What is child support used for in Australia? Child support payments are financial support payments that a parent makes in order to help the custodial parent of a child with raising the child. These are important after a divorce or separation as it ensures that the child still has financial stability while growing up.
The basic answer to what is child support used for in Australia is that it is used for essentials such as food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare expenses. Generally, these payments are for children who are under 18 years of age. However, if children who are over 18 still require financial support, they can be eligible to receive child maintenance or adult child maintenance.
What is child support used for in Australia if the child is over 18? In this case, child maintenance payments may be applicable. Separated parents use child maintenance payments for similar purposes while raising children such as for food, clothing, shelter or housing, education and health-related expenses for the adult child.
The adult child may not be financially independent due to a variety of reasons and special circumstances. For example, they may not be able to obtain employment. They may be suffering from some physical or mental disability that is preventing them from obtaining gainful employment. In some other instances, they may still be pursuing their education or higher studies.
What Is Child Support Used For Australia?
It is important to note that there are no fixed rules or regulations on what child support covers in Australia. The straightforward answer to ‘what is child support used for in Australia’ is that it is used for essentials and basics. However, this may vary from family to family.
Depending on the circumstance of the family, the answer to this may vary. This is also because how much child support is payable by the paying parent also differs from family to family depending on the individual circumstances. In the section below, we will look at how child support assessment can determine the amount of child support payable.
There is often a debate about whether or not child support cover extracurricular activities. Depending on the kinds of agreements that the two parties make, this may or may not be included. Ordinarily, such special payments are not included. However, this may differ from family to family.
They may be required to cover special medical expense. This could include expenses for eyeglasses, surgery or any other special health care costs. What about school fees? Are school fees included in what is child support used for in Australia? This depends on if the child attends private or public school. We have attached a video below the article that addresses this topic.
Factors That Determine Child Support Amount Payable
In the past, the Child Support Agency would make determinations on the amount of money payable by a parent to the primary carer of the child. Now, Services Australia or Department of Human Services (DHS) assess child support payments.
The factors that they consider to determine the amount payable include things like:
- the number of children
- your income
- your former spouse’s income,
- the needs of the children etc.
There are some payments that a parent makes that can be credited towards the total child support payable. These are “prescribed” or “non-agency” payments. For example, a non-agency payment can involve making a payment to a third party. Moreover, it can include a non-cash transaction like transfer of property. Similarly, prescribed payments include child care costs, fees for medical and dental services for the child.
Contact Us for Any Legal Enquiries and Seek Legal Advice
At JB Solicitors, our team of family lawyers can help with child support arrangements as laid out by the Child Support (Assessment) Act. You can either prepare a Binding Child Support Agreement or a Limited Child Support Agreement.
A Binding Child Support Agreement is a type of private agreement. This is made between the two parties and outlines how payments are to be made. It can include periodic payments, non-periodic payments and also third-party payments.
A Limited Child Support Agreement is also a type of written agreement which can include points in relation to payment of child support either as cash or non-cash payments. While a Binding Child Support Agreement requires both parties to obtain independent legal advice, there is no such requirement for a Limited Child Support Agreement.
A Binding Child Support Agreement, as the name suggests, is also more binding in nature in that it is difficult to simply terminate this agreement. In other words, it offers more finality and certainty. It is important to note that, the agreement still remains intact if there is a change in income of the paying party, or if there’s any change in needs for the child.
For more information on what is child support used for in Australia or who pay child support, how child support assessment is done and other similar questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our team today.
Are you wondering if child support covers school fees such as private school fees or public school costs? Watch the video below to learn more.