Child Support Law
Our family lawyers are here to help you during this difficult time and are committed to achieving the best arrangements for your children.
What is child support?
Child support is the provision of financial support for a child or children after the breakdown of a de facto relationship or marriage. Child support payments can include regular periodic payments or a lump sum payment.
When is child support payable?
A parent of a child may be eligible for child support payments if the child is living in Australia and the parents have separated. Child support payments are made until a child turns 18 or until the end of a child’s last school year, whichever occurs last.
Who is required to pay child support?
Either parent of a child is liable to pay child support depending on their financial circumstances and the child’s living arrangements. ‘Parents’ can include biological parents, IVF parents or adoptive parents.
How is child support calculated?
There is an online child support estimator that is available on the Department of Human Services website. The amount of child support that is payable by a parent is calculated using a complex formula developed by the Child Support Agency. This formula is based on the income of each parent after deducting an amount for the support of that parent and other dependent children, and how much time the child spends with each parent.
What if we come to our own agreement about child support?
Child support payments do not need to be collected by the Child Support Agency. You and the other parent might agree to make your own arrangements in relation to child support, known as ‘private arrangements’.
What if the other parent is dishonest about their income?
Often parents believe a child support assessment is unfair where a parent has been dishonest in relation to their taxable income or other financial circumstances or where a child has heightened needs that have not been considered. If this applies to you it is possible to seek a review or change of assessment through the Child Support Agency which would then be considered by the Department of Human Services.
At Kells’ we can advise you in relation to your child support obligation or entitlement and can provide you with advice in relation to reviews of assessments.
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