Child support is the financial support paid by one parent to the other, to help with the costs of a child aged under 18.
The law says that both parents have a duty to support their children financially, whether they are biological (birth) or adoptive parents, same-sex or otherwise.
What Happens When Parents Separate?
If you and your partner have decided to separate, and perhaps considering divorce, it is important to discuss future parenting arrangements, including financial support.
Protecting the rights of children is undoubtedly among the most important aspects of a separation, and ensuring your child’s needs can be met is absolutely essential.
How are Child Support Agreements Worked Out?
Separated parents can choose to make their own agreements about child support.
The agreement can be about how much, and in what form, child support should be transferred.
There are two legal types of child support agreements:
- limited child support agreements
- binding child support agreements.
You should always get professional legal advice before making a child support agreement.
How is Child Support Assessed in Victoria?
In making their assessment for Child Support, the Department of Human Services looks at:
- both parents’ income
- if you are supporting other children
- the costs of raising children (including their ages and the number of children)
- how much time you spend with the children (your ‘levels of care’).
The amount of child support you get, or have to pay, is based on these and other factors.
How are Child Support Payments Transferred Between Two People?
The Department of Human Services (Child Support) collects and transfers child support payments between each parent, or to non-parent carers.
Child support payments can also be transferred privately between yourselves if both parents agree to do this. You can collect and transfer child support between yourselves, whether you have a child support assessment or a private child support agreement.
Who Can Help Me with the Legal Processes of Child Support?
When an arrangement between you and your partner cannot be reached, seek advice and guidance from an experienced lawyer, qualified in family law. Some lawyers specialise in child custody and support law – they will be able to explain all aspects of the Family Law Act to you, and guide you towards a fair and just outcome for your child.
Call Robert Wood and Associates on (03) 9762 3877 or contact us online to book an appointment for more information about child support. A professional, qualified lawyer can provide you with the legal advice you need.