Changing Child Support

Unhappy with current child support

If you are a parent of the child then under law, both parents have a duty to support their children financially.  Often people ask the question,

“If I didn’t plan to have the baby, do I need to pay child support?”

“I don’t want to have this baby, why should I have to pay child support?”

As a parent, you are required by law to support your children regardless of whether you were involved in the decision to keep the child or not. It doesn’t matter if the child was planned or if you were in a long-term or one night stand relationship.

If the baby is biologically yours, you must financially support it.

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the Child Support Agency, there are avenues that allow you to challenge them and have a new decision made in your favour.

The Department of Human Services allows for a number of procedures to challenge their decisions.

This includes an internal review process, or a right to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for a review of the decision.

Depending on the circumstance, you may even be able to apply to a court.

The options vary depending on your unique circumstances. A lawyer will be able to advise you as to what would be an appropriate action.

If you are unhappy with your private Child Support Agreement, you are always able to renegotiate something with your ex-partner and potentially come to a compromise.

Our experienced negotiators can help you get the results you want whilst ensuring your rights are protected.

Ending Child Support

There are only a few circumstances in which it is legal for Child Support Payments to stop being made. One of the most common circumstances is after the child’s 18th birthday.

However, if the child turns 18 during their last school year, you are liable for Child Support Payments until the end of that school year.

There are also some circumstances, such as a Child with intellectual or physical disabilities, in which Child Support payments will be extended past the child’s 18th birthday. This is called Child Maintenance.

Other circumstances in which Child Support Payments will cease include if the child:

  • Dies
  • Gets married or enters into a de facto relationship
  • Becomes adopted by other persons(s) or
  • Is no longer present or ordinarily in Australia or an Australian citizen, provided there is no international maintenance agreement applicable
  • If either parent dies
  • If the parents reconcile and are partners for at least 6 months
  • If neither parent is caring for the child
  • If the parent liable for Child Support moves to another country that is not included in an International Child Support Agreement with Australia