Withstand Lawyers is a team of child support, spousal maintenance and divorce family lawyers in Sydney who will handle your case with utmost competence and integrity. Withstand Lawyers is a law firm that believes your best interest is primordial. (Overview)

When a marriage or a de facto relationship breaks down, and there are children born of the marriage or de facto relationship, several adjustments must be made which will affect everyone emotionally and psychologically. In addition, when the legal implications are considered, matters become even more complicated causing anxiety and stress. Any time you are not sure of what steps to take, a family lawyer can provide legal advice right away.

Child Support Assessment

Generally, the Child Support Assessment Act 1989 prescribes the formula for child support. However, depending on the parents’ circumstances and earning capacity, different computations can apply.

It is easy to know your entitlement to or the amount payable for child support. Just visit the Child Support Website, key in your details into the website’s calculator for your assessment.

There are cases when the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides an assessment, and the child or the parents (one or both) are bound by the assessment.

A review officer from the DHS can help if a party wants to change the assessment, however. This recourse is by application to the review officer. After which, an assessment may be varied depending on the circumstances of the application. Otherwise, the subsisting assessment stands.

Agreements for Child Support

There are alternative ways for parents instead of applying from the DHS. They can enter into agreements which are short term or long term.

Generally, both short term and long term agreements lay down the degree of financial support that one parent will provide to another in behalf of the children. They can also lay down how the prospective support will be delivered and paid.

For instance, the short term and long term agreements can set out the amount of support that will be paid for the child’s essential medical fees.  Likewise, these agreements can provide for how frequently they will be delivered.

Once a short term or a long term agreement is submitted for registration to the DHS, the latter can enforce it.

What are the 2 types of formal Agreements that are recognised by the CSA? These are

Binding Child Support Agreements, where each party is required to secure legal advice entering into this agreement. Legal advice is also required to terminate this. Since these are agreements for the long term, they may not be terminated at will but only when special circumstances lie.

Limited Child Support Agreements, which are more open, do not bind parents for more than three years. Ending the agreement is possible when events not contemplated by the parties at the time of execution occur, or when 3 years have passed from its execution.

In both binding and limited CSAs, parents must think about the implications of said agreements in Family Tax Benefit Part A payments which a receiving parent in behalf of a child may be entitled to.

Likewise, should a Social Security payment be received by a parent, there are specific rules that come into play.

How Much Child Support?

As to how much child support is required to be paid relies on several factors computable by a legislative formula. The formula finds basis on

  • the children’s cost,
  • the parents’ income,
  • whether dependent children are living with the parents
  • whether the parents have other child support cases concerning other children

Moreover, continuing child support paid by a parent can be adjusted provided the paying parent is paying prescribed payments on top of the child support payment.

The prescribed payments can include the following

  • rent payments of the person taking care of the child and receiving the support payment
  • utility payments of the person taking care of the child and receiving the support payment
  • child care fees
  • school fees
  • essential dental or medical fees

Collection of Payments

The 2 ways by which Child Support may be collected are the following:

Private Collect – a flexible collection scheme in which the parents can between themselves transfer payments. Requisite to this is that the agreement in writing of the parents as to when and the manner said payments should be made.

CSA Collect – a payment scheme where the collection and transfer of payment of child support is made by the CSA.

Objections and Reconciliations

Lastly, if a parent does not agree with the assessment or the decision of the Registrar, then the parent must make an objection. Making an objection is internal and takes place within the CSA. If there are specific circumstances that are affecting both the parent and the child then a parent can fill up a form (Change of Assessment). In this form, the parent will explain why there is a need to change the assessment.

As for parents who reconcile, payments can be suspended for a period of six (6) months. However, their payments are reinstated once the parents separate anew.

Withstand Lawyers will help when you need to know more about child support assessments. Our family lawyers can also provide advice on how you can enter into alternative agreements, whether short or long term based on your needs. This Sydney law firm after all focuses on answering your family law questions according to your needs in a down-to-earth and friendly way. At Withstand, we stand with you.

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