Child Custody

Whilst child support is generally dictated by the Child Support Agency on one parent’s application for an assessment of child support (compulsorily so within 3 months of applying for Centrelink parenting benefits), there are still several matters your family lawyer can assist you with regarding child Custody in Gold Coast.

Solicitors are often engaged to negotiate and document either a Binding or Limited Child Support Agreement. This can cover both periodic (weekly/monthly) payments made one parent to the other and any third-party payments, for example for school fees or private health insurance for the children.

Child support arrangements will usually also be matters discussed in the settlement of a property and parenting matter, so that all outstanding matters between the separated couple are resolved and documented in order that everyone has clarity as to their entitlements and obligations in the future.

Binding Agreements are reserved for when parents want fixed arrangements in place until the children finish school and otherwise Limited Agreements are where arrangements are subject to change after 3 years or if there is a significant change in the assessment of child support, so as neither party is better or worse off as a result of that change.

In addition to being able to draft and negotiate agreements for to child support arrangements in Gold Coast, we are also able to assist you in seeking a review of a child support agency assessment, within the agency’s internal review processes and in the administrative tribunals when internal reviews are unable to satisfactorily resolve the matter.

Child support can have an overlap with spousal maintenance and, to some but a lesser extent, property settlement where the amount of child support paid or received by a party will impact upon their future needs for the determination by the Court of their entitlement to the share in assets and/or spousal maintenance need.

It is extremely important that any deviation from the child support assessment (i.e. where parties wish to enter an agreement) is carefully considered given the length of time it is to remain in place and the limited circumstances upon which it may be later set aside (in the case of a Binding Agreement).

Parenting matters will often have some overlaying impact on child support, given the “level of care” for each parent is a relevant factor in the calculation of child support and therefore the negotiation of both child support and parenting at the same time is usually a sound idea, as it takes the financial element away from the determination and negotiation of parenting arrangements.

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