There are many things to consider if you have recently separated from your partner, including how your children will be financially supported.
Parents can agree on the level of financial support.
If there is no agreement, either parent can apply to the Child Support Agency to set the amount.
The Child Support Agency uses a formula to determine the amount of Child Support paid by one parent to the other.
The formula considers the parent’s incomes and the time the children spend with each parent.
The Child Support Agency has an online calculator which you can use to estimate the amount of Child Support payable.
In some circumstances, the formula can produce an unfair result.
It is possible to request a departure from the formula in special circumstances, for example, where there are high costs for the payer parent to spend time with the child or where either parent has more significant income, property, financial resources, or earning capacity than the formula has taken into account.
There are also special circumstances where an application should be made to the Family Court of WA, for example, where child support should continue beyond 18 years.
Suppose parents can agree on how much Child Support is payable.
In that case, this agreement can be informal (undocumented) or documented in a limited child support agreement or a binding child support agreement.
These three types of arrangements have different levels of enforceability, and if you are considering an agreement, it is wise to take legal advice on how best to protect the interests of your children.
Jude Keatley is a solicitor with Armadale-based law firm JK Legal