Child support is payments made by one parent to another, to assist in supporting and meeting the expenses of a child.
Parents have obligations to provide financial support for their children after separation regardless of who the child lives with and whether the parties and/or the child live in Australia or overseas.
There are two ways in which child support can be dealt with, either by way of a Child Support Assessment issued by the Child Support Agency (“the CSA”) or by way of a private agreement.
The Child Support Assessment Scheme applies to children who are under the age of eighteen (18) years, and in certain circumstances, for children who are older than eighteen (18) years. The CSA is an arm of the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.
In broad terms, child support is assessed having regard to a formula which takes into account the number of nights each of the parents spend with the children, their respective incomes and whether there are other dependent children. In the event you have received a child support assessment which you do not think accurately reflects your circumstances or those of the other party, we may be able to assist you in seeking a review of that assessment.
In certain circumstances, parties may decide to enter into private agreements to make arrangements for the support of their children. These Agreements may deal with periodic child support and with additional expenses such as private health insurance and private educational expenses.
These agreements can be limited or binding. Limited Agreements may be terminated by one of the parties in certain circumstances, including a period of three years having passed since they were entered into. Binding Agreements will usually remain in place until the child reaches the age of eighteen years.
Child Support Agreements are technical documents which should be drafted with extreme care.
Should you have any questions regarding child support, we are more than happy to help you with your enquires.