All parents have an obligation to financially support their children until they reach the age of 18. In some circumstances, child support may be required to be paid past the age of 18. An example of this is where a child turns 18 prior to the conclusion of their secondary education.

Child support is a separate issue to financial matters, such as division of your assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements, and spousal maintenance.

Child support is determined by the Department of Human Services: Child Support, commonly referred to as the Child Support Agency (“CSA”). In broad terms, a child support assessment is calculated considering each parent’s income, the age of a child and the amount of time a child spends with each parent.

You can contact the CSA by telephone or use the Child Support Estimator to obtain an estimate as to how much child support you may be assessed to pay or receive.

Once a child support assessment is made, arrangements will also be put in place for parents of children to exchange child support payments directly, or for the CSA to collect the payments on behalf of the parent receiving child support.

It is unlikely that the amount of child support assessed to be paid will cover all of your children’s living expenses. In the event you are dissatisfied with the amount of child support which has been assessed to be paid, there are other options available to you, including:

  • A Limited or Binding Child Support Agreement, both of which are legally binding documents embodying the agreement parents have made about the expenses for their children;
  • Application for Change of Assessment in Special Circumstances, which is an Application made by either the payer or recipient of child support to change the child support assessment; and
  • Application to depart from a child support assessment, which is made to the Family Court of Western Australia where there are property settlement proceedings before the Court.

We have extensive experience in assisting our clients with reassessments by the CSA, child support agreements, and child support departure Orders made by the Family Court of Western Australia. If you would like to discuss the support you are paying or receiving for your children, please contact us.

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