When parents separate, child support ensures that both parents continue to financially support their children.
The premise behind child support is that children have their proper needs met from reasonable and adequate shares in the income and financial resources of both their parents and that parents share equitably in the financial support of their children.
Child support ensures children have their proper needs met and that parents share equitably in the financial support of their children.
In cases where children do not live with either of their parents, child support may be payable to non-parent carers, such as a legal guardian or carer.
Child support is a complex area of law governed by the Child Support (Assessment) Act and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act.
Parents can choose to make their own private child support arrangements or, if they can’t agree, an application may need to be made for an administrative child support assessment via Services Australia (formerly known as the Child Support Agency). Child support is not usually determined by the Court, and it is a separate legal issue to your parenting arrangements and property settlement.
In many cases, child support is straightforward.
However, things can get complicated if parents are self-employed business owners or investors, there are high costs associated with a certain child or children (such as children with additional needs), there are high costs associated with arrangements for children to spend time with one parent, parents have agreed to send their children to private schools, or there are other factors in existence that impact on an administrative assessment made by Services Australia.
If you apply for an administrative assessment of child support, the amount of child support payable by one parent to the other is based on a calculation that takes into account each parent’s income, the number and ages of the children, whether either parent supports additional children, and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.
Services Australia has a Child Support Estimator which may help you to understand what level of child support may be payable.
Child support that is assessed administratively can either be paid privately or collected by Services Australia and then paid to the recipient parent. In many cases, Services Australia collects child support directly from the paying party’s employer.
We can discuss your child support options and rights with you.
In some cases, a parent may be able to apply to Services Australia and subsequently the Court to seek a change or departure from an administrative assessment of child support.
Such applications are commonly made when there are special needs of a child, or high costs involved in enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, their children.
Many parents choose to make their own private child support arrangements and make agreements to share in certain costs for their child or children in a way that works for them.
Private child support arrangements are only enforceable if they are documented in a Binding Child Support Agreement, or Limited Child Support Agreement.
Importantly, such arrangements are only enforceable if they are documented in a Binding Child Support Agreement, or Limited Child Support Agreement. Both types of agreements can be registered with Services Australia, provided they are carefully and properly prepared.
We regularly assist clients in the negotiation and preparation of Binding and Limited Child Support Agreements.
What our clients say
I was fortunate enough to have been given Lana’s details whilst trying to navigate my separation. Obviously it was a very confronting time for all involved, so to have someone like her guiding me through the process was a blessing. I found Lana to be very considerate, extremely professional and just a genuine person to deal with. Can’t recommend Hulse Family Law more highly.
I will be forever grateful to Lana for making the process of divorce as stress-free as possible. She was very knowledgeable, supportive and reassuring through the entire process. Lana always took the time to clearly and efficiently explain any questions I had along the way. I was extremely satisfied with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending Lana’s high quality professional service for all your family law matters.
Separation is a highly emotional and challenging time, without any knowledge of family law, the way forward was full of uncertainty. Lana’s knowledge and experience was invaluable in providing me with the answers I needed and the options available to me. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Lana and Hulse Family Law.
During the pandemic, Lana helped me navigate an extremely difficult separation. With her extensive knowledge of family law and her professional approach, she was able to guide me through the process calmly with compassion, listening patiently to my concerns and offering a range of solutions. She helped me make informed decisions during an emotional and stressful time. The process was resolved efficiently with minimal conflict. I have no hesitations in recommending Lana for any family law matter.
Amazing service through one of the most difficult times in my life. Separation can be one of the most stressful situations anyone has to go through and Lana did the most incredible job of helping me through it every step of the way. Her genuine, kind and caring approach along with outstanding legal knowledge was second to none, along with personal advice she gave with all possible options and outcomes. Words can honestly not express enough how grateful I am.
Lana did an amazing job helping me navigate the very challenging and often scary process of separation, child custody and asset division. Her calm approach and confident advice steered me in the right direction and enabled me to obtain the best outcome for my family. Lana is patient, steady and wise and really manages to see the big picture without missing important details. I would recommend Lana for anyone seeking legal support through the process of separation.
I would highly recommend Lana, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience with family law. She helped me understand what my rights were and was able to give me the information I needed before progressing further with separation. I appreciated her timely manner in always getting back to me, and the way things were explained so well. I felt listened to and supported through a challenging time and was very happy with all the outcomes.