Your Simple Guide To Child Support In Australia

What is child support?

Child support refers to the financial support provided by one parent to another parent, to help with the costs of caring for a child of your relationship after you separate. Child support is provided by way of regular periodic payments but occasionally it can also include a lump sum payment.  Parents may enter into a private child support agreement to cover the costs of private schooling, medical expenses, extra-curricular activities and so on. The child support regime was introduced by the Child Support (Assessment Act) and aims to ensure that children receive an adequate level of financial support from their parents. Here at Reid Family lawyers, we recognise that it can be difficult to navigate the child support system in Australia, so we have simplified the process for you.

What is child support for?

According to the Child Support (Assessment Act), child support is available to ensure that the persons who provide ongoing daily care for the child have a level of financial support appropriate to meet a child’s needs.. The primary aims of child support are:

  • To ensure that both parents are financially responsible for their children
  • To ensure that the financial support is adequate for a child’s needs;
  • To ensure that child support payments are regular and timely;
  • To ensure that parents provide financial support that is appropriate with their financial situation.

Who is eligible for child support?

All children in Australia are eligible for child support if their parents are separated. Generally, child support payments are provided to a child until they reach 18 years of age or can financially support themselves. However, there are exemptions such as if your child is 18 but still studying at school. If you are a parent, to be eligible for child support, the following criteria must be met:

  • You and the other parent must prove that you are the legal parents of the child. Some presumptions apply.  If you were married or in a de facto relationship at the time your child was conceived, there is a presumption that you are the child’s parents. The same presumption applies if your name appears as a child’s parent on their birth certificate.
  • Normally both parents must be residing in Australia (but there are exceptions);
  • The child must not be married or be in a de facto relationship.

How is child support calculated?

In Australia, there is an 8-step formula for calculating child support. Some of the key considerations for child support include:

  • Both parents’ income;
  • The number of nights the child spends with each parent;
  • Whether either parent is responsible/pays child support for other children;
  • The age of the child for whom child support is being paid.

Want Professional Advice On Child support? Contact Reid Family Lawyers To Find Out More

If you’re thinking about the legalities of entering into a child support agreement, then we can support you at Reid Family lawyers. We specialise in providing family law advice that can help you achieve the outcome that is best suited for you. We understand that each case is different, so we provide tailored advice that targets your specific parenting needs and situation. Contact us today, to get in touch with one of our expert family lawyers.