Child Support is about ensuring that separated couples and their children enjoy a similar standard of living in both households.
The Child Support Agency (“the Agency”) is the Federal Government department that oversees who pays who and how much.
The formula relied upon by the Agency is about the general needs of children, divided between the parents based upon each parent’s income and how often the children are in that parent’s care.
Parents can have Child Support Assessments reviewed by the Child Support Agency, the Social Security’s Appeal Tribunal and the Federal Circuit Court if they feel the assessment is wrong.
Parents can also make private Binding Child Support Agreements, that bypass the Agency in certain circumstances.
Binding Child Support Agreements (“Agreements”) enable parents to agree how much (if any) child support is paid, and what it is applied to. Parents can agree that the payer of child support pay for things like private school fees, car payments, mortgage repayments, extra-curricular activities and private health cover.
These very important Agreements should not be entered into without proper legal advice. A lawyer for each parent must execute a Certificate confirming they have given a parent independent legal advice for the Agreement to be binding.
Once signed, the agreements are usually registered with the Child Support Agency.