In Australia, every parent has an important obligation to contribute to the financial support of their children following separation
Sometimes this will result in one parent paying money to the other parent, to help share that financial burden more equitably. These payments are known as child support. To provide structure and certainty about children’s financial support following separation, child support paid by parents in Australia can be agreed, but can also be determined by a child support assessment undertaken by Services Australia.
What is a child support assessment?
A child support assessment is the process that determines whether, and how much, may need to be paid by one parent to the other, to more fairly share the financial support of their children. The assessment is designed to share common expenses of raising children, being housing, energy costs, food, clothing and footwear, household goods and services, child care, health services, transport, leisure and personal care.
The assessment acknowledges that preschool children and adolescents are the most expensive to support and the amount payable adapts with their ages. For more information about child support assessments and how to apply for one please see our FAQs here.
If you would like to explore what child support assessment might apply to you, you can use the link to the Child Support Estimator provided by Services Australia here.
Parents who come to agreements about child support
Many families have needs that fall outside what can be appropriately managed by a child support assessment. One such situation is where there are shared care arrangements for children in place. Parents in these situations often need to negotiate their own agreement about child support. The family law experts at Ede Family Law can provide you with expert advice about child support suitable for your family’s situation, and how to come to an agreement with the other parent about it.
Once you have reached agreement with your former partner it is important to formalise that agreement. Parents have options as to how to go about that, and it is very important to receive the right legal advice about those options.
One option is a Binding Child Support Agreement. A Binding Child Support Agreement is intended to provide a high level of certainty and finality about child support arrangements for parents. For more information about Binding Child Support Agreements and the other options available to formalise parental agreement over child support, please see our FAQs.