If parents do not agree or do not wish to put a private Child Support arrangement in place, then an Application for Child Support is lodged with the Child Support Agency. In the past, parents of children would apply for child maintenance. Today, if it is possible that the Child Support Agency can make a determination for Child Support, then child maintenance orders are not allowed
The Application results in a Child Support Assessment provided the formal requirements for an application are satisfied. This is an administrative procedure uses a formula from the Child Support Act to calculate the amount of Child Support that would be paid by a parent in any given situation. The formula requires both parents to provide financial support of their children as far as they are able to do so. The formula considers research on the cost of raising children, parental income, other dependent children and time spent with each parent. An online child support estimator can be found on the CSA website. This procedure does not involve the Family Court system.
An Assessment Notice will usually issue several weeks later. This will tell each parent how much they are to receive/pay each month and about their rights relating to the payment/receipt of Child Support.
Sometimes the formula produces a result which is not appropriate. This might happen if a parent has lost their job since the assessment was made or the child has special needs or because the child is attending a private school. The Child Support Agency can be asked to change the assessment.
If you are not happy with a decision made by the Child Support Agency, it is possible to challenge the decision. An internal review process, a right to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for a review or a right to go to court could each be options depending on the nature of the decision.
The lawyers at Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Melbourne are experienced with helping parents to work through both the financial and practical issues involved in an agreement for Child Support. We can help to ensure proper arrangements are made for the ongoing financial, physical and emotional support of your child or children. We can assist you with dealing with the Child Support Agency, whether you are making an application for child support or are disputing a decision made by the Child Support Agency.
Mathews Family Law is a leading family law firm in Australia. Please contact us on 1300 635 529 to speak with a family lawyer from our law firm today. You can also send through your enquiry online now and we will contact you shortly.