Perth’s Trusted Child Support Lawyers
The Child Support Registrar, based at the Department of Human Services, administers Australia’s child support legislation. Child support assessments are calculated using a formula based on the number of children, age of the children, the amount of time they spend in each household, and the taxable incomes of the parents and carers.
Centrelink often requires people who apply for parenting payment and Family Tax benefit to also apply for a child support assessment.
You can apply to have the assessment reconsidered or changed if the Department is not aware of relevant information or has made a mistake. The child support assessment and review process is designed to work outside family courts, so there are limited circumstances when family courts decide on child support. Beyond the internal review, the appeal processes for Western Australian children are different if the child’s parents were married to one another or not. Our Perth lawyers can advise you about the best process to use.
Parents and carers can agree on arrangements for child support, and take into account different issues than the Child Support Registrar does, or build in adjustments if care arrangements change. You can agree on different payment methods, such as the transfer of a car, or payment of a large instalment to cover a longer period of time, rather than paying weekly or monthly. These require binding agreements, and independent legal advice on these agreements is mandatory under the child support legislation.
Different Methods of Enforcing Child Support
If you have a child support assessment or a private agreement, you can organise payments between you, or either of you can request the Department of Human Services to manage the payments. If you have a child support assessment, you are limited in the amount you can be credited for direct payments of expenses such as school fees or medical expenses. If you have a private agreement, it is possible to agree that any or all of the child support is paid as direct expenses.
We are experienced in assisting parents to enforce child support assessments and agreements, including international collection. Our lawyers in Perth work collaboratively with lawyers in other countries to resolve complex international disputes.
The Child Support Registrar has the power to collect payments of child support under assessments and agreements for periodic payments. The Child Support Registrar has a wide range of powers to do this. There are international treaties which allow for child support debts to be collected from overseas residents.
You can also choose to enforce an assessment or an agreement personally. If your private agreement involves the payment of a lump sum, payment of direct expenses or transfer of an item of property, then we recommend you seek our advice on how to do this.