Child Support and Binding Child Support Agreements
Pearsons Lawyers assist clients to negotiate matters concerning the financial support of their children and, where appropriate, enter into Binding Child Support Agreements. This provides financial certainty to the parents of children moving forward.
Child Support Act
How does child support work?
In 1989 the Child Support Act created the Child Support Scheme. The Scheme is administered by the Federal Government through the tax office and DHHS/Centerlink.
The parent with whom the children live can apply to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment of child support.
Support Assessment Criteria
The Agency uses a complex formula taking into account the number of children, the ages of the children, who the children live with, the number of nights that the children spend with each parent and the incomes of both parents as reported to the tax office in order to calculate an amount of child support that is payable for the children.
The parent entitled to child support can “opt in” which means they can ask the Child Support Agency to collect child support on their behalf. Alternatively, they can choose not to “opt in” and make private arrangements for payment/collection of child support.
If arrears of Child Support build up the Child Support Agency can retain tax refunds and/or pursue the liable parent for payment of any arrears. Arrears of child support are considered a debt to the Commonwealth Government. Arrears can attract penalties and interest and may result in enforcement proceedings being taken by the eligible parent or the Child Support Agency on their behalf.
If a party is aggrieved by an administrative assessment of Child Support they can make an Application for a review/re-assessment. The Application is considered by an Objections Officer. If still aggrieved an Application can be made for determination by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. If there is an issue of public policy or a question of law and Application can be made to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court of Australia for consideration by a Judge.
Pearsons Lawyers can help clients negotiate matters concerning the financial support of their children and, where appropriate, entering into Binding Child Support Agreements so as to provide financial certainty to the parents moving forward including for educational costs, private health insurance and out of pocket medical and other health care expenses. This may benefit both the payer and the payee.
Child Support Agency
Who is responsible for the financial support of the children?
Since the introduction of the Child Support Act and the Child Support Scheme matters relating to the financial support of children are usually dealt with by the Child Support Agency.
At Pearsons Lawyers we can help you in accessing the Child Support Agency website and the estimator to obtain an idea as to the likely amount of child support that is to be paid.
The parent with the children known as the “eligible parent” would usually make an application to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment of child support. They would then either elect to collect the child support themselves or alternatively “opt-in” and elect for the Child Support Agency to collect the child support on their behalf. These matters are all achieved administratively.
At Pearsons Lawyers we will advise you about your child support rights or obligations. We can assist you to achieve a good outcome for the financial support of the children including the possibility of entering into a private contract known as a Binding Child Support Agreement. This may include private education, health insurance and extracurricular activities.
Sometimes there is a need for urgent interim child support in which event Pearsons Lawyers can help you apply to the Court to seek immediate financial support for the children.
To arrange your free initial consultation with a specialist Family Lawyer at Pearsons Lawyers contact us today or call 1300 699 688 and know where you stand.
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