Following separation, both parents are legally required to financially support their children, generally until a child turns 18 or ceases full-time education.
Child Support Assessments
You can apply for a child support assessment by contacting the Child Support Agency.
The Child Support Agency also has a child support estimator on their website, which you can use to calculate how much child support you will likely receive, or need to pay, depending on your circumstances.
Once the Child Support Agency has made an administrative assessment of child support, the parent who is liable to pay (the “payer”) will need to commence paying child support at the assessed rate.
In some cases, it may be possible to have the payer make a greater contribution towards the costs of your children by way of a Departure Order. There are various grounds upon which a Departure Order can be made, including in relation to medical expenses, private school fees, etc.
It may also be possible to reduce the amount of child support paid, by claiming a credit for certain payments that are made which relate to the child. These are known as “non-agency payments”.
If you have any questions about child support, or do not think that the assessment made by the Child Support Agency is correct, we can help.
Child Support Agreements
You may be able to reach agreement with your former spouse as to the child support you will receive or pay. This type of agreement is known as a Child Support Agreement.
In most cases, Child Support Agreements are binding and can only be varied by further formal agreement, or by the Court.
We can assist you in the preparation and review of a Child Support Agreement.