Child Support Lawyers Sydney
Child Support Lawyers – Child support is an issue that arises in almost every case where there are children. As a specialist family law firm, Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers have helped thousands of people with their child support issues.
The breakdown of a family unit is a very difficult time for the children of a relationship. The children will inevitably be affected by the big changes in the financial arrangements of the new households. At a traumatic time around separation, often immediate financial issues about the children such as school fees, fees for extra curricular activities, medical costs and the like are overlooked, only to become a big issue soon afterwards.
Parents are able to deal with their child support issues by agreement or through the assessment process.
Child Support Agreements
Some parents are able to make an agreement about ongoing periodic payments of child support or about other expenses for the children or both. This can be an informal arrangement between the parents or they can formalise their agreement through a Limited Child Support Agreement or a Binding Child Support Agreement. Independent legal advice is required for both parties for a Binding Child Support Agreement.
The main benefit of reaching an agreement is that there is then one less issue in dispute between the parents at a difficult time. It also gives both parents a degree of certainty so that they can make plans for the future. There are potentially disadvantages to an agreement such as not being able to take into account changed circumstances in the future.
How does the child support assessment process work?
The Child Support Scheme governs the financial obligations parents have for their children. Child Support is payable for all children living in Australia (up to the age of 18 years) whose parents have separated, whether or not the parents were married to each other.
The purpose of child support is to ensure parents share the cost of raising a child. If a parent provides a larger percentage of care than their share of the total income, they will generally receive child support payments from the other parent. A child support assessment determines the amount of child support a parent should pay or receive. The child support formula takes into account:
- The combined income of the parents, and
- The care arrangements, and
- The age of the child.
In some circumstances the standard assessment may not be appropriate and so there is an objection process you can follow to have a Registrar consider your case.
When does child support end?
Child support generally stops when the child reaches the age of 18. However if your child is about to turn 18 and is still in full time secondary education an application may be made to extend the child support assessment to the end of the school year.
When parents have regular care of a child, roughly between two and five nights a fortnight, child support assessments are reduced to acknowledge the direct contribution of the parent to the care of the child. When parents share care of a child, child support is further adjusted.
How can we help?
Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers is able to provide advice and assistance with respect to child support obligations, and prepare binding child support agreements. Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers has significant experience and expertise with child support issues and binding child support agreements. We have represented numerous clients with child support issues in contested Court hearings. We also have had great success when working collaboratively with parties to determine child support payments without the significant costs involved with going to court.
For more information, or to make an appointment at one of our offices, contact us.
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