Hi, I’m Abbi Golightly from OMB Solicitors.
Making appropriate arrangements for the financial support of your children after separation is an important consideration when resolving your family law matter. The child support agency run by the federal government is an option available to parents to manage the financial support for children.
The child support agency undertakes a formula calculation of child support payable, taking into account the income of both parents and appropriate care percentages. The child support agency’s approach to the calculation of child support can cause difficulties, particularly with self-employed spouses and changing care arrangements for the children.
Often, when parties are seeking certainty in relation to their obligations to pay child support or what they may receive by way of child support, we advise them in relation to binding child support agreements. Much like binding financial agreements for the division of your assets, a binding child support agreement sets out clearly the obligations for the payment or receipt of child support.
A binding child support agreement can obligate a parent to pay a contribution towards school fees, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, or pay expenses, such as private health insurance expenses in relation to children’s pets and other expenses that ordinarily the child support agency would not take into account.
In order to be binding, a binding child support agreement must be documented appropriately in accordance with the child support legislation and again, like a binding financial agreement, all parties must receive independent legal advice in relation to the effect of the agreement on their rights and entitlements before signing it.
After the agreement is signed and all parties have received legal advice, the binding child support agreement is sent to the child support agency.
Instead of receiving regular assessments of your child support obligations calculated by the child support agency, they will issue assessments in accordance with your binding child support agreement.
Much like a binding financial agreement, there are pros and cons in relation to entering into a binding child support agreement, and it’s important that you consider the advice of your family lawyers Gold Coast team before doing so.