Separation and divorce can be a very stressful time for parents and their children.
Children have the right to proper financial support and a lifestyle that provides them with the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Parents are entrusted with the responsibility to financially provide for their children as best they can.
Parents adopt a responsible approach to the support of their children after separation and/or divorce.
The child support assessment formula considers the costs of financially supporting a child relevant to the parent’s income and the amount of time the child or children lives with each parent.
For example, parent ‘A’ provides eighty percent of the total household income, and thirty percent of the total care of the child. Parent ‘B’ provides only twenty percent of the total household income, but seventy percent of the total care of the child. In this scenario, Parent ‘B’ may be eligible to receive child support from parent ‘A’.
Parents have a responsibility to financially maintain their children. This responsibility is often referred to as “child support”. Child support applies even if you have never lived with the other parent. This responsibility usually continues until a child reaches the age of 18 years. In some circumstances, support is paid for children over the age of 18 years.
Child Support Assessments
The Child Support Agency is responsible makes assessments for the amount of child support payable for the financial support of children. The amount of child support received will depend on several factors. For example, the income of both parents, the level of care provided by each parent and the costs of raising children. The Child Support Agency’s estimator estimates the child support you payable.
Parents can resolve child support agreements privately between them. These agreements can outline the payment method. Some child support agreements require both parties to obtain independent legal advice.
Child Support Questions
Do you have to be the child’s parent to receive child support?
No – a carer may include the child’s or children’s grandparents, relatives or friends, who have the care of the child or children.Bodekers Family Lawyers & Mediators have acted for many grandparents over the years who have been entitled to child support.
How is child support assessed?
The Department of Human Services (Child Support) is the government body that makes an administrative assessment, based on several factors.
What factors influence the amount of child support paid by the payer?
The amount in each case is unique, although both parents’ income is taken into account. In addition, the amount of time the child or children spend with each parent is relevant, as well as whether the payer has other children that need his/her financial support.
What happens if the payer’s circumstances change once an assessment has been made?
Your case may be reviewed by applying for a ‘change of assessment’. Our Legal Practitioner Director Shannon Bodeker worked as a Senior Case Officer at the Child Support Agency and reviewed many applications for a change of assessment. As such at Bodekers we have a detailed understanding of the change of assessment process if the administrative assessment is not fair. There can be a range of reasons that an assessment may not be fair. For instance, one parent may not exercise their income-earning capacity. Another parent’s costs of seeing their child or children may be high due to a child relocation or child abduction. A child may have special needs. We can guide you through to a just and equitable assessment of child support.
International laws in force in Australia can assist in ensuring that children who relocate overseas are ordinarily entitled to child support.
The case of Orzel & Orzel  FCCA 1941 dealt with an application by a father to alter the Orders made by a European court requiring him to pay child support to the mother whilst she and her child are living overseas.
The Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance gave the child the right to child support as if both parties were in Australia, and gave the paying parent the ability to apply to have the child support assessment amended.
If you would like to know more regarding child support we invite you to discuss your particular situation with our Legal Practitioner Director Shannon Bodeker who is very experienced in Perth Child Support law having worked at the Child Support Agency and having practised in Perth Family Law for more than 20 years.
Prior to your first appointment, you may send us an email or similar outlining your situation with the most important information which will be read on a complimentary basis prior to your first family law appointment which will be with Shannon. Bodekers is a small, boutique family law firm that has been established since September 2022.