My Web Stats

Research & Publications

Child Support Agreements

February 2011

Many parents once they have separated wish to make their own private arrangements about Child Support. In order to achieve this they should arrange a private Child Support Agreement.

From 1 July 2008 parties could agree on two types of Child Support Agreements. These are called Binding Child Support Agreements or Limited Child Support Agreements depending on what the circumstances are.

The more flexible of these two styles of agreements is a Limited Child Support Agreement. A Limited Child Support Agreement allows the parents to determine their own arrangements for an agreed limited amount of time.

Before a Limited Child Support Agreement can be accepted however, there needs to be a Child Support Assessment in place. The agreed amount may not be less than the amount for which they have been assessed.

A Limited Child Support Agreement can be terminated in various ways. If either of the parties to the Agreement have changed circumstances in a way that has not been anticipated by them at the time of the Agreement, then there needs to be a notional assessment that would show at least a 15% difference from the previous notional assessment before the Agreement can be  terminated.

A second way for this type of Agreement to be ended is that after a period of three years either party may elect to have the Agreement ended.

A Limited Child Support Agreement must be in writing and signed by both parents and at the time an administrative assistant must be in place for it to be accepted by the Child Support Agency. 

The annual rate of Child Support payable under the Agreement must be equal to or more than the notional assessed rate.

The second type of Child Support Agreement is a Binding Child Support Agreement. This particular style of Agreement anticipates a longer period of time than that of the Limited Child Support Agreement. The circumstances surrounding this Agreement is a lot more formal and each party needs legal representation.

For a Binding Child Support Agreement to be found binding it must be in writing and signed by both parents at the time, it must include a statement to the effect that each party has received independent legal advice about the advantages and disadvantages of all the clauses within this

Agreement and it must include an annexure for each of the parties that the Agreement has been signed by the person who gave the legal advice that is your legal advisor.

Again, a notional assessment should be performed to ensure that the minimal amount paid is not less than the amount that would be deemed notionally due to be paid.

People who are wishing to make Private Child Support Agreements should see a solicitor to help them to draft any such Agreement to ensure that they are achieving the best possible result for both themselves and their children.

Please Note: The information contained in this article is general in nature and cannot be regarded as anything more than general comment. Readers of this article should not act on the basis of this comment without consulting one of iLaw’s legal practitioners who will consider their particular circumstances