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Child Support Lawyers - NSW

What do I need to know about Child Support in NSW?

Assessment of Child Support

The amount of child support you are required to provide can be determined by having a:

Child Support Assessment: this is where the Child Support Agency (CSA) calculates payments based on a legislative formula. The formula is based on the cost of children, the income of both parents, the arrangement for the care of children for whom child support is payable, whether the parents have any relevant dependent children living with them and whether the parents have any children in other child support cases. Paying parents may be able to have ongoing child support payments adjusted where the paying parent is making prescribed payments in addition to the payment of child support.

Prescribed payments include school or child care fees, essential medical or dental fees, payments towards the rent or utilities of the person receiving the Child Support payment. An easy way to get an idea of what you might be entitled to, or have to pay, is to go to the Child Support website and enter your details into the calculator to obtain an assessment.

Related ArticleNew Child Support Smart Mobile Phone App

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Family Law Accredited SpecialistAssessment of Child Support Continued...

  • A Change of Assessment: If a parent does not agree to the assessment by the CSA because of the special circumstances affecting one of the parents, or the children, a parent can lodge a 'Change of Assessment form' explaining the reasons why the assessment should be changed.
  • A Child Support Agreement: There are 2 types of formal Agreements that are recognised by the CSA:
    • Binding Child Support Agreements: Each party must obtain legal advice before entering or terminating this type of Agreement. This type of Agreement provides for long term arrangements and can only be terminated in extremely limited circumstances.
    • Limited Child Support Agreements: These are more flexible Agreements which do not commit parents to an agreement longer than 3 years duration. A parent may end the Agreement if the notional assessment changes by more than 15% due to circumstances not contemplated by the Agreement, or after 3 years have elapsed.
  • Parents need to consider the effect of entering into an Agreement on any Family Tax Benefit Part A payments that the parent receiving child support may be entitled to.

Collection of Child Support

There are 2 ways in which Child Support may be collected:

  • Private Collect: This is a flexible arrangement where parents can transfer money between themselves. Parents should agree in writing to when and how the payments are to be made.
  • CSA Collect: the CSA collects and transfers the whole of the child support payable.

Child Support NSW - Turnbull Hill Lawyers

What Child Support Matters can go directly to Court?

If a person is unhappy with an assessment of Child Support or the decision of a Registrar, generally speaking the first step in the process is to make an objection. This is an internal process, which takes place within the CSA.

Parents can still appeal directly to the Court in a number of situations including:

  • Applications to set aside a Child Support Agreement
  • Urgent Child Support Applications
  • Declarations that a person is not entitled to a Child Support Assessment on the basis of parentage
  • Orders for recovery of wrongly paid child support
  • Stay Orders pending finalisation of a Court Application

Minimum & Fixed Child Support Assessments

There is a minimum amount that is payable under each CSA. A fixed CSA only applies to a paying parent who reports a low taxable income and did not receive income support in the last relevant year of income. Both the minimum and fixed CSA rates are indexed annually. To find out more information about this, please visit the human services Government website by clicking on the link.

Some other important points:

  • In relation to all child support periods beginning in 2013, the annual rate of child support is now $1294, for low income parents who are not on income support, capped at a maximum of 3 children
  • In relation to all child support periods beginning in 2013, the minimum annual rate of child support is now $391
  • Second jobs or overtime are treated differently in the first 3 years of separation if the extra income is used for reestablishment.
  • Assessments take into account financial responsibility for a step child
  • Parents who reconcile can suspend payments for 6 months. Payments are reinstated if the parents separate again.

Government Agencies That Can Help You

Child Support Agency
Telephone: 131272
Federal Magistrates Court
Telephone: 1300 352 000
Telephone: 136150
Family Court of Australia
Telephone: 1300 352 000
Family Assistance Office
Telephone: 136150

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