Child support

When parents separate, it is vitally important that appropriate financial arrangements are put into place to ensure that the financial needs of the children are met.

Child support usually involves one parent paying another parent a sum of money each week to assist with the children’s living expenses.

child support lawyer

Child support lawyer in Ballarat

This is an area of law that you may want to receive advice about if your children have greater than usual financial needs, attend private school or you and your ex-partner wish to depart from the usual administrative child support assessment that is applied by Services Australia.

child support lawyer ballarat

How Cargill Family Law can assist you with child support

Our child support service is available in Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, Melbourne, and surrounds. We can help with:

  • Assist you to negotiate the terms of a child support agreement which best serves the needs of your children and you.
  • Advise you as to whether you have grounds to seek a departure order from the administrative child support assessment

Rachel patiently answered all my questions

“Rachel is an empathic listener and provided me with the references I needed to ensure I made informed decisions. She patiently answered all my questions and went through important details thoroughly. Thank you Rachel for all your support and insights, it has been a pleasure working with you.”

– Paula, Ballarat

Rachel’s attention and commitment to my case was incredible

“I could not have found a better lawyer to represent me. She was always accessible and extremely diligent in her research. When a client and a lawyer put in the effort to work as a team as we did and leaving nothing to chance, you’ll always get the best possible outcome.”

– John, Melbourne

Child support FAQs

When parents separate, it is vitally important that appropriate financial arrangements are put into place to ensure that the financial needs of the children are met.

Child support usually involves one parent paying another parent a sum of money each fortnight or month to assist with the children’s living expenses.

Services Australia is the government body that is able to assess, collect and transfer child support payments on behalf of one or both parents. In determining what child support is to be paid, Services Australia utilises an administrative formula which takes into account a number of factors to include:

  • The amount of time that the child / children spend in each parent’s care (usually expressed as a percentage of care)
  • The costs of the child / children
  • The respective income of the parents
  • The amount of money that the liable parent requires for their own living expenses (also known as self-support)
  • The costs of any other relevant dependent children that the liable parent needs to support (for example children of a new relationship).

Yes. There is no obligation to pay / receive child support through Services Australia.

Some separated parents reach alternative agreements, concerning the payment of child support. Such agreements may be informal, or they could be in the form of a Limited Child Support Agreement or a Binding Child Support Agreement.

A limited child support agreement must be in writing and signed by both parents – however unlike a binding child support agreement (see Q&A below) there is no requirement for each of the parents to have had independent legal advice prior to entering into this type of agreement.

A limited child support agreement, must however be accepted by the Child Support Registrar and ensure that the amount of child support paid is no less than the amount of child support payable under the administrative child support assessment.

A limited child Support agreement operates for a maximum period of three years, after which time the agreement may be terminated by either party.

A Binding Child Support Agreement sets out the parties’ agreement concerning both fortnightly / monthly payments and other payments related to the children’s care such as: school fees, extracurricular and sporting fees, school uniforms and equipment, medical and dental costs. In some instances, binding child support agreements may include lump sum payments or the transfer of property in lieu of fortnightly / monthly payments.

A Binding child support agreement may provide for more or less than what would otherwise be payable under the administrative assessment.

Binding child support agreements are particularly common and useful in circumstances where the children attend private school and the parents wish to reach an agreement as to how the children’s school fees are to be paid in the future. These types of agreements can also be structured in a way to provide a sensible payment system concerning the payment of the children’s various expenses that removes both uncertainty and the potential for future conflict.

To be considered binding, both parents who enter into a binding child support agreement must have independent legal advice as to the effect of the agreement and what the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement are in a practical and legal sense.

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