Where Children Are Involved, You’ll Need To Know About Child Support

Not every separated couple with children has a child support arrangement, but most families do. With a system that has so many variables though, it can be difficult to understand what’s right. Even if you don’t end up with one, you need to be sure it’s the right thing for both parties and your children, which is where we come in. We’ll advise you on finding out what you’re entitled to, or what you should be paying, as well as the best way to go about transferring the money.

How Does Child Support Work?

Both parents need to contribute financially to their children, so in Australia the Child Support Agency (CSA) oversees the whole process. This doesn’t mean that you need to go through the CSA for your child support as many people are able to make mutually agreeable private arrangements. But the CSA is there for when you can’t come to an agreement. The amount of child support is based on a formula which considers the income of both parties, the number of children and the number of nights those children spend with each parent.

Ready for personalised advice on child support?

Why would you need a lawyer?

  • We’ll help you work out how much it should be

    Each set of parents will arrive at a different amount, and the hope is that this amount will enable both parents to raise the children and not be disadvantaged. If you can’t negotiate this between yourselves then you will need to have your amount calculated by the CSA. The CSA have a handy online calculator you can use to work out how much child support should be changing hands, and if you go through them they will issue you with a formal assessment. Ideally you’ll come to a private arrangement and transfer the money between you, but if there are issues the CSA is able to collect and pass on the money for you.

  • Get Straight Advice before entering into a private arrangement

    Legally you can agree to a private arrangement if you wish, and while there can be potential benefits, there can also be serious disadvantages. Each situation is unique, and without expert guidance you could end up agreeing to something that could cost you A LOT of money. Over the years until your children turn 18 (and possibly beyond), it could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. You could also end up agreeing to something quickly (to get it over with) that you’re not easily able to get out of should your situation change. You could find yourself without work or on a reduced income and unable to meet your obligations. So getting sound advice before agreeing to an arrangement is a good thing.

In Some Circumstances, Child Support Can Continue Past The Age Of 18

Once your children reach 18 years old or complete Year 12, whichever is the later, generally child support should cease. But in some instances you (or your child) can apply for ongoing maintenance. Whether your child wants to continue studying, or has an illness or disability, we’ll help you work out if you could apply.

You may also be able to apply for spousal maintenance (Alimony)

Sometimes there may be a reason why you’re not able to support yourself adequately; you had to give up your job to care for your young children, or because you followed your spouse away from your source of employment, for example. If so, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance from your ex-partner. Even de facto spouses are able to claim if there is a justifiable reason, and our team of experts will be able to show you if you should apply, and how to go about it.

Transparent Fixed Fees For Peace Of Mind

We offer a fixed fee model meaning you pay for the work that’s done, not for how long it takes to do the work. You’ll know exactly what you will pay as you go, with no nasty surprise bills.

Read more about our clients’ success stories

Journey Family Lawyers has helped thousands of Australians through their separation.

Thanks again for all your assistance with this. It's been such a reassurance to have your advice. Shane
I would like to write this recommendation for Cassie Boland of Journey Strathpine Family Lawyers. Cassie made herself fully available to support me with what could have been a very messy process. She was prompt and professional in her interactions ensuring I had everything I needed to ensure I had a successful outcome. Thank you Cassie for your support and encouragement. Karen
I just wanted to say thank you for all your help and patience with me and my matter. You've been a pleasure to work with and I wont hesitate to recommend you to anyone needing assistance in a Family matter. Susie
Thank you to everyone at your office for always doing such a stellar job and making me feel at ease.
You handled my divorce for me at the end of 2017 and you were incredibly helpful and very kind. I thank you very much for your assistance both with this and my divorce in general. You were always a pleasure to deal with. Catherine.

Speak with our experts before you agree to anything

Many couples make it through this difficult time without needing a lawyer to work on their behalf. We’re here to guide and advise, and we believe the best outcome is one you reach between yourselves. But regardless of how you get there, it’s important to get good advice right from the start. Whether you need us to fight for what you’re entitled to, or just to show you the way forward, we’re on your side.

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