child support law

Child Support

Parents have a responsibility to financially maintain their children. This is often referred to as “child support”. Child support applies even if you have never lived with the other parent. Child support is usually paid until a child reaches the age of 18 years. However, in some instances, a parent may pay child support towards a child over 18 years.

The Child Support Agency assesses how much child support one parent might pay to the other. CSA does this through child support assessment. The parent receiving payments is often the primary caregiver.

CSA bases child support assessment on a number of factors. This includes:
– the income of both parents
– the level of care provided by each parent
– the costs of raising the child

How much child support will I pay or receive?

You can estimate child support amounts using CSA’s estimator. This tool is purely for estimation purposes. Therefore, it may not be applicable to your situation.

Parents can reach an agreement on child support between them. An agreement would outline the payment method. This might be in the form of periodic cash payments or lump sum payments. Therefore, payments may or may not be cash-based.

Parties can obtain independent legal advice before making child support agreements.

When to contact us

If you are a parent and have separated, you should obtain legal advice about child support. We can provide advice on your child support matter. Further, we can prepare child support agreements or help you obtain or change a child support assessment.

Our Legal Practitioner Director Shannon Bodeker has worked as a Senior Case Officer with the Child Support Agency.

We invite you to provide everything you would like to tell our lawyers during your first appointment, as well as any questions you have. Some of the information that may be useful could include:

  1. Name, address, occupation of both parents;
  2. Number and age of children;
  3. Time children spend in each parents care;
  4. The school in which the children attend and any evidence of enrolment;
  5. The income of both parents;
  6. How much child support is currently paid for each child;
  7. Details and copies of any administrative assessments in place;
  8. Details and copies of any change of assessment decisions in place;
  9. Details and copies of any State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) decisions in place;
  10. Details and copies of any Family Court orders currently in place;
  11. Any special considerations that need to be taken into account e.g. private school fees; and
  12. Any other information you think is relevant or would like us to know prior to your appointment.

Contact Bodekers Family Lawyers & Mediators by phone (08) 9323 7711 or email Ms Bodeker. We provide a complimentary pre-read and first appointment at a reduced flat rate.