Cairns Divorce Lawyers | Family Lawyers

Two types of child support agreements

There are two types of Child Support Agreements:

  1. Limited Child Support Agreements
  2. Binding Child Support Agreements.

Our experienced family lawyers will advise you on the benefits and risks associated with these agreements, and help you make the best choices for your family.

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Limited child support agreements

Limited child support agreements must be in writing, and signed by both parents. A Child Support Assessment (conducted by the Child Support Agency through the Department of Human Services) must be in place before you can enter into a limited child support agreement.

You don’t need legal advice to enter into a limited child support agreement, but you do need to ensure that the annual rate of child support payable in the agreement is equal to or greater than the rate given in the child support assessment.

Limited child support agreements must be registered by the Registrar of the Child Support Agency.

You can end a limited child support agreements in the following circumstances:

  • when a new child support agreement is entered into in relation to the same children, subject to the original agreement
  • with a Court Order
  • with a Termination Agreement, in writing and signed by the parties
  • in certain circumstances where a party has requested a new notional assessment of child support, and the new notional assessment changes by more than 15%. In such circumstances, that party can give notice (within 60 days) to terminate the agreement.

Binding child support agreements

Binding child support agreements must be in writing and signed by both parents.

Both parties must obtain independent legal advice in relation to that agreement, prior to entering into the agreement. The agreement needs to include a certificate of each party’s legal practitioner to show that both parties have received advice covering:

  • the effect of the agreement on the rights of the party
  • the advantages and disadvantages, at the time that the advice was provided, of making the agreement.

As part of the process, both parties must disclose to the other party their financial circumstances.

The amount of child support payable in the agreement does not have to be equal to or greater than the rate given in the child support assessment (unlike in limited child support agreements).

Parents can agree to payment of child support through regular payments, lump-sum payments, or payments towards expenses.

The terms of a binding child support agreements can only be changed by a termination agreement, an order of the court, or by entering a new binding child support agreement.

To enter into a termination agreement, or a new binding child support agreement, both parties must again receive independent legal advice from a family lawyer.

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