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Child Support What you need to know


Child support stems from the fundamental principle that “each parent of a child has a duty to maintain their child.”

Child Support Agreements

After separation, parents, whether married or de facto, can reach an agreement regarding the type and level of child support that is paid from one parent (“the payer”) to the other (“the payee”). Agreements as to child support can be formalised through the preparation and signing of a Binding Child Support Agreement or a Limited Child Support Agreement.

Binding Child Support Agreement

A Binding Child Support Agreement is a written agreement for child support signed by both parents after getting independent legal advice about entering into or ending an agreement.

This legal advice must be provided by a legal practitioner who has been admitted by the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and holds a current practising certificate.

The legal practitioner must provide a statement they have provided the parent with independent legal advice as to the effect of the agreement on their rights and the advantages and disadvantages of entering into such an agreement. The agreement must include an acknowledgement of this advice.

A Binding Child Support Agreement can be made and accepted, even if a child support assessment has not been made. The agreement can be made for any amount that both parents agree to.

Limited Child Support Agreement

A Limited Child Support Agreement is a formal agreement for child support that is in writing and signed by both parents. Legal advice is not needed before entering into a Limited Child Support Agreement.

Before the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (“the CSA”) can accept a Limited Child Support Agreement:

  1. there must be a child support assessment already in place; and
  2. the annual rate payable in the agreement must be equal to, or more than the annual rate of the child support assessment.

Importantly, a Limited Child Support Agreement can only be in place for a maximum of three (3) years. After this time, either parent can terminate the agreement.

Child Support Assessment

If parents do not agree or do not wish to put a private child support arrangement in place, then a parent is entitled to lodge an Application for child support through the CSA.

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.

Further information about the child support assessment process, including a useful child support estimator, is also available on the CSA’s website at https://processing.csa.gov.au/estimator/About.aspx.

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.

As such, you should contact us 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.

For more information, please contact us on (07) 3211 4920 to discuss how we are able to assist you with your child support matter today.

We let our clients do the talking..

“We are sincerely grateful for all the help you have given us thus far and we as a family can see you act with great integrity and have maintained professionalism and dignity throughout the whole process, we are so grateful for that.”

Belinda

5.0
2016-11-15T06:45:50+00:00

Belinda

“We are sincerely grateful for all the help you have given us thus far and we as a family can see you act with great integrity and have maintained professionalism and dignity throughout the whole process, we are so grateful for that.”

We let our clients do the talking..

Your advice was always candid and in good faith… Without your assistance, I do not believe I would have reached closure with this matter as quickly as I have. I have nothing but admiration for your persistence in pursuing my best interests despite constant setbacks and obstacles.. I would not hesitate to recommend your services to others in need of assistance….

James

5.0
2016-11-15T22:42:46+00:00

James

Your advice was always candid and in good faith… Without your assistance, I do not believe I would have reached closure with this matter as quickly as I have. I have nothing but admiration for your persistence in pursuing my best interests despite constant setbacks and obstacles.. I would not hesitate to recommend your services to others in need of assistance….

We let our clients do the talking..

“The advice that I received from Emersons was to the point and correct. Aish anticipated a scenario, which later came true and I am truly grateful, that I followed their advice early on during my separation which protected my financial position at a time when I was most vulnerable.”

Anonymous

5.0
2016-11-15T22:43:30+00:00

Anonymous

“The advice that I received from Emersons was to the point and correct. Aish anticipated a scenario, which later came true and I am truly grateful, that I followed their advice early on during my separation which protected my financial position at a time when I was most vulnerable.”

We let our clients do the talking..

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you and your team for all your time and support throughout the last two years. It has taken the last couple of weeks to comprehend that this process is finally over and with an outcome that will best benefit my family in the future. Your understanding and compassion for us and our situation has been truly appreciated.”

Kylie

5.0
2016-11-15T22:44:13+00:00

Kylie

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you and your team for all your time and support throughout the last two years. It has taken the last couple of weeks to comprehend that this process is finally over and with an outcome that will best benefit my family in the future. Your understanding and compassion for us and our situation has been truly appreciated.”

We let our clients do the talking..

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the whole team for your support throughout my case. I wish you all the very best and please be assured of future referrals and positive feedback about your approach, leadership, focus and integrity. It was these qualities and more that really made the difference during some exceptionally challenging times.”

Neil

5.0
2016-11-15T22:45:03+00:00

Neil

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the whole team for your support throughout my case. I wish you all the very best and please be assured of future referrals and positive feedback about your approach, leadership, focus and integrity. It was these qualities and more that really made the difference during some exceptionally challenging times.”
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