Can you Contract Out of Child Support in Australia?
It’s a complex and far-reaching issue for many Australians, and one of the central questions both parents may be asking is, ‘Can you contract out of child support in Australia?’
Deciding to contract out of child support can have serious implications that should not be taken lightly. For that reason, understanding the legal aspects of child support and the ways it can be managed is important.
At Justice Family Lawyers, we fully understand the impact child support issues can have on both parents, and believe it’s important to work through all the relevant considerations carefully and thoroughly. To help understand the answers to these questions, we outline the facts of how child support works in Australia and your legal rights.
- Understand the legal rights regarding child support in Australia
- Considerations when wondering ‘Can you contract out of Child Support in Australia?’
- Negotiation is key to forming a binding contract for child support
Understanding the Australian law
Australia’s child support system is administered by the Child Support Agency (CSA) and, ultimately, it is responsible for making sure that dependent children receive the financial assistance they are entitled to.
The CSA is responsible for ensuring the correct amount of child support is assessed and paid, based on the income of both parents, the time the child spends with each parent, and the cost of raising a child.
In Australia, child support is determined by legal guidelines rather than by agreement.
This means that in order to determine the amount of child support to be paid, the CSA must apply the Child Support Assessment formula.
The formula takes into account the incomes, parenting arrangements, and other financial resources of both parents.
In some cases, parents can come to an agreement about child support that is outside the assessment formula and enter into a binding Child Support Agreement.
In that agreement, you may contract out of child support arrangements.
Considering ‘Can you contract out of Child Support in Australia?’
It is possible for both parents to contract out of child support in Australia if they enter into a Binding Child Support Agreement.
Parents can negotiate the amount of child support with each other and come to a legally binding Agreement.
A well-drafted Agreement can process the payments more freely in the context of a change in circumstances.
When deciding whether to enter into a child support agreement, your lawyer will be required to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of signing this agreement.
On the one hand, this Agreement may be seen as a quicker process as there is no need to submit to the Child Support Agency assessment.
In addition to saving time, a Binding Child Support Agreement has additional potential benefits such as flexibility in determining the amount of agreed payments, creating confidence in both parents that payments will be made in time.
Question: Can you Contract Out of Child Support in Australia?
Answer: Yes you can contract out of child support by signing a Binding Child Support Agreement.
Here at Justice Family Lawyers, we know how difficult family law matters can be and understand the complexities that surround child support issues. We provide the best possible legal advice and assistance in this matter, by taking the time to understand your unique situation, provide advice, and help you to come to an Agreement that best suits your family.
If you need help negotiating a Child Support Agreement, our team of knowledgeable and experienced family law practitioners can provide the best advice and guidance to ensure you reach a good outcome. We can help you consider the best way to approach your situation and achieve the best deal for you and anyone else who is involved.
Principal of Justice Family Lawyers, Hayder specialises in complex parenting and property family law matters. He is based in Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Communications from UTS.