Child Support

    A parent has a legal obligation to financially support their children. An application can be made by a parent or person with the care of the children to the Child Support Agency to assess the amount of child support a parent is required to pay. This assessment is based upon a formula which takes into account various factors such as each parent's income, the ages of the children and the amount of time the children spend with each parent.

    There are some situations in which a parent can apply to have the child support assessment reviewed. We can assist you to determine if your circumstances are one in which the child support assessment should be reviewed.

    Fortunately, some parents are able to reach agreement without the need for a Child Support Assessment being carried out. In these circumstances this agreement can be formalised by the parties entering into a Child Support Agreement. Child Support Agreements can set out the payment to be paid by one parent to another and specify such things as who will be responsible for the payment of school fees and medical and orthodontic expenses. Without a Child Support Agreement being prepared and signed by the parties and registered with the Child Support Agency (and Family Court in certain circumstances) the agreement reached is not binding on either party. Our Lawyers are experienced in preparing legally binding and enforceable Child Support Agreements.

    Spouse Maintenance

    There are some situations where following the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship a person may be entitled to receive a maintenance payment from their estranged partner. This payment may be a recurring payment or in some cases a one off lump sum payment.

    To be eligible to receive spouse maintenance a person must show that they have a need for a maintenance payment and that their estranged partner has the capacity to make the payment.

    A spouse maintenance claim is more likely to be successful in circumstances where:

    • a person is unable to work because they have the care of children under the age of 18, particularly if the children are younger than school age;
    • a party is unable to work or obtain work because of their age and/or physical or mental health; or
    • a party has not been in employment for a long period of time and will find it difficult to re-enter the work force without some retraining.

    Once a person's need for spouse maintenance is established an analysis then needs to be made of the other party's capacity to pay spouse maintenance.