Prepare your evidence to prove the elements of your case.

an application to depart from an administrative assessment under section 116 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (see below) or if the CSA has decided it is too complex to be determined by the CSA
– an application for child support to be paid in a form other than periodic amounts (or an application to discharge, suspend, revive or vary a previous court order about child support)
– an application to discharge, suspend, revive or vary a child support agreement; or if consent was obtained by fraud or undue influence, an application to set aside a child support agreement
– an urgent application for the payment of child support
– an application for a stay order, which is a temporary order that suspends or reduces the payment of child support until a final order is made.
– an application to recover a child support debt by the Child Support Registrar or payee
– an application by the Child Support Registrar to set aside a transaction (or restrain a person from entering into a transaction) to reduce or defeat a maintenance liability.
Section 116 of the Child Support Act explains the process about applying for an order from the Court about child support.
How to Start a Case
To start a case, a person (the applicant) must file an application form with the Court as well as:
(a) an affidavit setting out the facts and circumstances relied on and the grounds of the application, attaching:
(i) a copy of any assessment made by the Child Support Registrar relevant to the application
(ii) a copy of any decision made by the Child Support Registrar or SSAT relevant to the application and statement of reasons for that decision, and
(iii) a copy of any orders relevant to the application.
(b) a completed financial statement setting out all your income and expenses, and property you own.
If your case is about a private child support agreement then you must file a copy of this too.
Time limits
If you are applying for a declaration that you are or are not the father of a child then you have to file this application within 56 days of the Child Support Registrar’s decision, but the Court can give you more time.
Service
Service is the process of sending or giving court documents to a party after they have been filed with the Court.
The applicant must arrange to serve the other party, any other parent or carer of the child who the application for child support is about and the Child Support Registrar with the court documents.
Usally the application must be served at least 28 days before the hearing date. The applicant must serve any further documents on which he or she intends to rely on each party to the proceedings at least 21 days before the hearing date.
Responding to an application
A respondent to an application must file a response. A response must be filed and served within 14 days of service of the application.
The respondent must also file an affidavit stating the facts relied on. Where the application relates to financial matters, the respondent must also file a completed financial statement or affidavit of financial affairs.
Legislation
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the Court may consider the following Acts and Rules:
– Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989
– Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988
– Family Law Act 1975
– Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001
Another useful legal resource is the Child Support Agency ‘Guide’ which is available at www.csa.gov.au. The Guide sets out Child Support Agency’s policy and view of the child support scheme and its administration.
Tips on Preparing an Affidavit – from the paper by Federal Magistrate Toni Lucev found in the publications tab of the website for the Federal Circuit Court – www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au
Prepare your evidence
29. Prepare your evidence to prove the elements of your case. That is, what you have to prove or disprove in order to be successful. Chronology and context are important, but you only need to prove or disprove those facts which are relevant to the legal elements of the case. It is law, not history. Remember, that sometimes you can admit all the facts, except a critical fact, and your evidence need only deal with that fact (for example, that the door is not a “door”).
30. Make sure that your evidence is prepared. That is, that the affidavits are filed, or witness statements have been prepared, and, where necessary, witnesses subpoenaed. Make sure that the relevant documents have been discovered, or are in evidence, and make sure that you have looked at them, and read them. Likewise, make sure that you know which documents you intend to tender as exhibits. If at all possible prepare exhibits such as photos and plans to assist the Court to “see” the evidence. If necessary, go on a view, or have brought to court equipment or devices which show how things work or which have recorded what occurred.
31. Importantly, be prepared to meet objections to your evidence, and make objections to the other side’s evidence.
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