Parents are required to financially support their children, even if they are not living with them.

Generally, in determining the financial support required, an assessment is undertaken by the Department of Human Services (Services Australia) to determine child support based on your family’s individual circumstances and specific needs.

Can I have a private Agreement for Child Support?

Parents can make agreements between themselves with respect to the payment of child support that is contrary to the assessment undertaken by the Department of Human Services (Services Australia).

These agreements are legally binding and can be enforced by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and require all parties to receive independent legal advice.

In ensuring you enter into a Binding Child Support Agreement that is best suited for your situation, we provide our clients with the necessary advice and information about the advantages and disadvantages of the Agreement while confirming you are aware of your obligations in the future.

A Binding Child Support Agreement can be terminated generally:

  • by a subsequent Binding Child Support Agreement that includes a provision to the effect that the previous Agreement is terminated;
  • by a Binding Child Support Agreement to the effect that the previous Agreement is terminated, known as a Termination Agreement; or
  • by a Court Order setting the Agreement aside.

How long am I required to pay Child Support for?

The payment of child support generally ceases when one of the following events takes place:

  • the child marries, is adopted or enters into a de facto relationship;
  • the child turns 18 years of age unless the Order extends beyond this period such as if the child is a full-time student and still dependent on their parents; and
  • the child or the provider of child support passes away;

What is taken into consideration when determining what Child Support I am required to pay?

The considerations in assessing the amount of child support include:

  • how much direct care each parent provides to the child;
  • income and earning capacity of the person from whom it is sought;
  • age of the child and their financial needs;
  • education the child is receiving, and education the parents expect their children to receive; and
  • any special needs a child has, such as those relating to health conditions.

What happens if I fail to pay Child Support?

If you fail to pay child support and do not make arrangements to reconcile any outstanding amounts, the Court may order your employer to make deductions from your wages and provide the money directly to Services Australia.

The Court may also order the Australian Tax Office to retain funds that would otherwise be returned to you by way of a tax refund and use that money to pay Services Australia directly so that this money can be directed to the child.

Failure to pay child support can also result in travel restrictions.

Contact Us

If you require advice on child support, we can assist. We are the trusted family lawyers in Toowoomba with years of experience.

Call us today on (07) 4690 1700 or contact us through our website for legal advice.


O'Neill Family Law