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  1. #1
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    Default Child support question

    Could anyone help me out with a child support issue?

    I have a family member who is separating from his wife. They've been physically separated for 8 months and are on the way to being divorced, she has mental health issues, is abusive and has refused any treatment for a long time.

    In a nutsbell, the father has vacated the house and is paying the mortgage, rates, Internet, insurance, all household bills bar electricity and food. Three children, two are teenagers who do their own thing mostly, he has the youngest at least 3 nights per week. He also buys all the clothes/school lunches etc for the kids as she is quite neglectful. She won't come to an agreement to pay part of the mortgage as rent, (she has a part time job) and has been telling him he also needs to pay child support. CSA are now going to take child support from his wages. It's literally going to take his entire income to keep up the mortgage/bills and pay child support. She refuses to vacate the house, so he's going to put it up for sale asap.

    Does he have any options at all? The CSA said because the house is in his name they won't count that as rent on her part. It's in his name as she has mostly been a SAHM for years and they just bought it on his wage. He'd be very happy to pay the mortgage for awhile let to keep the kids in the family home.

  2. #2
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    The absolute best advice anyone could give your friend is that he needs to see a lawyer ASAP.

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    Clementine Grace  (06-02-2017)

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    Thanks so much, yep, he's going to see a family lawyer this week. I think he's likely going to have to pay both until the property is sold.

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    In addition to seeing a family lawyer regarding financial settlement, he also needs to let the child support agency know exactly what he is already paying. The child support owing may be reduced as they have certain allowances for direct payment of bills. The are rules are complicated and I don't understand them, so he would be best of speaking to them directly. Eg things along the lines of school fees and medical expenses definitely count. I'm not really sure about the things on your list.

    ETA this link may help:
    http://guides.dss.gov.au/child-support-guide/5/3/1
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 06-02-2017 at 17:58.

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    Clementine Grace  (06-02-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSecret Squirrel View Post
    In addition to seeing a family lawyer regarding financial settlement, he also needs to let the child support agency know exactly what he is already paying. The child support owing may be reduced as they have certain allowances for direct payment of bills. The are rules are complicated and I don't understand them, so he would be best of speaking to them directly. Eg things along the lines of school fees and medical expenses definitely count. I'm not really sure about the things on your list.
    Yep he's done this today, and they've said that he still needs to pay the full amount. Especially given that he pays any drs bills (he takes them to the dr) and any school uniforms etc. They don't seem to take it into account unless he needs to speak with another person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clementine Grace View Post
    Thanks so much, yep, he's going to see a family lawyer this week. I think he's likely going to have to pay both until the property is sold.
    Certainly he will have to pay his CS - there is no way around that. If you don't pay it as ordered the CS office can garnish your wages and bank accounts in order to recoup it.

    Re: The house - it may be that it's in his name, but in the eyes of the law it is owned 50/50 by he and his wife. It, along with all the other marital assets (cars, property, shares, superannuation etc) will have to be equitably divided among the two parties.

    In *many* cases, the person with whom any children reside receives a larger portion of the asset pool to ensure the children are looked after adequately. So....whilst he may have plans to sell the house, he should bare in mind that it may not be as simple as just splitting the proceeds 50/50.

    From what I understand (and no, I'm not a lawyer!) a wise thing to do would be to see a lawyer, get the date of their separation officially recorded, and apply for settlement of assets and child access orders through the courts. It may be more costly but a court order has the backing of the law behind it, whereas an agreement out of court has none. Also, court orders tend to be more equitable and protect both parties from being 'ripped off.'

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    Yep that all sounds fair, he's very happy to pay child support, as well as anything else the kids need, he wants to have them 50/50, he's also given her the car. She can't be reasoned with, she has recently done things like tell him he had to leave $300 for her or she wouldn't let him see the children, has told him to put money in her account or she's going to set his car on fire. She's mentally ill and has been a long time.

    He just won't be able to keep up the mortgage, pay child support and rent a house as well (he's currently staying with family). I would have thought that if he was housing her, paying all the bills that CSA would take it into account but sounds like it's just not the case.


    Thanks so much for the advice.

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    Blossom74  (06-02-2017)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clementine Grace View Post
    Yep that all sounds fair, he's very happy to pay child support, as well as anything else the kids need, he wants to have them 50/50, he's also given her the car. She can't be reasoned with, she has recently done things like tell him he had to leave $300 for her or she wouldn't let him see the children, has told him to put money in her account or she's going to set his car on fire. She's mentally ill and has been a long time.

    He just won't be able to keep up the mortgage, pay child support and rent a house as well (he's currently staying with family). I would have thought that if he was housing her, paying all the bills that CSA would take it into account but sounds like it's just not the case.


    Thanks so much for the advice.
    Sorry I have no experience but can he speak to his bank and go on interest only for a few months or do a hold on payments?

    It may give him time to organise finances etc for now.

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    Having been through all of this

    He doesn't have to pay the mortgage at all as he has vacated the property

    Any child support he pays obviously goes into the mums account and goes towards any bills and this includes the mortgage

    He doesn't have to contribute anymore then what csa actually tell him to contribute and he should NOT do it as a private arrangement I'd do it all through csa so that she cannot complain and or possibly lie that it hasn't been paid

    He would be smart to engage in a lawyer and to not discuss anything with the ex at all including finances.

    If she has mental issues as you say he should put it to the lawyer that he has custody and she has visitation until she gets her mental health sorted out.

    With selling the house is she to on the mortgage even though you said it was only his wage that bought it ? If that's the case selling is easier said then done and she would also need to discharge the mortgage

    Lawyer up and get good advice is the best way to go

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    I have heard (with CS and my husbands ex) that you can pay things for her in lieu of CS. However she actually has to agree to this. Like mortgage, bills, internet, school fees etc. However if she is mentally ill, it sounds like she wouldn't agree to this. If he doesn't want to pay it then best to get those things cut off if he doesn't live there. However does make it kinder hard if she won't then pick up those costs in her name etc, as I am sure he then feels guilty with kids etc I would be surprised if he would have to pay if teenagers are living with him, and only one child is sharing custody ? or have it read that part wrong?

    As others have said best to seek legal advise and ring up CS. But it is not fun at all poor bugger !


 

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