Don’t Agree with your Child Support Assessment? Here’s What you Can do

Don't Agree with your CSA Assessment? Here's What you Can do

More often than not, parents that are ordered to pay child support will attempt to reduce the income that they declare to the courts, to reduce the amount that they have to pay. If you’re concerned that your ex-partner is doing this, then there are a few things that you can do to fight back. After all, the weekly costs of raising a child can be between $140 and $170 for unemployed and low-paid families. If you’re not getting the right amount of child support, raising your children can be a lot tougher.

Child support is the minimum amount of cash set by the government in Australia for one parent to pay to another for help raising a child. Child support is a contribution towards the costs of keeping a roof over your child’s head and ensuring that the child has everything that they might need. While people often criticize the system, and the CSA calculations, it’s the framework that we rely on in Australia.

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The Child Support System is Flawed

Depending on who you speak to about child support, you’re likely to get different interpretations of the rules and regulations laid out for parents. For instance, a lot of parents attempt to avoid paying child support by not lodging their tax returns, or not declaring everything that they earn. Some people will also attempt to get creative with how they take their income to reduce costs. For instance, people might work for cash and not declare the money that they earn.

There are some instances where a nil income may even be accepted by the CSA. For instance, these circumstances include:

  • When a parent is overseas
  • When a parent has been incarcerated
  • When a parent is starting a new business
  • When the parent is sectioned in a hospital
  • When the parent is not working after receiving an inheritance

Interestingly, the nil income assessment requires a parent to provide proof of their lack of income. However, CSA doesn’t feel that lodging nil income assessments should be seen as a change of assessment, which means that the other parent doesn’t need to have this information shared with them.

What to Do if you Disagree with the Change of Assessment

If the other parent of the child has received a lower assessment then you consider to be appropriate, then you will need to launch an appeal. You can bring issues to the attention of the CSA, such as stating that the other person owns their own company and that you suspect that they might be changing the way that they obtain their income. It’s also possible to ask the CSA to review the financial resources that the other parent has.

Highlighting the lifestyle choices of the other parent and their common expenses is often a good idea. You can note any expensive hobbies that the parent has, including memberships, rent that they haven’t paid in the past and so on.

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