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Child Support Child Support Assessments

How can I apply for a Child Support Assessment?

An application for child support is made to the Child Support Agency (CSA) which administers the Child Support Scheme. An application can be made by completing a form which is available from the CSA or Centrelink. An application can also be made online through the CSA website.

Either a parent from a marriage, a parent from a de facto (including same sex) relationship or an eligible carer can apply to have a Child Support Assessment by the Child Support Agency. Provided the formal requirements for an application are satisfied, the Child Support Agency will make an administrative assessment of Child Support called a ‘Child Support Assessment’. An Assessment Notice will usually issue several weeks later. This will tell each parent how much they are to receive/pay each month and about their rights relating to the payment/receipt of Child Support.

To obtain an indication of your likely child support obligation or entitlement, click here to access the Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Child Support Calculator (standard calculation).

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Best Interests & Parenting child arrangements Child Support Child Support Assessments

Why are the best interests of the child important?

When making any Court Orders or varying a Child Support Agreement, the court must always consider the best interests of the child.

Factors which determine whether or not arrangements are in the best interests of the child include:

  • the benefit of the child in having a relationship with both parents,
  • the need to protect the child from harm,
  • ensuring children receive adequate and proper parenting to reach their full potential and
  • ensuring that parents fulfill their duties and perform their responsibilities towards their children.

The principles underlying these objectives are that:

  • children have the right to know and be cared for by both parents,
  • children have a right to spend time on a regular basis with both parents,
  • parents jointly share duties and responsibilities for their children and
  • parents should agree about the future parenting of their children and
  • children have a right to enjoy their culture.

The lawyers at Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Melbourne have significant experience and expertise with regard to issues that affect children. Our primary goal is to minimise risk to children and ensure proper arrangements are made for their ongoing financial, physical and emotional support. Care and compassion combined with determination and expertise are required to obtain the best results.

Mathews Family Law is an Australian law firm. Please contact us on 1300 635 529 to speak with a family lawyer from our law firm today. You can also send through your enquiry online now and we will contact you shortly.

Categories
Child Support Child Support Assessments

Child Support Agency Assessment

If parents do not agree or do not wish to put a private Child Support arrangement in place, then an Application for Child Support is lodged with the Child Support Agency. In the past, parents of children would apply for child maintenance. Today, if it is possible that the Child Support Agency can make a determination for Child Support, then child maintenance orders are not allowed

The Application results in a Child Support Assessment provided the formal requirements for an application are satisfied. This is an administrative procedure uses a formula from the Child Support Act to calculate the amount of Child Support that would be paid by a parent in any given situation. The formula requires both parents to provide financial support of their children as far as they are able to do so. The formula considers research on the cost of raising children, parental income, other dependent children and time spent with each parent. An online child support estimator can be found on the CSA website. This procedure does not involve the Family Court system.

An Assessment Notice will usually issue several weeks later. This will tell each parent how much they are to receive/pay each month and about their rights relating to the payment/receipt of Child Support.

Sometimes the formula produces a result which is not appropriate. This might happen if a parent has lost their job since the assessment was made or the child has special needs or because the child is attending a private school. The Child Support Agency can be asked to change the assessment.

If you are not happy with a decision made by the Child Support Agency, it is possible to challenge the decision. An internal review process, a right to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal for a review or a right to go to court could each be options depending on the nature of the decision.

The lawyers at Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists Melbourne are experienced with helping parents to work through both the financial and practical issues involved in an agreement for Child Support. We can help to ensure proper arrangements are made for the ongoing financial, physical and emotional support of your child or children. We can assist you with dealing with the Child Support Agency, whether you are making an application for child support or are disputing a decision made by the Child Support Agency.

Mathews Family Law is a leading family law firm in Australia. Please contact us on 1300 635 529 to speak with a family lawyer from our law firm today. You can also send through your enquiry online now and we will contact you shortly.

Categories
Child Support Child Support Assessments

Changing an Administrative Assessment by the Child Support Agency

There are limited grounds to change an administrative assessment. The grounds for a departure from an administrative assessment are as follows:

Reason 1: High costs of enabling a parent to spend time with, or communicate with, the child.

Reason 2: High costs associated with the child’s special needs.

Reason 3: High costs of caring for, educating or training the child in the way both parents intended.

Reason 4: Child’s income, earning capacity, property or financial resources.

Reason 5: Payer has paid or transferred money, goods or property to the child, the payee, or a 3rd party for the benefit of the child.

Reason 6: Payee’s high child care costs for the child (and the child is under 12 years).

Reason 7: The parent’s necessary expenses significantly affect their capacity to support the child.

Reason 8: Income, earning capacity, property or financial resources of one or both parents.

Reason 9: The parent’s capacity to support the child is significantly affected by:

  • their legal duty to maintain another child or person,
  • their necessary expenses in supporting another child or person they have a legal duty to maintain,
  •  their high costs of enabling them to spend time with or communicate with, another child or person they have a legal duty to maintain.

Reason 10: Parent’s responsibility to maintain a resident child reduces capacity to support child support child.

 

Categories
Child Support Child Support Assessments

Child Maintenance Orders

Today, child maintenance orders are not allowed f it is possible that the Child Support Agency can make a determination for Child Support. Child maintenance orders are only available to children who were born before and whose parents separated before 1 October 1989. Generally, child maintenance orders are no longer available, as all children born before 1 October 1989 would now be over 18 years of age.