In Australia, child support payments have been legally implemented to ensure the financial requirements of your children are met following the breakdown of your marriage or relationship.
You may be wondering, does child support cover extracurricular activities in Australia? Do these extracurricular activities fall under the category of financial requirements for your children?
What Factors Are Considered When Assessing Child Support?
The following factors are considered in your child support assessment:
- The income of each parent and their financial requirements to support themselves;
- The time each parent spends caring for the children, including how many nights each child spends with each parent;
- The children’s living arrangements in general; and
- The number of children you have and their ages.
See here for an estimation of your child support payments.
What Does Child Supper Cover In Australia?
Before discussing the question of ‘does child support cover extracurricular activities in Australia?’, it is essential to understand the variety of situations, goods and services that child support payments are intended to cover in Australia.
Here are some expenses that child support covers:
- The cost of food for your children;
- The cost of housing for your children;
- The medical costs of your children;
- Clothing for your children; and
- A portion of your children’s school fees and expenses.
This list is what is traditionally almost always covered by child support payments. You may be wondering, though, is this all child support covers?
There are clearly other expenses in life concerning your children beyond this list. The Court does, in fact, take these other expenses into account on a case-by-case basis.
Does Child Support Cover Extracurricular Activities?
Does child support cover extracurricular activities in Australia?
The short answer is – it depends.
In the typical case, the amount of child support assessed as payable is usually insufficient to fund costs associated with children.
Costs that are not usually covered by child support include:
- Private school fees;
- Private health insurance;
- Any additional costs that may arise due to the unique needs of a child; and
- Extracurricular activities
Parents may wish to have their children participate in extracurricular activities or may even desire to send them to private school. Although the parent paying the child support may be in a financial position to afford these, they may not be willing to pay for them in addition to child support.
Non-Periodic Payments To Cover Extracurricular Activities & Other Expenses
Although extracurricular activities and other expenses are typically not covered in child support, there are alternative means to pay for such costs.
The first and most obvious method is to have an informal arrangement with the other parent. The most successful informal agreements in our experience are those where both parents contribute to the costs involved.
The second option is through the use of non-periodic payments. Non-periodic payments are payments that typically do not arise regularly. For example, extracurricular activities such as sports may be on for set periods throughout the year and not an ongoing expense.
Similarly to an informal arrangement, the parties can agree to non-periodic payments, or the Court may have made an order for them. An agreement for non-periodic payments must state whether these payments can be credited towards the child support liabilities of the paying parent.
What To Do About An Unfair Assessment?
If you want to dispute an unfair assessment, your first step should be to contact an experienced family lawyer to discuss your options.
The principal solicitor of JB Solicitors, John Bui, has extensive knowledge and experience in family law matters and particularly child support issues. He is also a nationally accredited family law mediator and arbitrator and, as such, should be your first call of action for any family law matter.
Regarding your assessment, John Bui can help you make an application to the Department of Human Services to take into account your present circumstances in a reassessment.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing the question of ‘does child support cover extracurricular activities in Australia?’ it is essential to remember that the answer to this question is typically not.
However, this will depend on other factors, such as the Court’s perception of what is financially feasible for the paying parent and the arrangements made by the parents. If you have any further questions on the topic, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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