View Full Version : Warning - long, but question about payments for two step kids.
This is sort of a vent post, but also a question for anyone that wants to share. I'm not asking for your own financial infomation, but this is a genuine question regarding maintenance and it's uses.
My hubby pays maintenance for both of his children from a previous relationship (I know as I do the transfer fortnightly - $570/fn).
We now have the two children when they choose - they are nearly 15(DSD) and nearly 13(DSS). Biomum started working parttime about 4months ago never had a job before this, so her income was never taken into consideration when working out maintenance amount. DSD started working at Maccas about the same time as biomum started working and works about 3 or 4 shifts a week (did work reportedly about 30hrs a week during school holidays)and so now has income as well. We haven't reported anything about biomum or DSD working as we figure it will change at tax time if warranted which works better than trying a change of assessment which we've been through before and is more trouble than it's worth in case it all falls less than the limits.
Anyway, DSD has a school camp interstate (so expensive one) in July and told me about this camp at Christmas. We don't see her that much these days - due to her working weekends and us living more than 100km away from them (we see DSS more, but that's not relevant to this story). She will call or message me at times, but hasn't called or messaged DH for over 6months. We saw her for 4 hours on boxing day and had her for one weekend about 5weeks ago otherwise no contact since last year.
She sent DH a message on Wed - "Are you still paying half my camp - I need the money love u lots xx". I'd asked her about what she was saving for (with the money she earns) on Boxing day and that's when she told me about the camp. DH can't recall ever offering to pay any of the school camp as the amount of maintenance, the fact that she works, her mother works and there is a live in boyfriend (of her mother) he figured it's all set and also the fact that she hasn't tried to contact him for so long (he tries calling once or twice a week and her phone is always off).
Anyway - he got the abusive phone calls from biomum today saying he's a cr@p dad and he's lost his daughter as he won't pay. They need deposit of $550 for Friday apparently and he'd said he couldn't get that money for Friday (he's also feeling resentful as only contact DSD did was for money).
So my question is - with the amount of money he's paying for maintenance for 2 children - should he be shelling out for this camp as well or (he thinks) the maintenance should cover it.
PS Biomum is off work (we were told she got an infection at work - works at an abbatoir and got a meat hook in her hand - off work for another 4weeks). She said she's not working so no money - but we figure if the injury happened at work then she'd be on worker's compensation payments (WA has a no fault system, so regardless of who's at fault - if it happened at work, she'd be getting wages paid while off work).
Okay this is long, but appeciate your thoughts
The mum sounds like a piece of work....
Anyway I don't know the technicallities but $570 pfn sounds more than adequate to cover regular school activities. I know mum only ever got a few dollars from my father and he never sent me on interstate camps!
I would think that this camp is not your regular run of the mill camp, more one of those fancy ones they offer for the kids that can afford it. So I don't think your DH should be responsible for sending your DSD.
Personally Pegasus no I dont think he should have to contribute...if you could afford to and he decided to offer to contribute up to you guys...not something they should presume you will do...that is a lot a fortnight and with both of them working and having obviously known about this way before a few days before the deposit is due they should have planned/saved for it if it is that important...I totally empathise as this is the kind of blah blah blah we hear regularly!
Really rough that the only contact he is getting is about money...that must make him bit sad :(
DD9s dad pays $220 a month in csa payments.
Currently (since the start of last year) his been paying 50% of her uniform and 50% of her dental treatment. To me his paying this is very generous, he doesnt have too pay it but he does. For camp, well we have been though this last week dd9s bday is coming up i said ok you can have a party, little present and go to camp or you can have no party go to camp and get a present.
She rang her dad asking if he would pay for half her camp as a birthday present he said no, i am suprised but i guess he would rather buy her junk :rolleyes:
Wouldnt bio mum be entitled to centerlink benefits or has she remarried? Also seeing now one is working part time i know how quick my bio dad got onto that when he heard i was working but as you said it will even out come tax time.
I think that the amount of csa payments you are making are very generous to be asked to pay $550 for camp out ofthe blue is just plain rude i am sure your dh would remember agreeing to something like that (if thats a deposit i would hate to see the cost for it lol)
Sounds a bit like the stunts my Mum would pull. :rolleyes:
She was always after my Dad for more child support as what he paid wasn't enough (according to her!) - $1,000 a month.
CSA did tell my Mum that child support is paid to assist with the everyday upbringing of the child and paying for 'extra' things such as school camps, dance lessons etc (just an example) would need to be paid out of the child support that she receives unless another agreement had been reached as to how much each parent would pay.
Thanks for your responses ladies.
I had been thinking that the amount biomum gets in maintenance should more than adequately cover everyday expenses plus some as there is no one else I know who (admits to at least) receiving that much in maintenance.
Yes they still get Centrelink payments, the mother was never married to my hubby - they were together 5weeks (and even then broken up at the time - both were 18) when she told him she was pregnant. There were very off and on for about 3 years (hence, my step son).
Yes my hubby is very sad that the only contact he gets from DSD is about money - he's at the end of his tether and has been attending counselling to help him deal with the cr@p that goes on.
As far as we know, biomum is still on pp single - she was with this boyfriend when we did the last reassessment (was talking about marrying him at that stage - and getting her tubes untied to try for number 3), but all her relationships are very turbulent and haven't heard stuff like that for awhile.
She knows how to work the system very well and that's not sour grapes talking - it's 10years of being involved in the situation.
Anyway - thankyou for the support - will let you all know when we hear next.
If all this was done through th CSA then all the wages ie: biomum, DSD and the live in BF's wages would all be taken into account and your DH would prob only be paying about 200 a FN, 570 is a substanitial amount for some1 with all these wages coming in
As far as I'm aware, DSD's wage only comes into account for maintenance purposes when she is counted as working full time - she is in year 10 this year and is not working full time during school term. What her wage does to her mum's allowances is irrelevant to us.
Biomum has never put in a tax return and therefore her income has always been counted as being the minimum - ie just parenting payment single (unless she has now declared to centrelink and is receiving parenting payment partnered, but considering the amount of times she has been dobbed into centrelink and has been able to dodge it (hubby told me she was doing it when they were together and that was over11 years ago and I know of a few times she's been dobbed in since then and yet on the last reasessment, she was still listed as parenting payment single (with rent assistance etc.).
Hubby has never claimed a proportion of the FTA as tax officer persuaded him not to the first year he realised we had the children more than 10% of the year as biomum would have to pay her proportion back and would most likely dispute it (although we have diaries) which would be a further reason for antagonism between us.
Therefore, we have left it to see what happens if she puts in a tax return this year (this is the first year she has earned a wage - and if she's not on the books, then that's another story). If she has been working legally, then she will have to lodge a tax return and then CSA may change the amount of maintenance payable. (We do this through NAP, but the amount is advised by CSA)
Until then, the amount stands and confirms my thoughts that, yes, she is lucky to be receiving that amount from hubby (it's more than any single mums i know with two kids).
Yes, hubby is on a good wage, but when you take out maintenance, and the mortgage, we end up with less than the amount of maintenance paid out and we don't qualify for any allowances, hence, I work part time, while paying full price for daycare.
I've said enough about this issue before - by all means search my threads on this one, but yeah - I do think the amount should be more than substantial to assist in raising the children.
My husband doesn't begrudge paying maintenance, he begrudges the fact that despite a very comfortable amount of maintenance, they still never have any money and feel affections should be bought with money.
The sad thing is that biomum has always been about money and what others have, and having that as a role model, my step kids see this is how value is measured in people a lot - what brands people wear, what car they drive, what house they live in etc...
By the way - the camp is in Canberra - some special the government does to encourage students to visit the capital. Think the government pays about 200 per students but the overall cost is 4 figures - they stay in hotels apparently!!!
No, he shouldn't be paying for the camp. A fortnight of his payments will cover the camp deposit. Sounds like she trying to milk whatever she can out of you guys.
Yeah I remember going 2 that camp, but in grade 6, it was fantastic, we stayed at a resort motel thingy, it had a swimming pool and park and all, we did heaps, yes very expensive
I don't have step-children, but just as an outsiders input:
Wow that sounds like an expensive camp, and it sounds like most people would really need help paying for that. A deposit of $500+?! Geez! How much is the rest of it?! :eek:
But I was just thinking if your hubby pays $500+ maintenance a fortnight, she probably isn't getting a great deal from Centrelink, so still struggling a bit.
Also, this won't help at all, but during my teenage years, the only contact I had with my parents was to ask for money, even though I lived with them :laughing:
So even though it must hurt your DH quite a bit to have his DD contact him only when she needs money, it actually might not be too much different than if she were living under the same roof with him!
Good luck, hope it works out ok, sounds like perhaps the biomum could do with some lessons with budgeting etc.... You hubby shouldn't have to contribute any more than he does, it's up to him, not her, if he wishes to help out more. And not seeing the kids very often I understand that he may be a little reluctant to.
my Dh used to pay alot of maintenance for his son. His ex moved up north & we ended up sharing the cost of his travel .ie we'd pay for his flight for one visit then her the next. But we had to pay for the 800km round trip to pick him up from the airport.
We didn't send any extra money for things but certainly purchased clothing etc while he was here because it was apparently unaccesible where they lived.
Now we have a private agreement & pay for all travel (no more flights as they moved) half his schooling, shoes, some clothes & other bits n pieces. We don't pay a fortnightly payment.
In your situation, the question from your DSD should have been asked & talked through months ago. Your hubby should be truthful with her & let her know his money doesn't grow on trees. If he feels as though he would've helped let her know but make her realise it is something that would have to be saved up for.
Her mother may not be seen as good with money but it won't hurt her to know you guys make every penny count.
My DP pays Child support every month for his 8 year old - but no where near what your hubby pays.
Me and DP have always thought that his child support goes towads the day to day living of the child - food, clothes etc. We have always imagined that when it comes time for things like private school, braces, school uniforms, school camps - extras like these - that he would pay close to half or at least contribute towards them (his ex earns about twice as much as him, plus DP has our DS plus a soon to be DD to pay for).
However, your situation is a bit different....the fact that your hubby's DD has a job of her own means that she should be "paying her way" as well.
But I think that $$$ shouldn't = the amount of contact you have with child iykwim?? Regardless of whether the child wants to see their father or not - that shouldn't dictate whether he pays for extra things or not.
I recieve a far amount of maintanance for my two dd from my ex which i consider this to be for the girls not my self this helps out with school fee's, uniform's, clothes, shoes, afterschool activities etc i dont think he should be made to pay extra towards something (ie the camp) unless he was to offer! I think it just a guilt trip that the biomum has put in the dsd head to make you guy's look bad:no:
Some people can be so greedy budgeting sounds like a gr8 idea for biomum and its not your fault that she had a work injury don't let it get to you and your DH.
I'm sure they would have known about this camp for a little while why didn't they start saving straight away???
No you should definitely not be paying for school expenses, not for the limited amount of time you have the kids. We have a similar situation and only had to start paying half school expenses once we had the kids 50% of the time. Before that CSA told us that the maintenance was all we had to pay.
Also , for whoever mentioned it, Maintenance will not affect Centrelink payments like Parenting Payment at all, it only affects Family Assistance.
We often have problems with the ex wanting more money and she would always get the kids to ask for her. So even though it sounded like the kids thought we were made of money it was actually the ex giving the kids a hard time and making them ask.
I know what you mean about after you take out the maintenance and then the mortgage it doesn't leave much to live off. We have 3 other kids now and it always bugs me that we can't spend on them what we have to pay out in child support. The ex goes on and overseas holiday twice a year(without the kids) and she had breast implants done. All while she only works less then 20 hours a week so we can guess what the child support goes on.
I just keep counting down the years till DSD is 18 and it will be over.
As far as I can tell (from Centrelink's website), Maintenance will decrease your parenting payment by 40c for every dollar once you start receiving more than $156.00 (+$24.90 for an additional child).
This would mean that (by my calculations) biomum will be receiving $381.90 per fortnight in parenting payments (this may be reduced if she is working legally- in which case she'll be receiving compensation wage payments), or if she's working illegally - then she won't have her payments reduced.
So before phone and rent assistance etc (she was also getting a carer allowance for a period when DSS was on ritalin (not sure why as he didn't have any diagnosis and we were never able to get any doctor reports - but that's another story), she would get about 952.40 per fortnight. If she's working it would be different, but would only be greater than this as new income does not reduce a centrelink payment dollar for dollar.
no he doesnt have to put any money towards anything at all thats what the CS payments are for, all the kids needs.
We have a similar sort of situation - my hubby is botha payer and payee - his daughter rang last week and said her mum told her to call and ask him to pay for her holiday to the US - with her mother's family. Hubby said no- perhaps ask your mum to put away your CS money which is $350 month - we spoke to our case opfficer and she said that any extra he provides will be taken into account in his payments.
What is the Maintenance Income Test?
The Maintenance Income Test applies to Family Tax Benefit Part A. It is separate from the ordinary income test and applies to maintenance (both child support and spouse maintenance) collected by the Child Support Agency, maintenance collected privately, and non-cash maintenance. You are exempt from the Maintenance Income Test if you are receiving a Blind Pension.
Parenting payment won't be affected by the maintenance she receives, only the family tax benefit part A.
If she has started work then she has to notify CSA and give an income estimate for the year.
Changes in employment
When you get a new job, re-enter the workforce, or become unemployed, your lifestyle and finances can change. You need to tell CSA immediately when a change in your employment occurs.
If you have a child support assessment, you must tell us:
if your income has increased
if the care arrangements for you children have changed.
We may need to adjust the amount of child support you receive.
If she doesn't notify the CSA they will do a reconciliation at the end of the year, not only does she have the chance of ending up with a debt that she has to repay money to you, she may get a fine on top of that.
I also agree that your maintenance should cover the cost of school camps.
Well it seems like I majorly undestimated how much biomum must get fortnightly, and considering how the amount is greater than hubby gets in his hand after paying tax and maintenance, I think it's more than reasonable to expect the camp to be footed out of money in that household (epecially considering DSD is also working).
Apparently the rates changed as of January 2008 and biomum can earn up to $41k including maintenance before FTB are affected. I thought PP was affected, but apparently not so.
If her job is not legitimate and she is still receiving parenting payment single - equates out to $41437.61 per year (or $1529.24 per fortnight plus supplements)
If she's earning money legitimately, then her income has to be higher as her income does not decrease dollar for dollar.....
Oh and if she has done the right thing since last assessment and declared she's not single, then her payments would be less, but then we'd have to consider her boyfriend is earning money...
Pegs - sorry to hear she's at it yet again :hugs: lots of love :hugs: * :kiss: to you all, xxoo.
No, your husband is not obliged to pay for half the camp. I have spoken to CSA many times over this issue as my husband has two daughters and an ex-wife who is CONSTANTLY demanding more money for things like Ballet lessons, netball, tennis, etc. As far as CSA is concerned, whatever your husband pays in child support, should cover the childrens' costs. Their mother is not entitled to ask for more and your husband is certainly not obliged to pay any more. If he's like my husband, he'll just pay the extra money (which drives me nuts because then our daughter goes without), and not fight it, but for your sake, I hope he standsup to her and tells her that she has to make do with the child support that she gets now. I'd also beexplaining to the daughter that her father pays child support for these types of things and that it's up to her mother to manage the money properly so that it's there to pay for their school commitments.
Grrr I cant believe she is still doing this **** (well actually I can considering everything else she puts you and J through). DO NOT give into them hun. L has been working for quite a while now, she knew the camp was coming up, she even told you she was working to save money for it, and considering the lies, deceit etc that J is illegally claiming, I would just tell them to get stuffed. Its not fair on you, J, or your kids:hugs::hugs:
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