Child Support, Family Parenting Orders & Issues
The Family Court has very little involvement in child support matters. The Family Court can only make orders for there to be a departure from an administrative assessment in certain circumstances. The Child Support Agency determines the administrative assessment.
Child support payments determined by administrative assessment are made periodically in regular amounts based on a formula which takes into account:
- the cost of care of the children
- the income of both parties; and
- the care each parent provides.
The Family Court can make orders to replace the child support assessment on the application of one or both parent. For example, where one parent wishes to pay for the expenses and outgoings for the children, such as school fees and extracurricular activities, instead of paying a regular periodic payment. Parents are free to agree on the amount of child support payments to be paid by either one of the parents to the other. If the parties are able to agree on the amount of child support to be paid, that agreement can form the basis of a Binding Child Support Agreement and can be registered with the Child Support Agency.
If agreement cannot be reached, then either or both parents must apply to the Child Support Agency for an administrative assessment.
Child Support is only payable by a biological parent or an adopting parent. A party that is simply assuming the responsibility for the other party’s child or children cannot be legally obligated to pay child support or any expenses of the non biological or non adopted children. The Court has the power under the Family Law Act to order a parentage test. You cannot take a DNA sample from the other parent without their consent as it will not be admissible as evidence in Court. DNA has to be ordered by the Family Court and the testing must be done in accordance with the Family Court regulations.
At Court Legal we have extensive experience in Child Support laws. We understand that the payment of money by one partner to the other is important in reaching Family Law property & parenting settlements. We can assist in the preparation of Binding Child Support Agreements.
If you are unable to arrive at an agreement with your spouse as to where the children are to live and be cared for, then you can apply to the Family Court to make Parenting Orders.
The Family Law Act is explicit in stating that the care and welfare of children is of paramount concern. The Act states both parents have parental responsibility for the children of the marriage. It is not relevant who the children live with as long as they are being properly cared for and their needs are being met.
There are a number of orders that the family Court can make with respect to children
- Residency Orders - which state who the children are to live with;
- Contact Orders - which state when the non custodial parent is to have contact; and
- Specific Issue Orders – which relate to other matters concerning the welfare of the children such as what medical treatment they are to receive, which schools they are to attend, what extra-curricular activities they are to engage in.
In an acrimonious breakdown of a marriage where children are involved, children sometimes become the target of that acrimony. It is often the issue which is most difficult to resolve following a marriage breakdown. At Court Legal we understand this and we know how difficult it can be to arrive at an agreement that will suit the parties and most importantly benefit the children.
Child Support Fact Sheet Information:
We are able to assist you with the negotiation of an agreement with your spouse. The time we spend with you in this negotiating period can benefit you all in the long run financially and, most importantly, emotionally. If you already have an Agreement in place and wish to change the arrangements, we are also able to provide assistance in this area. Our team takes the time to listen and to help you achieve the best outcome for you and your children.
Call 1300 885 289 To Find out about Your Family & Children Legal Options