The Child Support framework is in place to help separating parents provide the necessary support for their children’s wellbeing and every-day living expenses.
It’s important that you work through the process and pay or receive the correct amount of Child Support. Payments are usually made until a child turns 18 years of age.
There are a number of factors to take into account. Assessment is made based on factors including:
- the number of children
- the children’s age
- each parent’s income
- the amount of money the parent needs to support themselves
- the percentage of care each parent provides for the children.
You and your former partner can enter a private arrangement for Child Support either in the short term or long term. To avoid confusion or misunderstanding in the future, we recommend that you formalise your private agreement through a Binding Child Support Agreement so that it is legally binding.
Child Support estimator
The Australia Government Department of Human Services (“DHS”) has an online calculator to work out Child Support payments using a basic formula. This may be an excellent starting point to best understand your responsibilities.
Collecting and enforcing child support
You have two options:
- You can choose to enter into a private arrangement and collect the money privately between the parents. This more informal option may better suit your circumstances, however, it’s important to realise that you are responsible to collect and enforce payment. This may lead to further complications. It is far more difficult to recover payments if the other parent decides to stop paying.
- The safer option is for you to register with the DHS and elect for them to collect the monies on your behalf. The DHS has wide ranging collection powers and are more likely to successfully recover unpaid monies.
Child Support can be a very emotive subject. To get accurate information and ensure that you are paying or receiving the correct amount, arrange a meeting to discuss your circumstances with Nik Koolik.