Child Support and Family Law

Child Support Act
28 Jul

Child Support and Family Law

Child Support Act and Family Law

Child support actChild Support Act, It is commonly recognized that both parents have a financial obligation to contribute towards the cost of raising their child. The national Child Support Agency under Services Australia is responsible for delivering the child support scheme in addition to regulating, collecting, and administering child support services. They are your first point of call for any child support queries you may have. 

In Australia, the relevant child support legislation is encapsulated in the following Acts:

  1. Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989;
  2. Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988;
  3. Child Support (Assessment) Regulations 2018; and
  4. Child Support (Registration and Collection) Regulations 2018. 

So how much child support will you have to pay?

This depends on a number of variables, such as:

  • How many nights the child is in your care per year;
  • How old the child is;
  • How much you earn;
  • How much the other parent earns; and
  • How many other dependents you have.

The Child Support Agency provides a free online calculator (see https://processing.csa.gov.au/ChildSupportFormula/CareEstimator.aspx) that you can use to work out approximately how much child support you are liable to pay or eligible to receive, depending on your particular circumstances. 

So what does child support actually cover?

Child support is to cover expenses related to raising the child such as:

  • Food;
  • Housing;
  • Clothing; and
  • Medical expenses.

If you are seeking the other parent pay you child support, the first step is to contact the Child Support Agency to request an assessment issue. The Child Support Agency will take your information, liaise with the other parent and issue an assessment which provides for the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly child support payable. They can also collect the child support from one parent and pay it to the other parent if a private arrangement is not suitable.

There are avenues to review and appeal a decision as to child support as made by the Child Support Agency. Firstly, an internal review is conducted. If the dispute is not then resolved, the matter can progress to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (also known as the AAT) to make a final decision. 

Parents can also chose to enter into a child support agreement being a private document that sets out how their child support is to be paid, how much is to be paid and what it is to cover. There are 2 options for such child support agreements, either a Limited Child Support Agreement or a Binding Child Support Agreement.

Parents will commonly enter into these documents to cover additional expenses associated with raising a child such as:

  • Private school fees (including uniforms, laptops etc);
  • Extra-curricular activities;
  • Private health insurance; and
  • Mobile phone expenses etc.

Don’t get lost in the child support maze! To discuss child support and your particular situation further, please contact the team at James Noble Law for a free no-obligation 20-minute consultation today.

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