Child Support

Australian law provides for child support to be assessed and collected by the Child Support Agency unless the parties have reached their own private agreement concerning child support.

The amount of child support assessed by the Child Support Agency to be paid is done by applying a formula under Part 5 of the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (the CSAA).

The CSAA enables and in some cases obliges the Child Support Agency to assess and collect the child support liability and pay it to the carer.

The Child Support Agency assesses a payers obligations by applying what is known as the Child Support Formula. The key components of the Child Support Formula are as follows:

To work out the…

  • the Payee’s child support income;
  • the combined Payee and Payer’s income;
  • the Payee’s income percentage;
  • the Payee’s care percentage;
  • the Payee’s cost percentage;
  • the percentage of child support being paid by the Payee;
  • the cost of the Payee’s child;
  • the child support amount.

The Child Support Legislation provides no fewer than 6 opportunities for administrative (in house) review available to the parties. Lawyers are excluded from many of those stages and the parties are required to advocate their own cases without assistance.

The main areas where our expertise in child support matters can benefit our clients are as follows:

  • Negotiating and drafting private Child Support Agreements (known as either Binding Child Support Agreements or Limited Child Support Agreements).
  • Paternity Disputes: Seeking a declaration from a Court that a person is the parent of a child and should be assessed to pay child support or alternatively seeking a declaration a person is not to be assessed to pay child support because that person is not a parent of the child;
  • Recovery of overpaid child support payments from the Payee;
    Applications to the Court for a Departure Order from the amount the Child Support Agency has assessed the Payer is required to pay;
  • An application to the Court that child support be paid otherwise than by periodic payments. For example payments to third parties such as school fees or payment by a lump sum payment or a transfer of property;
  • An application to the Court to set aside a Binding or Limited Child Support Agreement;
  • Appeals to the Court from Social Security Appeals Tribunal’s decisions on questions of law;
  • To apply for leave from a Court to amend an old Child Support Assessment;
  • To apply for maintenance for an adult child (over the age of 18, for example a University Student) or for a step-child;
  • To apply to the Court for maintenance for child bearing expenses of an unmarried mother;
    To bring enforcement proceedings.

For more information please contact us at Madsen Law.