Child Support Agreements

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We often hear clients complain about the day-to-day dealings with the Child Support Agency.

We encourage all of our clients to negotiate and enter into an amicable arrangement with respect to the ongoing financial support of their children.

The best way to do this is through the use of a Child Support Agreement. The Agreement can be a Binding Child Support Agreement or in some cases as a Limited Child Support Agreement. The Limited Child Support Agreement will expire after 3 years whereas a Binding Child Support Agreement is a more formal document that usually expires upon a child terminating event occurring (such as a child turning 18) or as otherwise defined within the Agreement.

In most cases, we recommend clients to enter into a Binding Child Support Agreement; it provides the following advantages to separating spouses:-

  1. It allows them to contract out of the Child Support Agency assessments and not have to deal with different assessments and confusing correspondence and literature from the Child Support Agency;
  2. It allows both parents to plan their financial future with certainty knowing what they’ll pay or receive;
  3. It allows parties to pay a proportion of their child support obligations through non-periodic payments (such as direct payments for school fees) and often promotes harmony between the separated parties.

 
The negotiating, implementation and drafting notations of these Child Support Agreements is not straight forward. In these Agreements, each party needs to obtain independent legal advice and needs to be given advice as to the effect of the Agreement on their rights, prior to signing the Agreement. It is a formal legal document that can only be set aside or varied in certain limited circumstances.

Please contact us if you want more information regarding a Child Support Agreement to suit your situation.

About the author

Brett Hartley

Accredited Family Law Specialist

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