At the heels of separation, couples with children often have a difficult time deciding upon parenting arrangements. The Family Court is also only able to grant a divorce between two individuals who have a child or children if there is enough evidence that for any child under 18, there are appropriate arrangements put in place to ensure continued support, education, living arrangements, and other relevant requirements for unhindered development.
As such, it’s important to either work on a Parenting Plan, or a Binding Child Support Agreement with the help of expert Perth family lawyers to ensure that the process is not only unhindered by unfulfilled requirements, but also to ensure a binding plan for the children that will be affected by the divorce.
How does the Child Support work?
Child support is basically put into place to ensure that the needs of the child or children can be met. The parent who is not living with the child is the one who pays for child support, as they are not under their care. As such, their support will be of the financial means, and this can be paid either to the other parent who has assumed the caretaking role, or a non-parent carer in certain situations. In this circumstance, the parent paying child support is referred to as the ‘payer parent,’ and the parent who receives the support is called the ‘payee parent’ or the ‘carer.’
The amount of child support that is required depends on three things specifically:
- Each parent’s income, obligations, and basic living expenses
- The amount of time each parent has the child under their care
- The amount of children to be supported, their specific circumstances and needs
How does Child Support collection start?
Depending on whether there is an informal agreement, or an official agreement as decided upon by the Family court, child support collection can be done in different ways. Payments can be sent through via direct debit, for example. However, if necessary, you may also arrange with DHS (Child Support) to collect these payments regardless if this is under an administrative assessment or under an informal or formal child support agreement.
What Are My Child Support Payment Options?
There are three ways for child support payments to be processed. One is self-management or Private Collect, in which this depends on both parents having an agreement and settling on the amount between themselves without the intervention of the Court.
The other is Child Support Collect, which means that the DHS collects and transfers payments for the payee parent or the carer.
Lastly, there is the non-agency based payments, in which the payer parent pays directly to the DHS both direct payments to the payee parent and third party payments that can include, but are not limited to, food, rent payments, sporting expenses, and school fees.
In order to find out what can and cannot count as child support payments, it’s a good idea to consult with Perth family lawyers to know your obligations and requirements under the child support agreement.
Published by Samantha Brown