What Is Child Support Meant To Cover
Justice Family Lawyers Sydney
Child support is based on the cost of raising children in Australia, but there are no rules or guidelines about what it is meant to cover or be used for.
The recipient can use it for any expenses associated with their child. Child support is generally intended for fixed expenses that are shared between the parents according to how often they care for the child. Such expenses include food, housing, medical and dental fees, clothing, school fees and school uniforms. It can also be used for extra-curricular activities such as sport and music fees.
The principle behind child support is that the percentage of expenses that a parent pays should match the percentage of time they spend caring for the child. The Department of Human Services calculates the percentage of care according to how many nights in the year the child spends in each parent’s care. It would, therefore, be unfair for the parent who cares for the child 75% of the time to pay for 100% of the expenses.
Parents can apply to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for a child support assessment, which is worked out using a formula based on the parents’ incomes, their percentage of care and the cost of raising children in Australia. This assessment will determine how much child support one parent will pay to the other. If one of the parents does not agree with the result of the child support assessment, they can apply to have it changed.
Changes can also be made to the assessment if special circumstances arise, such as if the child requires large medical expenses. Paying and receiving child support through the DHS is not the only option – parents can manage their child support privately. Self-managed child support means both parents agree on who pays whom, how much the payments are, when and how they are paid.
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