Want to change the Child Support system? Here's the place to post!
By pepper
The independent for Dennison, Andrew Wilkie, has put a motion to parliament to undertake a comprehensive review of the child support system. The review will only happen if it is supported in parliament by other politicians, or there is pressure from the opposition, and they will only support it if they know their constituents want it. So PLEASE I urge everyone to make an appointment with your local member, senator or opposition member ASAP and ask them to support the motion. The text of the motion is as follows:

MR WILKIE: To move—That this House:
(1) acknowledges the large number of mothers and fathers with serious grievances with family law and the child support system;
(2) notes that there has not been a comprehensive review of the child support system since the 2005 review In the Best Interests of Children - Reforming the Child Support Scheme;
(3) calls on the Government to undertake a comprehensive review of family law and the child support system; and
(4) recommends that the Terms of Reference of this review be formulated to ensure that the safety and well being of children are paramount.

Tell your local politician that you support the motion and ask them to support it in parliament when it is discussed - likely to be soon as it was submitted last year. Go to members of the opposition too, we have to put pressure on any way can. If you can't get an appointment, send an email. Let's not waste this - it is a great opportunity to reverse the damage of the Howard reforms!!
Thank you for encouraging us and posting this. I will watch thread with interest and make an appointment with my local member. I was appalled to be laughed at on two occasions by CSA staff when I enquired about my child support amount that was owing at the time $300. I understood that the amount was small comapred to what some people are owed but still is taking away from my son and his life and needs.
By lizzy
I agree that we need to keep up the pressure with the Family Law Amendments. Does anyone know when the laws will come into play? And has the wording of the definition of violence been set in stone.

And I also agree that its time to put pressure on the Gov to review the inadequacy of the CSA. The system as it stands is overly complex and I'm not sure how succesfull an overall overhaul would be, but I think we need to at least demand that there are real consequences for non payers - for example so it affects their credit rating, after all, my credit rating is shot to pieces after not being able to keep up with a couple of bills, but the ex who owes $46,000 can just keep racking the debt up and nothing happens to him.

Instead of a collection agency the CSA needs to have the same powers as the tax office, which means removing the prohibitive privacy laws that the child support avoiders manage to so easily manipulate in order not to pay.

I'm going to start working on a letter, and I intend to make an appt with my federal "member" and take it to them for a discussion. I will also send it to the other appropriate FMP's. It's gotta be done!
So pleased to hear that this is on the table. I've been a single mum for six years (well for 21 really since my ex has never been of any kind of help since my first child was born!) and I've written to politician after politican and obviously they think there's no votes in single mums since none have been interested. I am also concerned about the automatic cut off for child support at 18, regardless of whether the child is still in sime kind of study (uni / TAFE), they don't stop being your kids just because they turn 18, you're a mum forever! I have also found it frustrating that my kids have had ongoing counselling for the DV they were subjected to and yet the cost of that is my problem. I live in the country and there is no after school or holiday care of any kind and with a violent, mentally ill ex, I don't want to leave my 12 year old home alone which severely restricts my work opportunities. My lawyer advised me to get on to CSA as soon as child support is a week over due and to ring them regularly until they recoup it and that seems to have worked, the money is now taken directly from his pay - while they might think that $300 is 'nothing', when you don't have much, it's a lot of money. He's earning $65k a year and I earn $27k and yet he pays only $359 a month child support for the 12 year old - how does that work?! Property settlement still isn't completely sorted and while he lives in the family home (which is debt free) I'm paying $200 a week rent - there's no compensation for that either. All I want to do is stop the cycle of domestic violence, get my kids heads straight so that they grow into well rounded 'normal' people and there is nothing in the system that encourages me to do that, politicians need to actually talk to single mums and help us raise our kids to be the best people they can be instead of choking on ridiculous red tape and crap!
Would it be possible for the Australian Single Mother Forum and or Pepper to set-up:

1. a petition for all single mums to sign re child support. This petition can then be sent to all the government members. Maybe we could host it free on gopetition.com.au

2. A template letter to be taken to the members regarding child support (Pepper you may like to provide an outline of a letter)

The system is a joke...the above two points would be positive action to help change child support for the better.

I have learned that whilst sharing and getting things of my chest by talking about my story helps me a little, it is only a very temporary feeling because my problems still exist. The only way to change things is if we stand up and tell our story to the people who have the power to change the system.

All single mums who want to make a positive difference for now and in the future regarding child support please make comment.
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