Our family lawyers are experts in child support law and can help you understand the finer points of your case, as well as guide you through each step to achieve the best solution for you and your family. Our team is committed to protecting your rights and those who matter to you most. We can help you by:
Contact our family lawyers for expert advice at an obligation-free initial consultation.
A Child Support Agreement is essentially a contract that allows parents to formalise arrangements for the financial support of their children. Both parents have a legal duty to financially support their children until they turn 18 (and sometimes even after that).
There are different ways that a parent can pay child support. The amount can be determined privately or by Child Support through the Department of Human Services (DOHS).
The most common payment is one where the amount is determined by Child Support. We recommend you contact Child Support as soon as possible after you separate to find out how much child support you are entitled to, or how much you may need to pay. Alternatively, some parents opt to create a private, written agreement together that is then lodged with Child Support, or have an unwritten agreement with the other parent.
Remember that in addition to regular payments, child support can also involve the payment of school fees, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, or lump-sum payments.
To ensure you receive the support your children are entitled to, arrange an appointment with one of our family lawyers today.
You can manage your child support in the following ways:
There are three different categories of child support in Child Support Arrangements:
Limited and Binding Child Support Agreements
There must be a child support assessment prior to a limited child support agreement being entered into. This is also the case if you are entering into a lump sum binding agreement. The payments in the limited agreement must be equal to or more than the annual rate in the assessment. Parties do not need to obtain legal advice to enter into a limited agreement, whereas parties must obtain legal advice before entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement and obtain a legal certificate. The amount of child support payable under a binding agreement can be more or less than the amount that would be payable under a child support assessment.
To help you decide what is best for your circumstances, or to resolve any existing child support issues, contact our Cairns family lawyers for an obligation-free initial consultation.
Child support is calculated by the Child Support Agency, using an eight-step formula that considers each parent’s income, the number of children and how much time each child spends with their parents. Other considerations such as the cost of raising a child and the children’s age may also impact the calculation. We recommend you seek advice from an expert family lawyer.
You are not legally required to pay more than what is stipulated within the child support assessment however, you may wish to make additional payments for one-off items or purchases depending on your children’s needs. This will not affect the child support assessment and there will be no expectation to increase the amount on a more permanent basis.
If a parent lives outside of Australia and you are unable to collect child support, it is still possible to send a child support assessment to the country where the parent lives if they reside within a reciprocating jurisdiction. Similarly, if they have any income or assets in Australia, their payments can be deducted from their bank accounts. Speak to our expert lawyers for more information and to understand your rights.
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