The best interest of the child is the most important principle in family law in Perth.
Child support is a critical part of ensuring that the best interests and well-being of the child are maintained after separation. Child support helps ensure the child has enough money to meet all their expenses. This is especially important if there are significant differences in the parents’ earning potential and income.
What Does Child Support Mean in Perth Family Law?
Perth Child support refers to the payments parents make to their children to help them when they are not in a romantic relationship. Sometimes it’s called child maintenance.
Child support payments are possible regardless of whether parents are:
- divorced but not separated
- divorced but never married
- Same-sex or opposite-sex
The child support system is designed to meet the financial needs of children. Each parent has a responsibility to provide financial support for their children. However, these obligations are dependent on their incomes, other financial duties, children’s expenses, as well as how much each parent cares for them.
Who Must Pay Child Support?
Separation or divorce requires parents to decide what type of child support they want for their children.
Most often, the parent that does not have custody of the child will pay support to the parent who has sole custody. You can apply for child maintenance if your children are under shared custody. In such cases, the debtor parent is usually the parent with the higher salary.
In cases where the parents share custody in an unequal percentage, such as 40-60% of the time, the debtor child will be determined based on each parent’s income, with exceptions made subject to other data.
What Does Child Support Cover?
Although there is not much information on what Perth child support payments should cover, they act as a contribution towards the total expenses of the child. As parents, it is expected that you agree on expenses.
- Medical expenses
- School fees
- School uniforms
- Dance and sport
- Music lessons
You may not be able to reach an agreement with your other parent if communication breaks down.
The child support system in Perth allows the parent paying to pay up to 30% of the child support amount directly by paying expenses or fees directly to the school. These payments can only be made for expenses that are recognised, such as:
- School fees
- School uniforms
- Medical expenses
You may require legal advice or counselling if you and your spouse cannot agree on the amount of child support you should pay.
How to Apply for Child Support?
Child support can be applied for through the Department of Human Services, which manages the Child Support Scheme (DOHS). Centrelink provides a form for you to complete. A request can also be made online at the DOEHS website (click through and go to ‘Separated parents’). DOHS will issue an administrative assessment for child support once all the requirements have been met.
Can Parents Agree to Child Support Payments?
It is optional to have an administrative evaluation of child support. Parents may make their own arrangements for child support. These arrangements may be private. You can also file a written agreement with the DOHS for child support.
How Does Child Support Assessment Work?
DHS examines the financial situation of each party to determine the amount of child support. These financial circumstances could include:
- Income that is taxable
- The parents should divide the time with the children.
- Who is responsible for which expense?
Other financial obligations:
DHS will need to see any parenting plan, parenting agreement, or parenting court order. DHS will need to be notified if any parenting arrangements have been changed.
DHS then uses a special formula that determines how much each party should pay.
What Happens If I Disagree with A DOHS Decision?
You can challenge any DOHS decision through a variety of procedures. You can file a DHS complaint if you feel the child support assessment is incorrect or if you think there was a mistake. You have 28 days to file a written objection to a decision. Contact our team of expert family lawyers in Perth for advice on your best course of action.
How Long Does It Take to Get Child Support Assessed?
Assessment times can vary. It is possible for one parent to refuse to cooperate. DHS will need financial records in order to make a complete assessment.
Contact us, an experienced Perth family law firm, if your ex-partner is not cooperating with DHS assessments.
How Is Child Support Collected?
DOHS would prefer that parents make their own arrangements regarding the payment of child support. It is important to keep track of all payments in case there are any disputes. A payer may deposit child support directly into the account of the payee. The DOHS can collect child support payments from parents who are liable. The DOHS has the power to require that an employer of a parent not paying child support voluntarily deduct child support payments from that parent’s wages or salary.
Does Child Support Affect My Centrelink Benefit?
Centrelink benefits can be affected by child support payments if you are receiving Family Tax Benefit Part B or Centrelink benefits. To determine where you stand, you should contact Centrelink right away.
How Can Burra-Robinson Family Lawyers Help You?
Burra-Robinson Family Lawyers in Perth can provide advice on issues related to child custody. We can provide:
- Guidance on how much child support you should get or pay.
- Explain the child support assessment.
- If you are unhappy with the child support assessment you received, we can advise you about your rights.
- Assistance with preparing DOHS applications for reconsideration of your assessment
- This guide will help you to create and register child support agreements.
- We can represent you in court proceedings regarding child support.
Child support can be complicated and stressful. Contact Burra-Robinson Family Lawyers for advice and legal assistance where appropriate to your situation.