What is Child Support?
Child support is an ongoing payment that is made by one parent to the other for the purpose of financially supporting their child after the relationship with the other parent has ended.
How do you get Child Support?
Child Support can be obtained by one of these methods:
- By an assessment with the Child Support Agency.
- Through a private or informal agreement with your estranged partner.
- Through a Binding Child Support Agreement.
Assessment from the Child Support Agency
After separating, we suggest you apply for an assessment for child support through the Child Support Agency. Their website is www.csa.gov.au. This website has a calculator that can give you an estimate of your likely child support payment. Getting an assessment from the CSA is almost always the most cost effective method of getting child support.
If you will be required to pay child support, you can use the calculator to estimate the likely payment that you will need to make.
Private or informal agreement with your estranged partner
Some people will make an agreement with their estranged partner by the amount of child support that they will receive and/ or collect. Generally these agreements are unenforceable and so we don't usually recommend them.
Binding Child Support Agreement
Parents can make a formal agreement about child support using a Binding Child Support Agreement. This Agreement can include a weekly payment for:
- payment of school fees
- medical bills
- school bills
- extra curricular expenses
This document must be prepared by a lawyer. Each person must receive independent legal advice before signing an agreement. Their lawyer must sign a certificate confirming their client has received advice about the Agreement.
If you want to talk to someone about these issues, please contact a member of Lewis Holdway Lawyers’ Family Law team on (03) 9629 9629.