thread: Child Support questions

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Caroline Springs

    Child Support questions

    Hi, after all these years you would think I would know all the answers to my child support questions, but alas, no. Lol. I'm hoping someone might know the answers.

    Here's the situation as simply as possible:

    - Hubby has two kids from a previous marriage aged 12 and 15.
    - Hubby's income is higher than the ex
    - The kids are with us just over 57% of the time (classed as "shared care")
    - We currently pay $125 per fortnight in child support (which is a little more than we actually have to now that we have another baby)
    - We pay for everything for the kids (school fees, school uniforms, extra curricular activities if they have them, camps etc)

    Question 1: In our current situation are we classed as the "primary carer" because we have the kids a higher percentage, and as such are we meant to be paying the extras like we are? Or because our percentage is classed as "shared care" should we have been going 50/50 with the ex on such things?

    One of the kids is thinking about spending some more time at his Mum's house, so the situation would change to this:

    - 12 year old in our care 36-42% of the time (this is still classed as "shared care" which is from 35-65%)
    - 15 year old still in our care 57% of the time

    Question 2: In this new situation who should be paying for what? Because it's still "shared care" for both should everything be 50/50? Or because the 12 year old is in her care most is she responsible for his things, and us responsible for the 15 year old's?

    Question 3: When I look up things on the CS calculator and put the new care options for the 12 year old it jumps from $111 per fortnight (which is the current), to $255 per fortnight when she has him for 1 extra night a week, and to $346 per fortnight if she has him 2 extra nights a week. This is more than double/triple than current and that's only a chance to one of the two kids care arrangements! Why would it increase so dramatically? Surely one night's care can't cost an extra $72?! Is this leap because his care goes from majority with us, to majority with her? And does this mean she is meant to be paying solely for all his "extras" like schooling? Because if the care is "shared" and we are meant to be sharing the "extras" then that leap in cs surely isn't justified....?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Dec 2006
    In my own private paradise

    child support calculations are difficult to explain, and can be very messy - but yes, it does sounds right that the CS leaps that much

    essentially both incomes are pooled, and a general living expense is taken out for each parent (and this amount would take into account the other children you and DH have together as they are also his dependents)
    this pool becomes the "family" income
    then both parents percentage is worked out for care
    the family income is then split based on the percentage of care
    if the parents income is a lesser percentage of the family pool than their percentage of care, they receive child support
    if it's more, than they pay

    so in your case, your DH has 57% care, but when his and the boys other carer income are combined to create that "family pool" he obviously contributes more than 57% to the pool, so has to pay to the ex
    by changing the percentage of care for 12 year old, the amount your DH contributes to the family pool for him becomes much higher, so the amount he would have to pay goes through the roof. it's not about primary care status, it's about the total pool of income that is available to provide for the child kwim??

    as to "extras" - that is something that should be sorted between the parents - or CSA can get involved if things aren't amicable enough to do this. you are probably not obliged to pay for extras at the moment (unless it is stuff that ONLY you guys want, like private school, if she has expressed a desire to place them in public) - in a shared care arrangement you could have requested to share the expenses - you could ask her (or child support if she isn't playing the game) for a reduction in cash child support to pay for those things and it becomes "non-cash" child support. if she is going to be having him additional nights, it may be something to consider - you guys continue paying for extras but do so instead of extra child support - otherwise you would have to pursue options to get her to pay towards the schooling etc from the child support she is entitled to

    i have seen situations where someones entire child support entitlement is "non-cash" because the other parent pays extras kwim?

    it's definitely messy, and probably best

  3. #3

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve

    Is there a reason your DH is paying for the "extras" (apart from being a nice guy?)

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Caroline Springs

    Thanks BG. I think I get what you are saying. I might re-read it again tomorrow when I'm not sleepy though

    Is there a reason your DH is paying for the "extras" (apart from being a nice guy?)
    We've been paying the "extras" because we figured it was our obligation seeing as we had the larger percentage of care. Although up until 3 1/2 years ago the kids were with their Mum more (before they chose to live with us primarily) and we still went "halvies" with everything because she always asked. We basically paid out of fear that if we didn't she would turn around and try to reduce the amount we had the kids so she would get more cs from us (she's that type of person...). With them being older and making their own choices now we no longer have that fear

  5. #5
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Apr 2010
    In the mad house at loopy land

    We have the same issue here. We have 50/50 care csa told me that we shouldnt be covering all extras and for most try to work it out with other parent or if we could we could request part of the extras to be part of the child support so our amout payable would be less as we would be including amouts for the extras.
    All the added extras add up and most things are included in the care for the children.
    Eg if you had 100% care and were receiving payment if the other parent was paying for the schooling it would ruduce their csa amout to you. Does that help lol

    pls excuse the spelling mistakes on my galaxcy