Child Custody & Parenting Arrangements

Child Maintenance & Support Lawyers

At Rockwell Bates

Child support obligations are typically calculated using a legislative formula governed by the Child Support Agency that takes into account each parent’s income, the age of children and the care arrangements in place.

However, well advised parties can enter into a separate arrangement (known as a Binding Child Support Agreement) which offers a more flexible way of arranging child support and may include provisions for joint or individual payment of specific expenses such as school fees or medical costs.

The important thing is to understand the statutory regime that sets the base level requirements and then if the parties are willing to enter into a separate agreement they are well advised as to how that should be structured to ensure enforceability and compliance going forward. Binding Child Support Agreements are a key area of expertise at Rockwell Bates.

What is Child Support and Child Maintenance?

After a divorce or separation, child support and/or child maintenance is very important for parents to establish the financial support needed for their children. The necessary expenses can vary from each family and their individual circumstances. However, parents must continue to assist and support their children with appropriate financial arrangements so that the children can continue to live a normal life after the parents’ separation.

Types of Child Support

There are various types of child support arrangements that will be decided by your finances. If you’re a parent that has recently separated from your partner from a marriage or de facto relationship, you might need to seek legal advice from family lawyers to come to an agreement for child support matters. Organising child support payments to support your children with adequate support and financial resources is very important as a parent.

The types of child support and maintenance are outlined below:

Child Support Agreement

A child support agreement is when both parties agree on child support and child maintenance payments for their children and sign a written document to represent that agreement. Once it’s been decided, the document goes to a Child Support Agency and the payments will be collected and allocated appropriately.

There are two types of child support agreements: binding and limited.

A binding agreement is when both parents agree on financial support for their children with professional advice from a family lawyer or professional service. Payments can be made from a paying parent directly to the other parent without any other party getting involved. Therefore, it’s a private agreement between the parents of the child/children.

A limited agreement is when the parents need to have a Child Support Agency assess their payments without going through family court. Each parent will get assessed by the family law court and human services to determine their financial support for their child and exactly what amount they’re entitled to.

Child Support Assessment

An assessment can be made by Australian Government Services Australia (Child Support) to determine payments as set out in the Child Support Legislation and Child Support Scheme. The Child Support Agency will assess the amount of child support to be paid based on the income of each parent. In addition to this, the amount of time the parents spend with their child will be assessed so that Child Support can provide advice to support parents to pay child support.

What does Child Support cover?

Child support and child maintenance covers the financial support parents need to provide for their children after a separation.

These payments may include:

  • Private school fees or childcare services expenses
  • Food, clothing and housing expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Extra-curricular activities expenses

Parents can pay child support through lump sum payments or the complete amount can be paid over a specific time period.

Who is liable for Child Support?

Parents are mainly responsible for child support and child maintenance payments to provide financial support for their children, regardless of age. Adult child maintenance comes into effect when a child is over the age of 18. Adult children who may have a mental or physical disability need financial support from their parents, this can be agreed upon privately or through the family law court.

Get in touch with our Child Support Lawyers today

Our team at Rockwell Bates are experts and extremely professional in family law support. Our family lawyers and child support lawyers are well versed to assist you with legal advice. We can offer you a range of services at our law firm and provide legal advice that you may need as a parent filing for child support payments. We strive to provide you with excellent legal services as one of our clients and we will be there with you at every step of the process.

Contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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