Why do I have to pay child support?
Parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. This is done by way of child support payments, which are administered by The Department of Human Services.
Separation, Divorce, where the child lives, or how much time they spend with a parent, or whether a parent remarries, does not change this obligation, but it may affect the amount of child support paid.
How is Child Support calculated?
When calculating child support these factors are considered:
- the number and ages of the children.
- The income of both parents (the higher income parent is required contribute more).
- The cost of the children i.e. the time they are in your care.
Essentially child support is calculated as – the cost of children x the difference between your income % and – your % percentage (a credit) for the time the children are in your care.
Does Child Support Need to go through the Child Support Agency or is there an alternative?
Generally child support is administered and sometimes collected by the Child Support Agency or Department of Human Resources, but did you know parents can agree to private arrangements which are not administered through the Child Support Agency. These agreements are known as binding and limited child support arrangements.
Each party to a binding child support agreement must receive independent legal advice before entering into the agreement.
For a limited child support agreement there must be an administrative child support assessment already in place and the terms of the agreement must be at least equivalent to the administrative child support assessment.
Both a limited and binding child support agreement must be in writing and signed by both parents.
Will I still get child support if my child is over 18 but still lives at home with me?
Maybe your child is about to turn 18, will you still get payments from the other parent? While this is not a straight out yes, there are times when your 18-year-old could be eligible for ‘adult child maintenance’.
Sometimes if an adult child has special needs, is still at school or going to University or undertaking further education they may be eligible for “adult child maintenance”.
Would you benefit from talking to us to resolve your most immediate questions?
We will review your situation and give you the practical advice you need right now.
The answer will help determine the best course of action for you and your children.