Issues relating to child support can cause difficulties for many people following the breakdown of their relationship.
In the majority of cases, parties make an application for an assessment directly to the Child Support Agency. The Child Support (Assessment) Act provides a mathematical formula for the automatic calculation and assessment of your child support liability.
However, many people choose to reach agreement on the matter of child support, particularly, in circumstances where the matters they wish to provide for their children would exceed the amount calculated under the Act. Examples of these items are private education, extracurricular activities, private health insurance, dental expenses and so on.
These agreements are tailor made to individual family needs. They give more flexibility with amounts, frequency of payment and even the types of things paid for as part of the agreement. Agreements can either be unregistered, or registered with the Child Support Agency.
There are two types of child support agreements that can be used as alternatives to the child support formula assessment:
These are technical agreements and in the case of a binding child support agreements they can remain in place until children turn 18 years and displace the legislation. For these reasons, each party requires independent legal advice before entering into binding child support agreements. It is essential that they be drafted correctly by family lawyers well experienced in their drafting.
Ferrier, Athanasiou & Kakulas can assist with every aspect of this process.