Two months ago, I wrote about the 5 major lessons learned when it came to dealing with Child Support (CSA) Change of Assessment (CoA) process. As previously mentioned, it was this process that eventually led me to have a wealth of knowledge about all things Divorce and the birth of my business The Financial Divorce Chick.
Finally, all that accumulated knowledge was put to use in my most recent experience with a CoA process.
And boy, what a difference experience, when applied correctly, can make.
This time, I felt calm, composed and most importantly in control, no longer was I on the back seat feeling blindsided by this process. I knew I had a good cross-application, backed up by fact, referenced to the relevant sections of the Act. Don’t get me wrong, my emotions did kick in a little, but this time I was able to keep them at bay and not colour my response and cross-application with them.
After submitting my response, I did not hear from CSA for weeks, so eventually I called to follow up and discovered they had sent a further response from the Ex three weeks previous. I don’t know where these documents eventually ended up, but 6 weeks later, I’ve still never received them.
So here I was having to respond to the Ex’s cross-application to my cross-application without any documents to go by. I requested to respond once the documents were received, but as they have a certain number of days to make a decision I was fresh out of luck.
I’d be lying if I told you my heart wasn’t pounding during this phone call with the Senior Case Officer (SCO – who was really lovely by the way). Apparently, the Ex was still insistent that I should be assessed as earning in excess of $120k because “that is what an average Financial Consultant earns”. At least this time he had a vague report from a recruitment company to back up his claim. Ummm was he forgetting that I have had our children full-time since they were babies and building my business part-time to work around the needs of our kids? I was more than happy to disclose my business earnings that clearly showed my revenue could not support such ridiculous claims.
I won’t bore you with all the details but the one funny part of this conversation I would like to share with you all was when the SCO told me the Ex’s response to where the $400k he made on the sale of his house went. Apparently it went to renovating his new 6 bedroom house to give the kids their own rooms! I had to hold back the laughter as I appreciated the irony of this statement.
Anyway, about a week later I received a call from the SCO whilst out having a business lunch. Normally I would not take a call during a luncheon, but I’d been hanging out for this call, so I politely excused myself to take the call. I’m ever so glad I did, for this call just made my day. In short, the outcome of the decision was this:
• The Ex’s application regarding my income was denied (good to see common sense still exists)
• My application regarding his income was approved
• CSA have now set the Ex’s income approx. $50k higher than his 2017 taxable income for the next two years
• My Child Support has been increased as a result
If I take you back to 2012 when I received my very first CoA decision, this is almost an exact replica of that outcome. Instead of being happy with the current assessment, the Ex sought out a major reduction in his payments and ended up having his income set at a rate approx. $50k higher. Obviously, some people just don’t know how to learn from their past experience.
I have no doubt an objection to this decision will be made and if unsatisfied with the decision it will be taken down the Appeals Tribunal route – yet again. But this time I’m no longer that scared newly Single Mum worried he will take my kids away from me. I do this sh*t for a living now and know that I have the strength to take on anything he throws at me.
Recently I was approached by two clients to assist them in writing CoA applications and it made me smile. Because of this experience, I now have additional resources to draw upon in order to assist these clients.
In closing, I’d like to say that these days, I see all experiences, good or bad, as just that, an experience. I give gratitude for them all and know that it’s these experiences that shapes our lives.
If you or someone you know is going through a similar experience and needs some guidance, please feel free to have them contact me for a complimentary Insight & Empowerment call.