In Australia, parents are legally required to financially support their children.
In the event of a separation, it is very common for one parent to make payment of child support to the other, to assist with the costs of raising the child. Child Support in Australia is managed through the Child Support Agency, which is a branch of Services Australia.
To calculate the amount of child support, the Child Support Agency utilises a formula, which considers the income of both parents, the costs of raising children, the number of children in the family, and the time which the children spend with each parent.
There are several resources on the Child Support Agency website, including a calculator, which may assist you in understanding how much child support you may need to pay, or how much child support you can expect to receive.
If either party believes the child support assessment is not accurate, there are several steps which can be taken. A parent can make an Application to the Child Support Agency to review the decision. However, this is a complicated process, and it can be greatly beneficial to seek legal advice from our solicitors in relation to appealing or objecting to child support decisions, as well as understanding child support obligations.
Our firm may also be able to assist in the preparation of a Binding or Limited Child Support Agreement. This document is drafted between parties who come to an agreement on the amount of child support to be paid, independent of any child support assessment from the Child Support Agency. Parties can also include agreements about the payment of other expenses for the children, such as school fees and extracurricular activities. This Agreement is then lodged with the Child Support Agency, who will then not press any child support assessment.