After separation, parents, whether married or de facto, can reach an agreement regarding the type and level of child support or maintenance that is paid from one parent (“the payer”) to the other (“the payee”).
Agreements as to child support / maintenance can be formalised through the preparation and signing of a Binding Child Support Agreement or a Limited Child Support Agreement. Such agreements allow parents flexibility as to the type, amount and length of time child support is paid from the payer to the payee.
If parents do not agree or do not wish to put a private arrangement in place, then a parent is entitled to lodge an Application for child support through the Department of Human Services (Child Support). The assessment and determination as to the level of child support is an internal government procedure. After the initial application has been lodged, a child support assessment (“the assessment”) will normally issue several weeks later.
The assessment will indicate the following:
1) How much a parent is to receive/pay each week/fortnight/month; and
2) A parent’s rights relating to payment/receipt of child support.
The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (“the Act”) has a formula to calculate the amount of child support that would be paid by a parent in any given situation.
The formula is based largely on:
1) the income of both parents;
2) the number of children;
3) the ages of children; and
4) the number of nights that the child/ren spend/s with each parent.
There are also provisions in the Act that allow parents to seek a variation of child support, depending upon the circumstances. There are certain grounds which must be established before a Departure Order will be made from the normal formula.
The Act is a complex and difficult piece of legislation.
Contact our Child Support Lawyers
As such, you should contact our Child Support Lawyers to seek specific advice about your child support situation. We can assist you in negotiating and preparing a suitable private child support agreement. Of course, if your matter can’t be settled by negotiation, we can also assist you in the objection process and/or going to Court seeking a variation of child support, if necessary.
Please call one of our Business Development Officers today to make an appointment to discuss how we are able to assist you with your Child Support matter on (07) 3252 0011.