Once a relationship or marriage breaks down, it is imperative that a child’s best interests are considered. Wherever possible, both parents should maintain a relationship with their children and should financially contribute to their upbringing.
If an agreement can’t be reached on how a child should be cared for, then a claim for child support can be made.
Child support claims are made through the Australian government’s Child Support Scheme. After assessing the needs of your children and the financial circumstances of both parents, they will determine how much child support should be paid.
If you and your former partner agreed on a payment plan but issues later arise, you can also contact the Child Support Agency for a support assessment.
Applying for a Child Support Assessment
To apply for child support, start by making an application at the Child Support Agency. As a parent or carer, you will be able to apply for a child support assessment as soon as you stop living with the other parent.
When applying, you will need to provide information about each parent, the children, existing care arrangements, and any relevant history of caring responsibilities and special needs of the children. Existing care arrangements may include an agreement (written or verbal) a parenting plan or a court order.
If you are unable to get the other parent to commit to set living and care arrangements, the Child Support Agency will make an independent determination as to the actual level of care.
The Child Support Agency will then perform an assessment and determine a reasonable child support plan based on the various factors and information provided.
After the Assessment: Collecting Payment
Once an assessment is made, the next step is to start collecting the payments from the other parent. If the relationship is amicable, then the parents will choose to manage payments themselves, without involving any authorities.
If you are concerned about the other parent’s commitment, payments can also be arranged through the Child Support Agency. Under this system, the agency will collect, track and manage payments and follow up on missing or late payments.
Further Action and Court Orders
If your partner continually refuses to honour the child support plan, it may be necessary to enforce child support through a court order. If you need to resort to this action, our family lawyers can discuss your case and represent you in a Family Court.
Contact DGB Lawyers
If you want to apply for child support, our family law specialists in Wollongong can help you prepare your application. This will ensure that your child’s needs are properly understood, giving you the best chance of achieving a fair child support assessment.
If you are facing issues with an existing child support arrangement, we can advise you of your options or assist with pursuing a court order as needed.
Contact us online today or call or visit us at our Sydney office.
96 Kembla Street, Wollongong, NSW 2500
Ph. (02) 4229 5699