Parents are responsible for children. This responsibility extends to protecting their health and wellbeing, and providing for them, financially. Australian Family Lawyers can help you navigate your rights when dealing with complex child support matters.
What is child support?
Child support is the process of calculating each parents’ financial contribution to their children, in the event of separation or divorce. Child support typically comes in the form of period payments, lump sum payments, payments of expenses, or other property settlement arrangements.
How much child support you will need to pay will depend on a complex formula of circumstances. If you’re unsure of your rights, get in touch with Australian Family Lawyers. Our team of child support services experts will work with you to help you understand your position, and represent you in child support matters.
The child support process
Get in touch with Australian Family Lawyers. Successful outcomes for determining fair child support rely on professional advice. Before you do anything else, get in touch with our expert team.
Child support amount are determined. Both parties determine how much they provide for the children, and the ratio of care they offer in their current arrangement using a basic formula.
Parents undergo assessment. Parties can reach their own agreement on how child support should be paid. In disagreement, The Department of Human Services (DOHS) will perform their own assessment.
Appeals are lodged. Dissatisfied parties can appeal the decision to the Social Security Appeal Tribunal. Here, they will be represented by their family lawyer.
A final agreement is reached. Once court proceedings are finalised, parties will know exactly what they need to do to remain compliant with the decision handed down by the tribunal.
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Commonly asked questions about child support
Legally, there are no requirements for what child support covers or does not cover. It is usually a cash transfer from one parent to another, and there’s no limitations on what the recipient can spend it on. However, some of the most common expenditures of child support include:
School fees, uniforms, and equipment
A child’s leisure or sporting activities
Food, housing, rates, and bills
Dental and medical fees
Child support is best applied when parents come to an agreement on prescribed expenses. Generally, it’s fair that you should pay the percentage of expenses that correlates with your time with the children. For example, if you spend 70% of the week with children, you should pay 70% of expenses.
Like everything in the world of family law, there is no set figure for how much child support a parents has to pay the other. Child support assessments are conducted and determined using an 8-step formula. This formula determines the following figures:
Child support income
Parents’ combined income
Parent’s income percentage
Parent’s percentage of care
Parent’s cost percentage
Child support percentage
Costs of children
Child support amount
At the end of the assessment, The Department of Human Services (DOHS) will have a summation of who should pay what. However, this assessment isn’t always fair. When dealing with straight numbers, the DOHS often neglects the human element, and can overlook important mitigating factors.
Your first action should be pursuing a detailed understanding of your situation from a legal professional. Seeking or paying child support can be incredibly stressful, and you owe it to yourself to have a clear view of what’s in front of you. This will allow you to relax and take the correct steps as you move forward.
Here are some questions you might like to ask your child support lawyer at your first meeting:
How do I apply/pay for child support?
Specific to my situation, what are my rights while child support is being assessed?
What can I do to make this process easier on myself?
What is your fee structure?
What are our next steps?
Your child support lawyer will be able to advise you on the course of action. The child support team at Australian Family Lawyers is dedicated to helping you reach the best possible outcome. Reach out to us today for expert advice.
About Australian Family Lawyers
Australian Family Lawyers is a nation-wide team of family law specialists — one of the largest practices in Australia. All of our lawyers are highly trained, boasting unmatched experience in their niche fields of family law. We cover all elements of family law, from child support, to de facto relationships, to property settlement.
As a business, we take pride in cutting through the noise and confusion, and offering clear, concise help. We are here to help you understand your position. We also want to take the stress out of dealing with family matters. That’s why we offer fixed legal fees on certain types of services.Learn more about us