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Child Support

» Child Support
PLEASE NOTE: As at 27 December 2023, this law firm has reduced its services and now ONLY provides legal advice and representation in the areas of Employment Agreements, Legal Waivers and Governance documents.

Child support – what is it?

Separated parents have ongoing legal responsibilities to provide an appropriate level of financial support for their children. Child Support payments are made by one parent to the other to ensure the child’s needs are met.

How is the amount of Child Support calculated?

The Child Support Scheme sets a formula for how the amount of Child Support should be calculated. The Scheme is designed to make sure that children under the age of 18 are financially supported.

The formula takes into account:

  • The number of children each parent has to provide for
  • How old each of the children are
  • The income of each parent, and
  • How much time the child/ren spends living with each parent.
Child Support

Further information about how Child Support is calculated or an estimate of the amount payable can be found at the Child Support Agency (CSA) website via Services Australia.

What is Child Support meant to cover?

Child Support payments are intended to cover the general costs of raising children, including housing, meals, clothing, medical costs, schooling and extra-curricular activities.

How do I organise Child Support payments?

Visit the CSA website and use the online estimator to help you work out how much Child Support need to be paid.

Talk to the other parent about how you would like to manage the Child Support payments between you.

You are able to self-manage your child support if both parents agree on the amount of Child Support, how and when it is to be paid. You can also include Child Support in a Court Order and reach an agreement about how and when Child Support payments will be made between each other. If you are self-managing your Child Support and something changes, it is a good idea to complete the Child Support online estimator again to make sure the right amount of Child Support is being paid.

If you would prefer to keep the payment of Child Support at arm’s length, the CSA will make an assessment of the Child Support payable. They will tell the parents how and when to pay, will collect payments from one parent and transfer it to the other parent. Further information about this process can be found on the CSA website.

Can we agree on a different way of financially supporting the children?

Yes you can. You can enter into a binding child support agreement or a limited child support agreement which allows for Child Support to be paid differently. Further information below.

What if I don’t agree that the Child Support assessment is fair?

You or your lawyer can apply to the CSA to change the child support assessment in special circumstances. These might include things like the increased costs of caring for a child with special needs, the increased costs of travel to enable the child to spend time with the other parent or there is an issue with the declared income or earning capacity of one or both parents.

Where can I get help?

For many parents, Child Support is not complicated, however for others it is a real point of contention. If you and the other parent are not able to reach an agreement on child support matters, call us at Markus Earl Legal or click below to give us some details and our family lawyer will be in touch.

Making a Child Support Agreement

Separated parents have ongoing legal responsibilities to provide an appropriate level of financial support for their children. Child Support payments are made by one parent to the other to ensure the child’s needs are met.

If parents are able to agree on how they will each financially support the child, an option that may be more flexible than a Child Support Agency assessment is a legally enforceable Child Support Agreement.

There are two types of Child Support Agreements:
  • Limited Child Support Agreements; and
  • Binding Child Support Agreements.
Limited Child Support Agreement:

To enter into a limited child support agreement, the parents need to have an assessment completed by the Child Support Agency specifying the amount of Child Support payable.

Parents can then enter into an agreement which allows the Child Support payments to be made in a more flexible way. The key requirement is that the amount of the Child Support must be equal to or more than the Child Support Agency assessed amount.

Limited child support agreements are enforceable by the other parent and it is highly recommended that both parties obtain independent legal advice before entering into one.

Binding Child Support Agreement:

A binding child support agreement can be made between the parents to specify the amount, frequency and method of child support payments.

It must be in writing and signed by both parties. A binding child support agreement can only be executed after each parent has received independent legal advice. The lawyer for each parent must sign a certificate of independent legal advice and attach this certificate to the agreement.

Unlike a limited child support agreement, a binding agreement can be made even if you haven’t had an assessment completed by the Child Support Agency. It can be for an amount equal to, more than or less than what the Child Support Agency would collect on your behalf.

Legal advice:

It is very important that you seek independent legal advice before making a child support agreement. Both limited and binding child support agreements are legally enforceable and should not be entered into lightly. If you would like to enter into a child support agreement or need some further advice, the family law team at Markus Earl Legal are here to help. Click below and provide us with some further information and we will be in contact with you.

Markus Earl Legal are experienced and passionate about helping people with family law issues. To find out how we can assist with your legal issue, contact us to book a free 30-minute no obligation phone discussion to speak to one of our lawyers. During the conversation we will ask initial questions and based on your response we will provide general advice on a plan in relation to your child support matter including the next steps should you decide to retain our services.

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