By by Fleur Anderson - AFR

Pauline Hanson: "Non-custodial parents find it hard to restart their lives, with excessive child support payments that ...
Pauline Hanson: “Non-custodial parents find it hard to restart their lives, with excessive child support payments
that see their former partners live a very comfortable life.”

The federal government’s independent auditor has flagged an investigation of the $3.5 billion child support system, a move that could provide further ammunition for Pauline Hanson’s claim that the system is unfair to non-custodial parents.

It’s the latest in a push to test the integrity of the child welfare system, which some claim is plagued by rorting by some parents trying to dodge child support payments and some childcare service providers who are blamed for almost $600 million in incorrect government payment claims.

The Australian National Audit Office has listed the child support system as a priority issue for audits for 2016-17 and plans to focus on the arrangements between the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services.

In the weeks following the federal election, Nationals MPs reported to their partyroom that anger over the child support system was a sleeper issue that risked losing voters to One Nation unless major parties started taking notice.

The accuracy and effectiveness of the child support system is based on parents lodging accurate tax returns to give their assessable taxable income,

In 2014-15, about $3.5 billion was transferred between separated parents to support about 1.2 million children.

In the same year, the ATO and Department of Human Services were behind 65,678 enforcement actions on parents’ tax returns to collect an extra $27.4 million in child support payments.

Child support

Another 105,202 tax refunds were intercepted to garnishee $121.5 million in child support.

But fathers’ rights groups and One Nation say the child support system must be overhauled and the formula that dictates the amount of child support payments should  be reviewed.

The audit will focus on the effectives of the agencies’ enforcement activities, including intercepting tax refunds and reviewing the accuracy of parents’ tax returns.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said in her maiden speech this month that some parents were left caring and providing for children without any financial help from the other parent, while others refuse to work altogether to avoid the payments.

“The system needs to be balanced, taking in the age of the child on a sliding scale and both parents’ incomes should be taken into account,” Senator Hanson said.

“Non-custodial parents find it hard to restart their lives, with excessive child support payments that see their former partners live a very comfortable life.”

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  • admin says:

    “The audit will focus on the effectives of the agencies’ enforcement activities, including intercepting tax refunds and reviewing the accuracy of parents’ tax returns.”
    …….not too much here about reassessing the formula and stopping CSA from creating their own version of a payer’s income – an audit will just not do the job we are looking for. Men’s Rights Agency

  • Tim says:

    My ex wife withheld our two sons for 127 days after i provided evidence to CSA that i had 30% care whilst working and providing fulltime as ive always done, She witheld them from there father, myself, rang CSA and automatically had her care percentage returned to 100% for financial gain, CSA admitted this was legit and allowed the increase without any concern to in the best interest of our children over financial gain or loss of relationship, love and bond between our children and there father. Law allows it. Ive paid almost $17,000.00 in the family court trying to gain access as a fulltime, working single parent with a clean history for one nights access per fortnight yet im home and available from 6 nights per fortnight and CSA denied monies spent on family court is not listed as eligble to claim under exceptional circumstances as monies out of my house hold in the last financial year and neither is my bankruptcy after my prefered industry sector has declined. My ex wife lives with a miner with a household income well exceeding mine and lives more than comfortable which i advised CSA as my budget was over limited with all the above mentioned, she denied all to CSA and without investigation i was denied an income assesment be returned against her household and my payments were increased even though i have done my tax yearly and the ATO had provided my financials. Mens rights in family courts and Child support Australia dont exist. Please Somebody listen, hear and expose our stories and bring fair justice, please. Tim.

  • Stuffed-By-The-System says:

    Mate, I know exactly what you are saying.
    I was working well with my ex wife for several months after our separation. Due to my mistake of looking up an old school friend I hadn’t seen for some thirty-five years, and then starting an affair, my ex missus said “get out”. I did, but I was coming back to see the kids every few days initially, then weekly. I even stayed overnight, while she was on Night Shift. Being separated, she started seeing a few guys from her job, but strangely, she wasn’t settling well into her new ‘freedom’. ( I mention the following, as it ties in later in my story ) … when I’d stay over at night, she would come to me in the middle of the night, etc. etc. etc.
    Now, this confused me, and at one point I thought we may even get back together at some stage in the future.
    My new girlfriend did prove to be an ‘error of judgement’, and we parted a year later ( I moved back to my mother’s house ).
    During this time, I was paying a reasonable amount to the CSA ( around $1300. / month ). I saw my kids every weekend, and we did things together that their mother didn’t have time for ( theme parks, movies, beach etc. ). It all seemed to be ‘reasonable’.
    THEN …. she found one of our former ‘next door neighbours’ on FB.
    She changed within a few weeks.
    He started being there when I arrived to pick the kids up. We were ok for a short time ( shook hands and said ‘how ya goin’ when passing each other ).
    However, my ex then started replying to emails, that THEY were busy this weekend, and I can’t see the kids. Not every weekend, but it started to develop into a pattern.
    Then she says, that THEY are moving, and the house ( not fully paid for ) was to be rented out. Now my Family Court Order had the house listed as the place where my children will reside, and that’s why I signed it over to her.
    So they move to an undisclosed rented house.
    I wasn’t to have the address or her new mobile number. I could only email her.
    Time moved on, and we had an RV point for picking my kids up and dropping them off again.
    So, I paid around $1300. a month for two years, and got access to my kids almost weekly, but the excuses started to filter in. “We’re going away this weekend”. “We’re busy this weekend”.
    Last year I turned 55, and pulled out my Super ( retired from job ). She got thirty grand cash. Not, not enough. Due to the bullshit way the CSA calculate things, I suddenly owed a lump sum of seven grand. “No, that can’t be right” I said. We go ’round and round’, and then the CSA STEALS my Tax Refund. My monthly has now increased to $1,800. even though I’m only employed casually, and some weeks I only work one or two days.
    I don’t know what the CSA said to my ex wife ( if anything ), but it seems co-incidental that my ‘dispute’ with the CSA corresponds with her telling me every week, that THEY are busy, and I can’t see the kids.
    So, where am I now ??

    My CSA account shows a debt of eight grand. I’m being garnisheed by Order. I’m allowed $709. a fortnight ( they call it ‘protected funds’ ). I haven’t seen my kids for two months. Next week is my youngest daughter’s thirteenth birthday. I know she was looking forward to going shopping for a present …. but her mother says, no. She is only interested in a party that is running as a full weekend ‘sleep-over’, and there’s no time for me !!!

    I can’t even get my ex to compromise with any day of the week, and any time of the day. The answer is simply ‘no’, we’re busy.

    She works full time, and so does he … yet I’ve never been asked to look after MY CHILDREN in lieu of some paid child-minding service they use !!

    So, I’m rocking up tomorrow to the nearest cop shop to where I think they live, to ask about what RIGHTS I have to see my kids.

  • Ian King says:


    If anyone who has any influence over the CSA reads this, I believe the current “Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989” could be made fairer with the following two changes :

    [1] The Act grants the CSA too much discretion when determining a parents Taxable Income. A “Reason 8A” Change of Assessment allows the CSA to determine a Taxable Income which differs from the ATO’s Taxable Income. The CSA case officers are not qualified to be making accounting/financial determinations and are highly unlikely to correctly determine an Income. Part 6A “Departure from Administrative Assessment…” should be scrapped. Only approximately 3% of child support cases are currently determined using Part 6A. I would guess that significantly more than 3% of the CSA’s resources are consumed resolving these highly complex cases.

    [2] The Formula used to calculate Chid Support relies heavily on the “Care Percentage” assigned to each parent. This creates a confrontational system, whereby the custodial parent is rewarded financially for denying access to the non-custodial parent. The Care Percentage should be set at 50% for each parent.

    Kind Regards

    Ian King

  • gougedbigtime says:

    I could write a book on my experiences with the CSA.
    They made my life hell and are blatantly biased. The paying parent is treated like a criminal and the receiving parent as the victim.
    The CSA wrongly garnisheed my bank accounts and left me penniless, at a time I didn’t have a job. It took me 6 months to finally convince them of their error. But, do you think I received a refund? Not likely.
    Although I have 50% custody I work but she doesn’t, so I have to pay child support.More recently, my ex and I reached a verbal agreement that I would pay all my sons schooling costs if she didn’t claim child support payments. I paid everything including school fees, uniforms, books, excursions, laptop etc. Then after around 12 months, she decided to do a backflip, reneged on the agreement and claimed back child support. The CSA whacked me with $6500 back child support which I’m paying off. I tried claiming the schooling costs, but as I have over 14% custody (I have 50%), I cannot claim anything. I also have $10,000 in credit but once again, because I have over 14% custody I cannot claim against the credit. However, the CSA are making me pay child support and also pay the $6500 back child support. Although, I pay child support my ex still wants me to contribute to his schooling costs but won’t allow this to be deducted from child support payments. Although I want to help my son by paying his schooling costs, I can’t because the CSA won’t allow any deductions because I have over 14% custody. My ex spends most of the child support on herself. The system is a total disgrace.

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