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Child Support is often a complex and confusing area of law, especially for parents that have recently separated. Both parents have an obligation to financially support their children.
Be informed about your options, your rights and obligations. If you and your ex-partner are in agreement, you may enter into a Child Support Agreement which will replace a Child Support Assessment. Stop wasting your valuable time and money: speak to a family law solicitor.
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We understand that its difficult to navigate Child Support.
DG Family Law will assist you to navigate your child support arrangements with confidence. We want to give you your life back and do it in a supportive and pragmatic manner that doesn't cost you an arm or a leg.
A Child Support Assessment ("CSA") will consider the following factors in determining the level of child support to be made payable:
a) The number of children;
b) The age of the children;
c) The income of both parents;
d) Each parents share of care; and
e) Other costs paid by each parent.
We would recommend that you visit the Services Australia website to see what kind of payments will be made payable under a CSA.
If the parties agree on the Child Support to be paid, they may sign and register a written, private agreement. You may enter into a Limited or a Binding Child Support Agreement to this effect.
In default of an agreement, a Child Support Assessment will determine the contributions to be made by each parent according to their complex formula.
If you have more than 35% care of a child, you may apply for a Child Support Assessment.
You will be liable to pay Child support until one of the following conditions has been met:
a) When the child turns 18 years old;
b) When the child gets married or becomes a member of a couple; or
c) The child dies.
If the child is still in high school
when they turn 18 years old, the
parent receiving child support
can request payment until the
child completes high school.
What if the other parent does not pay the money?
The Child support Registrar has broad ranging powers to obtain payments, including the following:
a) Requiring an employer to pay money directly to the Child Support Agency;
b) Garnishing money from a Centrelink (or other) government payment; or
c) Taking payment from a tax return refund payment.
If you or the Registrar cannot secure payment, you may need to apply for a Court Order to enforce payment of the monies assessed.
How are Child Support payments made?
Payments can be made directly or indirectly to the other parent, by the following means:
a) Periodic payments;
b) Non-periodic payments;
c) Lump sum payments; and
d) Non-agency payments.
Periodic payments refer to monies paid to the other side, which can be adjusted on a regular basis depending on the circumstances.
Non-periodic payments are monies paid indirectly to third parties, such as school fees which may reduce the overall rate of Child Support payable.
Can I get Child Support after my child turns 18?
Although Child Support usually terminates when a child turns 18, there are some exceptions where a Child Maintenance Order may be made.
The Family Courts may make orders for Child Maintenance where the child needs further financial support to finish their education or the child has ongoing physical or mental disabilities.
It is not necessary that the paying parent has or is expected to maintain a relationship with the relevant child for an application to be made.