Family Law and Divorce. Central Queensland.
Child support and maintenance
If you and your partner separate and have children under 18 years of age it is almost certain that you will have some involvement with the Child Support Agency. Our family lawyers are experienced in providing advice on your child support rights and obligations including child support assessments, reviews and Child Support Agreements.
The relevant legislation which applies to child support issues is the federal Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989.
There are a number of options available to parents regarding the administration of child support. These include:
self-administration - this arrangement remains private and flexible between the parents
administrative assessment undertaken by the Child Support Agency
the parents can enter into a Child Support Agreement.
Instances where we can assist include matters where:
paternity is disputed
you wish to lodge an objection to a child support assessment
you and your ex partner wish to reach a child support agreement.
Administrative Assessment and Objection to Assessment
Where an administrative assessment of child support is pursued by either parent, the amount of child support to be paid is determined by an assessment undertaken by the Child Support Agency. Such an assessment is different in each case, is dependent upon the specific circumstances of the family and its income, and is based on the application of a statutory formula. The assessment takes into consideration a range of factors including the:
costs of raising children; income of both parents
percentage of time each parent cares for the children.
We can assist with advising on the assessment process and advise on and conduct the objection to an administrative assessment of child support for you.
Binding Child Support Agreements
If you would like to enter into a Child Support Agreement it is best to seek advice from one of our lawyers as there are significant consequences of entering into an Agreement and the obligations created by the Agreement. A Binding Child Support Agreement effectively allows the parents to contract out of the Child Support Assessment process.
Binding Child Support Agreements allow each party input as to how much and how frequently child support is paid. A Binding Child Support Agreement enables parents to approach how they share the financial aspects of a child's upbringing. For example such an Agreement can provide not only for an agreed level of periodic payments but also for matters such as school fees, school uniforms, medical fees, sporting and extra curricula activities. The agreement must contain a certificate of independent legal advice signed by a lawyer for each parent and once signed can only be set aside in limited circumstances.