What is a child support agreement?
A Child Support Agreement is an agreement between parents that sets agreed terms that they have reached in terms of child support. Child Support Agreements allow parents to determine child support payments by agreement between them, without the involvement of the Child Support Agency or the need for a formal assessment that would need to be followed.
Why a child support agreement?
Child Support Agreements in their various forms give parties autonomy to agree upon the terms for payment of child support that suit them, rather than relying on the child support agency. They also provide certainty that payment will be made and can be collected, more so than a verbal agreement between parents.
How many types of binding child support agreements are there?
There are two types of Child Support Agreements, Binding and Limited Child Support Agreements.
What is the difference between a binding child support agreement and a limited child support agreement?
Binding Child Support Agreement’s do not require a notional assessment by the child support agency and they can be entered into with or without a child support assessment having taken place. They also offer more flexibility to the parents, as payable amounts can be NIL up to whatever amounts the parents agree to pay. Limited Child Support Agreements must have a child support assessment in place, and the amount payable under the Limited Child Support Agreement must be equal to or more than the amount payable under the assessment.
Limited Child Support Agreement’s also may be terminated by a wide range of circumstances, and however, Binding Child Support Agreement has very limited circumstances where they can be terminated.
The main difference between Binding Child Support Agreement and a Limited Child Support Agreement is that legal advice is not required to enter into a Limited Child Support Agreement and that an administrative assessment is required to be in place prior to entering into a Limited Child Support Agreement. The Registrar must refuse to accept a Limited Child Support Agreement if no administrative assessment is in place
How can child support be paid under Child Support Agreements?
Generally, payments are made in lump sums, or periodically, pursuant to the terms of child support agreements as agreed by the parents. If a parent fails to pay child support on time, or in full under that agreement, a parent may ask the child support agency to collect child support payable under the agreement on their behalf.
How do I get a Child Support Agreement?
Child Support Agreements require the consent of both parents in order to be made. It is important that you speak to your solicitor about what you and the other parents agree, and if there are any points of disagreement between you. Your solicitor will be able to advise you whether you should pursue a Child Support Agreement and which type, they may alos help you with negotiating the terms of the agreement before finally drafting the agreement on your behalf.
Do you need legal advice?
Binding Child Support Agreements requires both parties to obtain independent legal advice prior to signature, however, Limited Child Support Agreements do not. We recommend seeking legal advice prior to signing any legal document.