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The payment of child support is an issue faced by many parents after they have separated. How much child support you may have to pay to the other parent is dependent on a range of different factors, and for this reason it is different for every family.

The factors that are considered in the calculation of the payment include:

  1. assessment of each parent’s income
  2. assessment of each parent’s expenses
  3. assessment of the level of care each parent provides for each child of the relationship
  4. whether either parent has other dependents (that do not form part of the assessment).

The level of care each parent has is calculated as a “care percentage” and based on the number of nights a child spends with each parent. This is then used to calculate how much such care costs in dollar terms.

The Department of Human Services Child Support website provides an online calculator to assist you in determining an estimate of the child support you may be liable to pay to another parent.

Some parents are able to come to an agreement in relation to the child support they will pay to, or receive from the other parent. This is known as a private agreement.

Some parents also choose to have a solicitor prepare a Binding Child Support Agreement (BCSA). BCSA’s can be prepared to either set an ongoing periodic payment (that doesn’t fluctuate with varied income or level of care), or that provides for a periodic payment in line with a Child Support Assessment but with an additional agreement that details how the parents will share in other expenses such as medical expenses or education expenses including for example, private tuition fees.

If you need help with understanding child support, or wish to speak to an expert about a Binding Child Support Agreement that suits your needs, please get in touch with one of our experienced family lawyers.