04 Nov Basic Child Support Cover in Australia
Essentially, child support in Australia, guarantees that both parents either biological and/or adoptive will financially support their children. Typically, the non-custodial parent provides the support, but this is not always the case. For instance, the custodial parent may not be the parent instead, a legal guardian looking after the children.
So, in this article, it’s important that we address what child support covers and the child support expenses.
Possible Expenses of Child Support
In Australia, child support may be negotiated by having a private discussion between the non-custodial and custodial parent or guardian. The cost may be assessed by the DHS as well using a complex formula to identify the amount that will be given and received. Among the factors that influence these include:
- Number of children involved
- Age of the children
- Income of each parent or guardian
- The amount required for parents or guardians to support themselves
- Time each parent or guardian spends caring for the children
Child support assessment will only be issued on your behalf when you have provided evidence that you’re seeking financial support from the child/children’s biological, adoptive or same-sex parent or guardian.
Other Private Agreements
According to the Child Support Assessment Act, there are two types of private agreements that can be modified to account for extra expenses such as private school fees, health insurance premiums and costs for special needs such as medical costs.
Binding Child Agreement
This brings both strict legal terms and conditions but provides flexibility as well like payments or transfer of property in place of providing monetary support. However, your Adelaide lawyer will be able to provide support and advice within this.
Limited Child Support Agreement
While this agreement does not call for legal support, it is recommended to consult with someone prior to entering the agreement. By doing so, you get a full understanding and common ground for what’s best to do. This is an alternative agreement that does not call for any legal support. This is ideal for more amicable separations. It has a short time frame that can expire before or after three years.
What Does Child Support Cover in Australia?
Child support should cover an array of basic living expenses which include education, clothing, housing, food, transport, and healthcare. The child support agreement will be assessed by DHS and will send a letter informing both parties of the assessment result. This will determine how much should be given to the custodial parent or guardian.
When Does Child Support Stop?
Generally, providing child support should be made until 18. However, the financial support may stop if:
- There’s a demonstration of self-sufficiency
- Marriage or enters a de facto relationship
- Adoption by another family
On the other hand, if a child reaches 18 and above but is still unable to support themselves, the Court can issue an ‘adult child maintenance’ order to both parents.
Situations are complex during the discussion of child support so it’s best to contact a family lawyer to ensure complete understanding.