Following a separation where children are involved, both parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children. In Perth, this support is mandatory until the child turns 18 or finishes with full-time education.
Child support matters are often complicated, confusing and highly disputed. Our child support lawyers are here to help you better understand your obligations, determine whether you’re paying the correct amount and advise whether the courts should be involved to alter the amount of child support payable.
The Child Support Agency (CSA) is responsible for making assessments and determining the amount a party will pay for the financial support of their child(ren).
Factors considered in this decision include each parent’s income, the number of children and their living arrangements.
If either party disagrees with the amount the CSA has determined to be paid, there are ways in which it can be processed for review. An application may be put forward to have it re-assessed by the CSA.
If this fails, disputes regarding administrative assessments of child support are generally heard by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, and in some cases, by the Family Court. Time limits do apply in respect of the courses of action available through this process, legal advice should be sought immediately after receiving the assessment if a party is wishing to dispute the payment amount.
Parents may wish to forgo being assessed by the Child Support Agency and instead enter into a private agreement, whereby both parties agree on what they consider a fair amount to pay.
Private child support agreements can provide greater flexibility and include expenses not always recognized by the CSA, such as medical costs, private school fees and extracurricular activities.
Please note that not all private agreements are legally binding and it is recommended that before entering one, advice from a child support lawyer be sought.
Thomson Family Lawyers’ child support lawyers have successfully helped many Perth families come to peaceful arrangements post-separation. We pride ourselves on not only helping parents come to an agreement, but also facilitating a peaceful and amicable environment where the best interest for the child is kept at the forefront of every discussion.
Our lawyers are available to assist with all legal matter surrounding child support. It is our promise to provide you with guidance throughout the entire separation and child support process, ensuring you are aware of both the procedural issues, and the legal aspects that relate to your case.
At Thomson Family Lawyers, we work to ensure that your children are financially supported, in accordance with the law that govern child support matters.
We are able to assist with all child support cases, from relatively minor cases that simply require advice on the process for initial administrative assessment and managing the process through the CSA, through to more complicated matters which may require the jurisdiction of the Family Court.
Our child support lawyers also specialise in the mediation of private child support agreements, and are available to sit down with both parties to negotiate terms and draw up contracts to make the agreement legally binding.
If you’re going through a separation and are unsure where that leaves you and your children financially, contact Thomson Family Lawyers today.