A child has a legal right to be supported financially by both parents, usually until they turn 18 years of age or complete a full-time undergraduate education.
Services Australia, a Department of the Commonwealth Government, manages the calculating and collection of child support payments. The amount that is to be paid in child support is dependent on the number of nights a child spends with each parent and each parent’s income. In addition to this, the Child Support Registrar may determine that additional amounts must be paid in limited circumstances. These circumstances can include for payment of private school fees or medical expenses.
However, it is also possible for parents to reach their own agreement on how they are going to financially support their children. Parents can enter a Binding Child Support Agreement, or Limited Child Support Agreement.
There are many benefits to entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement, which include an amicable arrangement and certainty as to how a child will be supported financially.
For more information about child support assessments please visit Services Australia’s website.
If you require an estimate, you can use the Child Support calculator.
Do I have to pay child support?
Both parents of a child have a duty to financially support that child. Unless otherwise agreed through a Binding or Limited Child Support Agreement, where either parent has instigated a child support assessment and requested for child support payments to be made, the parents must make payment of child support in accordance with the assessment.
What if I do not agree to the amount of child support I have been asked to pay?
The Child Support Registrar has little discretion in determining the amount of child support to be paid as this assessment is based on a fixed calculation. However, if you wish to dispute an assessment, you should visit Services Australia’s website for more information on the option available to you.
Can I make a separate agreement?
You can arrange to speak to one of our family lawyers about making a separate agreement.