Child Support Agreements
Expert Advice On Child Support Agreements From Brisbane Family Lawyers
Parents who agree on child support matters can sign a Child Support Agreement which sets out the terms of the child support. This Agreement will override a Child Support Agency Administrative Assessment.
There are two types of Child Support Agreements:
- A Binding Child Support Agreement (for this agreement both parents will need legal advice, and the Child Support Agreement can be in place up until the time children turn 18 years old); and
- A Limited Child Support Agreement (for this agreement parents will not need legal advice, and the agreement can last for up to 3 years).
A private Child Support Agreement can include payments for all sorts of child-related expenses such as private school fees, extra-curricular activities and medical expenses, as well as periodic cash amounts.
If you do not have a Child Support Agreement and your ex-partner applies for child support, you must pay a periodic amount as determined by the Child Support Agency. This amount is calculated by the Child Support Agency based upon a number of factors including how many nights of care you have for the children, your and your ex-partner’s taxable income and whether you have any other dependents. This assessment will be reviewed periodically and will usually change if any of the items in the formula change.
There are many reasons why people prefer to agree upon a Child Support Agreement including:
- parties want certainty about what the child support arrangements will be;
- parties want to decide themselves what weekly amount will be paid from one parent to the other and how he payment of other expenses will be shared; and
- it forms part of an overall family law property settlement agreement.
The process for obtaining a Child Support Agreement is as follows:
- negotiate the terms of the Child Support Agreement with your ex-partner;
- for Limited Child Support Agreements, obtain an Administrative Assessment from the Child Support Agency;
- have your lawyer draft the terms of the Child Support Agreement;
- have the other person’s lawyer review the terms of the Child Support Agreement and negotiate any changes;
- consider whether your Agreement needs to be reviewed by the Child Support Agency prior to signing;
- for Binding Child Support Agreements, each party to obtain advice from his or her lawyer;
- sign the Agreement;
- register the Agreement with the Child Support Agency; and
- register the Agreement with the Court.