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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I have a curly one. My defacto and I separated in July 1996.

Customer Question

Hi,
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Hi, My name is***** have a curly one. My defacto and I separated in July 1996. We had a daughter who was 4 years old at the time. We entered into a private child support agreement whereby I agreed to pay all joint costs irrespective of income or assessments. This included private school fees. all extra curricular fees, clothing, medical, dental, and day to day costs we as both parents were responsible for. This was in lieu of paying my ex partner directly.This far exceeded my legal responsibilities or assessments. In 2008 my ex partner complained about financial difficulties even though she shose and continues to choose to work on a casual basis. On top of our private agreement I then also offered to pay her directly which she accepted. Our daughter turned 18 in Feb 2010. I did not lodge my income taxes for the years 2004 - 2012. However, she was clearly informed that the assessments were based on my provisional income.The Child Support Agency issued a reassessment in 2012 covering those years following lodgement of my income taxes. My payments still exceeded the reassessments. My ex partner did not complain. However, in May 2015 she approached me claiming I owed her child support payments dating back to the start of our agreement in 1996. Naturally I disagreed. She has later amended her claim and taken legal proceedings against me dating back to 2004 basing her claim on the fact that I did not lodge my tax returns and the reassessment was greater than my provisional assessment. She is ignoring all payments except those I made directly to her.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advice but a guide to assist you.

Have you sought to have the agreement set aside? Have you asked CSA to assess you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Leon,
I believe that is what my former partner is trying to do, to get the court to agree there was no private agreement and hence all assessed and reassessed payments should have been made directly to her. I have only contacted the CSA recently to get a full copy of all correspondence sent to me dating back to 1996. My ex partner is not complaining about any of the payments I made from July 1996 to June 2004. Regardless of my late tax filing I continued making similar payments under similar circumstances from 2004 till Feb 2010 when our daughter turned 18. She is now stating none of those payments constitute child support payments. In her claim to the court she has not mentioned any of the previous payments dating from July 1996 to June 2004. The implication in her legal claim is that I was paying her directly. The evidence does not support this. In other words she has chosen not to give the court the full details.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

Here is the link that explains how to set them aside.

Was the agreement registered with the CSA?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Leon,
Thanks. The agreement was never registered. It was a verbal agreement made 20 years ago. Basically I would pay everything. I fulfilled my part but as I wrote before my ex now wants to claim there was no agreement and is now acknowledging only payments made direct to her plus a small amount (about 10%) in recognition of everything else I had paid.
Does her silence and behaviour mean she legally accepted the agreement?
Can she change her mind after she's had all the benefits?
If she was always considered that payments not direct to her did not constitute child support payments and she remained silent while allowing me to pay does that constitute unconscionable behaviour?
Sorry, there was no link.Thanks
Romano
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Evening

If there is no written agreement there is nothing that the other side can do.

You decided to be nice and make payments.

You are entitled to cease making payments and nothing can be done.

Have you worked out what the correct amount you should be paying?

If not use the following estimator.

https://processing.csa.gov.au/estimator/About.aspx

She cannot get orders to go back. She can only claim from the date she applies onwards not have them backdated.