Child support agreements

After the parents of a child or children separate it is usually the case that one parent will pay child support to the other. In most cases this is calculated by the Child Support Agency using a formula which primarily takes account of:

  • The income of both parents;
  • The number of children;
  • Each parents level of care; and
  • The age of the child or children

There are many separated parents who chose to enter into private arrangements for the payment of child support and exclude the Child Support Agency from the assessment and collection process.

As a result of the constant changes to the circumstances that are used to calculate child support the child support payments regularly change. This is often frustrating for both parents as there is little certainty which enables them to arrange their finances with any precision.

The law allows separated parents to enter into a Binding Child Support Agreement, which enables the parents to fix their level of child support until a terminating event occurs. The most common terminating event is when a child turns 18 years of age but they can also include events such as unemployment, the child commencing work prior to the age of 18 or if a parent’s income falls below a certain amount. Parents can also agree to pay expenses such as school fees, sporting fees and the like in lieu of periodic cash payments.

A Binding Child Support Agreement effectively allows the parents to contract out of the Child Support Assessment process. The agreement must contain a certificate of independent legal advice signed by a lawyer for each parent and once signed can only be set aside in limited circumstances.

Ward Keller’s family law team can assist you with a Binding Child Support Agreement.

Our family law team offers an initial telephone consultation at a reduced cost $220 for the first 30 minutes. Any costs beyond the initial consultation will be discussed with you at the conclusion of your attendance.

To make the most of your initial consultation, please use our sophisticated online system to learn about how we can assist you, and, crucially, to provide us with some background information about your circumstances. This will enable us to meaningfully answer your questions, provide advice, and discuss your options.

If you would like to make an appointment for an initial consultation please contact Sarah Kelly on 89462982, or make a start online.

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