Relationship breakdowns can be stressful, emotional and overwhelming, especially when there are children involved. Child support laws in NSW are designed to ensure that the best interests of the children are always being met, this includes the issue of financial support.
At Owen Hodge, our team of child support lawyers are here to offer legal advice as well as guidance during this difficult time. No matter your child support matter, our family lawyers are here to assist you.
What is child support?
Child support is an ongoing payment that is made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following a de facto relationship breakdown or marriage separation. The payments will continue until the child has reached the age of 18.
What does child support cover?
While the parent/carer who receives the child support payments can use the payments as they wish, they are meant to cover things like:
- School fees and costs
- Other activities, such as sport
What is the average amount of child support for one child?
It’s difficult to give an average amount, because child support payments are calculated on a number of factors, including:
- The age of the children
- The income of each parent
- The number of children the payer and payee parent has
- The amount of time each parent cares for the child
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has a child support estimator that you can use to get an estimate of your child support payments. Our team of child support lawyers can also help your children get the right support they need. We’ll guide you through the process and help you navigate the child support laws in Australia.
What happens if a parent refuses to pay child support in Australia?
If child support payments aren’t made in full or on time, then a penalty will be applied on the outstanding amount. The penalty amount will need to be paid to the Australian Government.
For more information: recovering child and spousal support payments
Can you sue for child support in Australia?
Yes. A payee can be taken to court if they have refused to pay child support or have made incorrect payments. If you need more advice, please contact an experienced law firm that has experience in family law cases.
Who can get child support payments?
If you care for and are responsible for a child, you can apply for child support with Services Australia. This includes parents (including biological and adoptive parents) and non-parent carers (such as grandparents).
Learn more: grandparents rights
How to get child support NSW
There are a few types of child support arrangements you can enter into, but they will depend on your financial circumstances as well as your ability to come to an agreement with your ex-spouse. These include:
Child Support Agreement
A Child Support Agreement is where both parties can agree on how much child support needs to be paid. Once it’s in writing, it will be registered with the DHS. A Child Support Agreement can take the form of either a binding agreement or a limited agreement.
Child Support Assessment
A Child Support Assessment involves the DHS assessing the contributions of parties against a mathematical formula. It will consider the income of each parent and how many children they have, as well as the ages of the children and how much time they spend with each parent.
Court ordered child support
If an agreement cannot be reached, the court can order for child support to be paid. An application can also be made to the court for child support for a child over 18 years. However, we strongly recommend speaking to a child support lawyer before taking your matter to family court.
Owen Hodge child support lawyers are here for you
At Owen Hodge, our child support and child custody lawyers approach every parenting matter with sensitivity and understanding. We understand that your children are the most important people in your life, which is why we will always work to an outcome that is reasonable, practical and fair. Call our experienced family and divorce lawyers on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
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During my divorce proceedings I was in a position I had never experienced previously and was not sure what direction to take.
Kristy Lee advised me in a way that was easy to understand but also firm & direct which to my surprise led to a favorable outcome and put an end to any future hardship I could have gone through.
I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal
“I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal yesterday.. After discussions with my mother, we agreed that it would be in my aunt’s best interest to have the Public Guardian take over as I just cannot manage her doctor’s appointments, support care arrangements, dental, optical appointments etc from so far away… I did however retain my Enduring Power of Attorney position, and it was upgraded to being my aunt’s Private Manager…
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I would like to send a big thank you to the team at Owen Hodge Lawyer Hurstville for their collective effort to resolve my late Wife’s estate dispute and all before Christmas.
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I was always informed and reassured that the outcome of my case would be best for myself but most importantly moving forward with my children and my life.
Kristy-Lee has extensive experience and knowledge in regards to family law and her beautiful nature and considerate approach is what I will be forever thankful for.
Frequently asked questions
If you need to make changes to your Child Support Agreement or arrangement, it is best to get a child support lawyer involved.
Having a lawyer onside will assist to provide the most accurate information possible, so you can ensure that the child support order is the correct amount to properly care for your child. However, a Lawyer can not assist with child support arrears, and would most likely get Services Australia or Relationships Australia involved.
Services Australia outlines a number of methods to recover unpaid child support payments. If a parent does not pay the child support in full and on time, Services Australia has the power to recover it by:
- Income support payment deductions
- Enforcing tax return lodgement
- Working with third parties
- Employer or bank account deductions
- Issuing overseas travel bans