receiving. I am called a mongrel father this morning. Charming.
When we made the orders I did have included an option at either parents request, to have the passports held by an independent third party. I have proposed this occurs to her and suggested she suggest some independent third parties for my consideration. She has ignored this so far - insisting the passports be provided to her alone. I guess I can organise an independent third party on my own but if she doesn't have input then she wont consider them independent.
My concern now though is that she has said in an email last night that she doesn't actually need passports and that if she wanted to stop the kids going overseas she would simply just not handover the children. This is an email worth hanging on to I'm sure you agree.
This however is of course of similar and larger concern. I guess I just don't tell her the dates of travel, which would conflict with the requirements of the orders, as I am supposed to let her know some weeks in advance of my intention to travel and the itinerary.
So, now I am thinking, as I really do not want anything to interfere with this planned booked and paid for trip, whether I should instigate some sort of court action whereby the court would recognise my concerns and make some specific order in relation to this trip. ie "The children must be provided for travel on such and such a date and the mother must take no action to prevent or hinder that travel".
Seems excessive but I am really dealing with an extremely difficult neurotic ex here. And I have had no easy ride since separation is 2006. I have often thought about just waking away from my children because the fight is so nasty and protracted. But naturally I can't do that and I battle on.
Passports is an ongoing grinding issue with me. When we made our orders in 2008 I had built in to the orders that the children would be allowed to travel overseas with me on achieving the age of 8. (Would have made it earlier but ex would not have a bar of it and I was looking to resolve other issues as priority at the time). Anyway, youngest turned 8 last year and I wanted passports in line with orders and she would not agree. Only when I got serious about taking the matter back to court did she comply, and I ultimately took the kids to Fiji over Christmas. The ex believes that I should now turn the passports over to her. I am reluctant to do so as I now have booked a trip to the US for the kids at the end of the year. I don't want to find myself in a situation where she wont give them to me when I need them again - and believe me she wont be happy about the kids travelling to the US with me when she finds out (doesn't know yet). She's a neurotic nutcase.
So I am thinking I will just keep them and refuse her demands. However I am concerned that she could just call up the passport office and cancel them if I don't comply with her demands to retain them. Then it will be a real process to get them reissued.
Just wondering if anyone has any good ideas about how to handle this?
Is there anything to suggest at this stage that the new government might review the child support system? Problem with this sort of thing is that it can take forever for any changes to come through and the perceived unfairness that exists now will likely last for as long as my kids are kids. And the money I am providing will continue to be supporting the household including the new child that does not belong to me.
I saw a letter from the National Party just before the election where they outlined their child support policy. Their policy included something to the effect that payers would not be disadvantaged by a decision on the part of the payee to leave work and have another child (with someone else). I would hope therefore that they are now taking steps to implement such a policy though I suspect even in 5 years time if legislation to that effect did ever pass, it wont benefit me.
Sometimes thinking about how unfair all this is makes me want to throw myself off a bridge. Really.
Thanks Mike, will make complaints as you suggest. In fact I will send all 10 letters to the Commonwealth Ombudsman and ask how they expect me to understand what's going on when CSA clearly don't.
On the issue of the amount I actually pay, first the ex was earning $57K. This has now gone to zero so results in a significant increase in the amount I have to pay. And annoyingly (but anticipated) I can't find out from CSA or anybody else if the ex's new boyfriend is contributing child support towards the upkeep of his new child. Or whether the increased amount I am paying is now actually being used to support a child that is not mine. It's a reprehensible situation.
Using the calculator on this site - the amount they have invoiced me this month (which agrees with none of the 10 change of estimate letters I received over two days) seems fairly close to the mark. But it doesn't change the utter confusion and chaos this agency exudes - making a difficult situation even worse.
My ex just had another kid and subsequently advised CSA. Therefore my child support is going to go up as a result (she gave up work) which is incredibly unfair but somewhat expected. So as if that isn't bad enough, CSA appear to have no idea what they are doing and in the space of 2 days last month I received 10 letters from them (4 on 2nd Sept and 6 on 3rd Sept), all reassessments, each inconsistent with the last and inconsistent with the account statement I have just received requesting my next payment by 7th October. So I think they don't know what the hell they are doing and I find it absolutely unbelievable that a government organization dealing with such large amounts of other people's money can be allowed to operate in such disarray.
I'm not right now clear how much I should be paying this month. Do I pay in accordance with their "account statement" which is presumably based on one of the numerous reassessments they have sent me in a two day period (and not the last one received either)? And who the hell really knows if their current calculations are correct, do I just take their word for it? I just don't believe that they should be allowed to continue to operate in such an incompetent manner but have no idea who's attention this should be brought to or how. Any ideas?
I am seeking an explanation of fairness in the child support system. I am the father of two children and pay regular child support to my ex-partner, in full on time every month. My ex partner is currently working so the child support payable is adjusted to reflect that.
My ex-partner has just advised me that she will soon be leaving work to fulfil a long time ambition to have a third child. As such, her income will reduce to zero, and, as a consequence, the child support payable will go up. I believe that her "capacity to earn" will not be considered by CSA to reflect this, it being her personal decision to have a third child. If however, I wanted to leave work myself to undertake a long term ambition of my own, such as to undertake another university degree, CSA would no doubt consider that I have a "capacity to earn" and that likely the child support payable would remain at the level it was when I was last employed. I feel that this alone is completely unfair.
Secondly, I am aware that my ex partner is having this child with a man she is not married to and is not living with. Because my ex-partner has had a long time ambition to have a third child and has been unsuccessful in finding a suitably committed partner, she has now decided to enter in to a private arrangement with the father of the child whereby he will not be required to contribute to the medical expenses or upbringing of the child by way of child support.
As far as I can see, what is going to happen now is that the child support money I am providing will not only be used to assist in paying her medical expenses for the third child, but it will then also be used to assist her in bringing up the third child - to the detriment of my own children. ie, it can be argued, that my children will now only have the benefit of 2/3rds of the money I am providing by way of child support for them. The other 1/3rd (or more if you consider all the paraphernalia that babies require) will be diverted to a child which is not mine.
I realise child support is a difficult thing to manage and that every case is somewhat different. But the above situation is really quite unconscionable. How can the government force me to provide my money to an ex-partner who is then free to spend that money on what or how she likes, and potentially not to the advantage of the children for which this money is intended?
There are many issues here, one of which must be the view that child support is set too high in the first place. My ex-partner has obviously considered the income provided by me to her and determined that it will be sufficient to provide for three children instead of two.
Also, I am sure, CSA, like any government department, is required to account for every cent provided to it to support it's programs and services. In fact most financial arrangements are like that on every level in government or private enterprise. Every cent used must be documented to show how it was used and what the benefits of the expenditure were. Why is it then, when it comes to child support, that the government can collect whatever it decides is reasonable, from a hardworking taxpaying father (in my case), and then distribute that money to my ex-partner, who is then able to use it as she fit, and then not provide to me an account of how that money has been used? Again this seems absolutely unconscionable.
I hear many times that Australia has a "Rolls Royce" or "best in the world" child support structure. And indeed, I am sure it is highly effective in collecting and redistributing money. But if a child support system like ours is to be implemented (and I am certainly of the belief that a system of some sort is required) and the government decides it is to have jurisdiction over it's management, then the government must also take on the responsibility of ensuring that the money collected is at all times being used to the benefit those for which that money is intended ie the children. And, if the government cannot account for how the money is being spent, or does not wish to enquire as to how the money is being spent, then the government should rightfully reimburse that amount to the individual that provided it in the first place. This must be the case on any level in a corruption free democratic society, accountability for monies spent and repayment of monies that cannot be accounted for. Unfortunately this must be the consequence of government's intervening in child support matters - otherwise there is a situation that arises where funds may be being used improperly, and the government as an enforcer of the process, must surely be deemed to be somewhat accepting of this.
I do hope my comments are read and considered. I will be forwarding this letter to my local member and other relevant organisations in the hope that something can one day be done to introduce a fairer scheme that has the welfare of the children in mind rather then simply the rapid and ill considered redistribution of monies earned by honest, responsible and hardworking individuals.
She has some ambition to have more children so she can quit work and do that - no questions asked - I just pay more child support.
I have an ambition to do another degree. I'd like to quit work or go part-time to do it. But if I try anything like that I'm certain that I'd have to keep paying child support at the rate I currently am (which is about to increase dramatically) due to my "capacity to earn".
I really can't swallow this. This legislation needs to be challenged. How does it fit within the framework of the constitution? Forget lobbying - that would mean years of wasted effort by a lot of people. Anyone looked at he legality of these laws or am I just kidding myself?
OK Well the disastrous results of my getting mixed up with this woman 12 years ago continue and this weekend they have taken another turn.
So she tells me she is having another baby.
This means she will be leaving work. Therfore no income and my child support is going up. Wonderful. I pay up for her to have someone elses kid.
But here is the thing….she is not married or living with the bloke. And I'm not certain, but I don't think there is any intention to start living with the bloke.
About a year ago she was telling me she desperately wanted another child and suggested I provide her the means (non financial means if you get my drift). Not likely - after what she has put me through. (She's a real einstein my ex).
So she's been seeing this bloke on and off for a while and she's been getting more and more depressed that he wont move in with her or commit.
So, somehow (she says) she has talked this bloke in to giving her a child even though they apparently aren't living together and there isn't an intention to. (I don't believe there is - I ask the question - she ignores and says it's none of my business. If he were moving in she'd be flaunting it.)
I suspect she has said to this guy that he would be in no way financially responsible for this child and somehow he has agreed to it. Maybe they have a contract or something - I have no idea but I just don't see that he is expecting to pay towards the child. (He's an einstein too.)
So it's me that will be picking up the bill as usual isn't it.
My question is this.
- If he were paying child support - would his payments effect the amount I would have to pay?
- and, if it does effect the amount I would have to pay in child support then, if they do have a private "agreement" that he doesn't have to pay child support - is there any way I can force the CSA to consider that this is potential income that my ex is not accepting.
Seriously. I'm over it. At every turn this woman has cost me. Now she lands this on me. I just can't do this anymore.
Passport for child when other parent is being difficult:
whatbus thanks for the fighting words of encouragement. That's just what I need to hear. No there is no medical reason or any other reason why the kids can't take a trip. Just a neurotic narrow minded ex.
As another example, the kids and I entered in to a secret pact behind their mother's back so as they could have a sleep over at a friends house for the first time last week. My kids already know what they are up against with their mother too!
Passport for child when other parent is being difficult:
Hi larissap, nice to hear from you again.
Yeah I figured it would be something like that. Will probably try my hand at self representing this time. I'm not sure she has a leg to stand on. Her sole issue seems to be that the children can't be without her for an extended period and that they are too young for long plane rides and they will get lost in the crowds (They are 8 and 10 !!) ……No mention of any fear she has that I wont bring the children back or something serious like that.
Same old same old with this fruitcake for an ex……….