What are my options for child support?

You have four options for child support. There is no right or wrong option, only the option that best matches your needs:-

1. Informal agreement

  • You and your ex-partner can agree between you how much child support will be paid, whether it is cash or non-cash things like private school fees or a combination of both.
  • You can do this without the involvement of the Child Support Agency.

2. Assessment by the Child Support Agency

  • Either parent can apply to CSA for a child support assessment.
  • CSA will calculate the amount of child support to be paid factoring in:
    • the costs of raising children
    • the income of both parents, and
    • the percentage of time each parent cares for the children.

3. Limited child support agreement

  • This is a formal agreement signed by both parents.
  • You can agree to cash payments, non-cash items such as private school fees and health insurance, or a combination of both.
  • A child support assessment from CSA is required to be in place before the agreement will be accepted.
  • The agreed amount of child support must be for an amount that is at least the amount of the CSA assessment.
  • Neither parent is required to get legal advice before entering into the agreement.

4. Binding child support agreement

  • This is a formal agreement signed by both parents.
  • There is no need for CSA to have made a child support assessment
  • The agreement can be made for any amount that both parents agree to.
  • Both parents must obtain independent, specific legal advice before making the agreement.

Justine Dean – Samford Family Law