Our Family Law Team at McCarthy Durie Lawyers can assist you with formalising your Child Support arrangements for your children following a separation.
When parents separate they have a responsibility to support their children. When issues arise regarding the payment of child support these issues are dealt with under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (“The CSAA”).
The CSSA allows parents to enter into Child Supports or obtain an administrative assessment of Child Support through the Child Support Agency (“The CSA”).
There are two types of Agreements that parties can enter into:
- Limited Child Support Agreement; or
- Binding Child Support Agreement.
Limited Child Support Agreements
A Limited Child Support Agreement is a less formal arrangement between parents compared to a Binding Child Support Agreement. No legal advice is required and so long as the Agreement meets certain requirements it can be registered with the Child Support Agency.
Limited Child Support Agreements can be varied by the Court in the event of significant change in circumstances of either party. These agreements can be ended by one parent alone writing to the Child Support Agency to say that the agreement has ended, provided three years have passed from the date of the agreement to the date of the notice.
Binding Child Support Agreement
A Binding Child Support Agreement is intended to provide a high level of certainty and finality about Child Support Arrangements for parents. A Binding Child Support Agreement can include:
- Periodic child support;
- A variation of the rate at which either party is already liable to pay periodic child support;
- A non-periodic provision, such as the payment of school fees, which states how the annual rate of child support payable under an assessment is to be reduced; or
- A lump sum payment, which states that it is to be credited against the liability under the assessment.
Both parties must obtain independent legal advice with respect to the Binding Child Support Agreement and it must meet certain requirements in order to be binding.
In our initial meeting with you, we can discuss the options available to you and advise you as to which agreement may be appropriate in the circumstances.