Negotiating Child Support? Should You Enter Into A Private Agreement or Have Payments Assessed?
Have you separated from your significant other?
The time has now been divided up between you 50/50 to look after the children. But who is going to pay for school fees? Saturday sport fees? Medical Expenses? And what is the amount that is being deducted by the Child Support Agency from my wage?
The below will attempt to explain the differences between government assessed Child Support and private agreements between parties.
Child Support Agency assessed payments
If you have a child or children that are under the age of eighteen, either party can apply to the Child Support Agency (‘CSA’) to have child support amount administratively assessed on the annual incomes of both parties.
The amount is deducted from either person’s salary or income and is remitted directly to the other party.
The formula to calculate the assessment is contained in the Child Support Assessment Act 1989 and a calculator from the CSA can be used to determine an estimate as to how much child support is to be payable.
The issue with an administratively assessed payment is that whilst the money is directly paid to the other party, there is no guarantee that the money will be provided to the children or used for the children’s benefit. This is where a binding child support agreement may be useful.
Binding Child Support Agreement
A Binding Child Support Agreement is a private agreement between the parents to determine which costs of the children are to be paid by whom and what percentages are to be paid. Common expenses that the agreement could cover includes.
- School fees and expenses
- Extracurricular activities
- Medical Expenses
The purpose of the agreement is to ensure that both parties are to contribute to these costs and outline the procedure for payment to ensure that the specific items are paid by the respective parents.
A binding child support agreement can be made in addition to administratively assessed payment by the CSA or it could replace a CSA payment and include a periodic payment between the parties.
The Binding Child Support Agreement can be registered with the CSA. In order for it to be registrable with the CSA, both parties are required to receive independent legal advice from a legal practitioner.
Therefore, if your ex-spouse has requested that you enter into a binding child support agreement or you are looking to prepare one, please contact me to arrange to obtain the required advice.
At Phillips & Wilkins, Chris practices in the areas of Property Law, Conveyancing and Family Law. Chris has grown up in the Northern Suburbs and continues to be a part of the local community as being a member of the Old Paradians Amateur Football Club and the Mill Park Cricket Club.