Parents have a legal obligation to support their children, whether or not they have ever been married. This obligation is governed by federal child support legislation and regulations, which are separate to the Court system.
In Australia, a child support obligation generally ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.
Child Support legislation provides for a basic amount of monthly support to be paid to the parent with whom the children primarily live (or, if you have an equally shared custody arrangement, by the higher-income parent to the lower-income parent). Other items may be added on top of that basic amount, such as contributions to the cost of child care, health care and school fees.
Child Support appeals and reviews must be made initially through the Child Support Agency (CSA) system. However, in certain circumstances it is possible to apply to the Family Court for an order that replaces this payment, particularly when there are applications before the Court regarding where children live.
It is also possible to make both short and long term agreements about Child Support payments, that can include all kinds of other expenses not covered by the Child Support legislation, such as costs of extrs curricular and sporting activities, school expenses including uniforms and books, and provide for payments to be made to third parties. These agreements can still be registered with the CSA and can be enforced if necessary through the Court.
There are also remedies for people who have been wrongly assessed as liable for payment of child support, or have assessments that don’t take into account their particular issues.
We can help you to understand the child support payment system, assessments and agreements and their application and enforcement. If you need more information about your entitlement to receive support or your obligation to pay it, we can answer your questions and run specific calculations for you.
Contact us to discuss any child support issues or concerns you may have.