Every parent has an obligation to provide financial, physical and emotional support for their children. When parties separate this obligation does not change.
The Child Support Scheme should ensure that children receive an adequate level of financial support from both parents following their separation. The Child Support Agency is responsible for implementing that scheme and assessing the amount of child support to be paid. This can be different in each case and is dependent upon the specific circumstances of the family.
You are able to structure the payment of child support in a manner that works for both of you. The amount of child support to be paid can be assessed:
- on the application of a statutory formula found in the child support legislation by the Department of Human Services (DHS);
- by agreement between both of you as to the amount to be paid/and how it might be received i.e. through a periodic cash payment or via the payment of expenses directly for the child; or
- in rare circumstances, by Court Order.
The assessment of how much child support is to be paid by a “liable parent” can be complicated by a number of factors. The child support formula takes into account the following:
- the incomes of both parents (including notionally adding back as income certain benefits such as salary sacrificing, tax-deductible losses, depreciation, or certain other benefits);
- a “self-support” allowance to enable each parent to meet their own reasonable expenses;
- the amount of time that the child spends with each parent – calculated on the number of nights per year (referred to as the “care percentage”);
- whether you have any other child support cases or dependent children; and
- the costs of raising children between certain ages set by the DHS.
As one would expect, one formula will not fit the unique and varied circumstances of every separated family. Accordingly, parents can reach an agreement beyond the assessment at any time and formalise that agreement (we can assist you with this process), or alternatively an application can be made to the Child Support Agency to change the assessment.
Contact our Child Support Lawyer Brisbane for Legal Help
Child Support is a complicated area, and for this reason, our child support lawyer would need to discuss your specific situation with you personally in order to ensure you receive the most accurate information and advice.