Child Support Agreements

In most cases, parents will pay child support pursuant to a child support assessment made by the Department of Human Services. The amount of child support payable will depend on a number of factors, in particular, the parties' respective incomes and the number of nights the children are in their respective care.

 

In some cases, the parties may wish to enter into a private written agreement about the amount of child support that is payable. This may be because the children attend a private school, or have higher costs due to the child's special or medical needs. There are two types of child support agreements - binding child support agreements and limited child support agreements.  Follow the link to find out more about the two types of child support agreements. 

Binding Child Support Agreements

 

Both parents, or the parent/s and the eligible non-parent carer, must agree to the amount of child support payable. Child support can be by way of cash and/or payment of school fees, health insurance or other non-cash expenses. 

 

Both parties MUST obtain independent legal advice before entering into or terminating a binding child support agreement.

 

A binding child support agreement must:

  • be in writing, and signed by both parents (or the parent/s and the eligible non-parent carer);
  • include a statement that each party has received independent legal advice as to the effect and advantages and/or disadvantages of the binding child support agreement before it was signed; and
  • include a legal certificate for each party, which is annexed to the agreement and is signed by the legal practitioners who provided the independent legal advice. 

You do not need to obtain, or have in place, a child support assessment prior to entering into a binding child support agreement, unless you are seeking a lump sum payment of child support. 

 

Binding child support agreements cannot be varied. To change a binding child support agreement, the agreement must be terminated and replaced with a new binding child support agreement. The parties will need to obtain further independent legal advice and obtain a legal certificate stating that the required legal advice has been provided. 

 

Limited Child Support Agreements

Both parents, or the parent/s and the eligible non-parent carer, must agree to the amount of child support payable.  Limited child support agreements must be in writing and signed by both parents or by the parent/s and the eligible non-parent carer.  

 

Child support can be paid by way of cash and/or payment of school fees, health insurance or other non-cash expenses.

 

You do not need to obtain legal advice before entering into a limited child support agreement. 

 

You must have a child support assessment in place before entering into a limited child support agreement. The amount of child support payable under the limited child support agreement must be equal to, or more than, the amount of child support payable pursuant to the assessment. It cannot be less than the child support assessment. 

 

A limited child support agreement cannot be varied. To change a limited child support agreement, the agreement must be terminated and replaced with a new limited child support agreement. 

 

A limited child support agreement may affect the amount of Family Tax Benefit you receive. 

 

If you require any advice with respect to child support agreements, please contact us on (08) 9364 9915 or 0474 458 340. 

 

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