What is Child Support?
Child support is a payment made by one or both parents to the other parent for the cost of looking after the child. The payments are often regular and on-going until the child reaches the age of 18. After 18, support payments may need to continue if the ‘child’ is still in secondary school.
Support can be agreed to privately between the parties through mediation. The Department of Human Services can also calculate the support amount. An established formula is implemented to calculate the exact amount. The benefit of this is that the payments are regulated by the Department and can be taken straight from the parent’s pay and transferred into the other parent’s account.
Who is entitled to Child Support?
You are entitled to child support payments if at least one of the below applies:
- you were married to the other parent when the child was born;
- you’re are named on the child’s birth certificate as a parent, whether Australian or from a reciprocating jurisdiction;
- alternatively you were named in adoption papers as a parent;
- you’re male and lived with the mother any time between 20 to 44 weeks before the child’s birth;
- a clear statement from a relevant court identifies you as the child’s parent;
- also, you’re a parent under the Family Law Act, which includes artificial conception and surrogacy;
- a current ‘instrument’ such as statutory declaration, names you as a parent.
In certain situations, non-parent carers are also able to receive support.
How is this Support Calculated?
If your support is calculated according to the Department of Human Services then they will rely on a formula which has 8 basic steps.
In short, the Department works out how much money each parent has, after factoring in financial support of self and dependants. They then calculate each parent’s income as a percentage of both parents’ total income, as well as each parent’s percentage of care, which they then cost with a standard table. The Department then subtracts the cost percentage from the income percentage and if the result is negative then that parent will be awarded support.
The amount of child support paid by multiplying the positive support percentage by the costs of the child.
For more details on this formula click here.
How can Sydney Divorce Lawyers Assist?
We have years of experience in obtaining support payments for our clients. Also, we often handle child support at the same time as other legal issues that relate to our client’s lives. We are experienced with private child support agreements, however we are also well versed in the Department of Human Service’s system, so can provide a tailored solution to suit you and your children. Please contact us now an obligation free first appointment.