At VM Family Law, our child support lawyers are experienced in representing and assisting clients with matters including child support applications, payment adjustments and ceasing payments. Depending on your requirements, our child support lawyers can represent you in Family Court or in family mediation. Our family law specialists can assess your situation and let you know the types of payments that are relevant to your case. We understand that being in the middle of a family separation is difficult and not knowing the next steps and what to do can be further unsettling. If you need a child support lawyer in the Ipswich & Greater Springfield QLD areas, VM Family Law’s team of expert family lawyers are here to assist you and give you the best legal advice for your child support situation. Chat to our team today!
Child support is the payment made by one or both parents for the upkeep of the child or children as the case may be. Once divorce processes begin, child support can be filed. It is worthy of note that a step-parent is not obligated to carry out this role.
The amount for and the frequency of child support depends on two things. That is, either the agreement of parents or a court order. This payment can be made either weekly or monthly. If parents can agree, there is no need to get Services Australia involved for assessment.
Even after child support has commenced, adjustments can still be made. This adjustment may arise from the need to include new expenditure not stated previously. In the same vein, unforeseen circumstances that have occurred can warrant such change.
However, the leverage to make this adjustment is limited. There is a specific time frame to do so. This is to prevent unnecessary demands on the parent providing the child support. The time limit varies from place to place. At VM Family Law, we look through these requirements thoroughly, so you can get all you need.
There are penalties attached to disobedience of a court order for child support. It could be a criminal penalty or a more liberal penalty such as withholding the income of the paying parent.
There is no fixed sum for child support. Every case is unique. As such, certain factors are often considered before an amount is fixed. Some of these factors include:
The Earnings of both parents:
This is a primary factor to be considered. Services Australia carries out a reassessment of child support when there is a change in the income of the parent providing such support.
The Age of the Child/Children Involved:
Typically, younger children are less demanding. As such, they require less financial provision. On the other hand, adolescents require more upkeep. The child’s stage of growth, and consequent financial implication is usually thoroughly scrutinised.
Once a child reaches the legal age of 18, parents are not bound to provide support. However, it can be extended in certain circumstances. This could be the fact that the child is still in high school or has special needs. Special needs could be a disability or health condition which renders the child dependent.
Where a child under 18 gets adopted, married or enters a de facto relationship, child support for them will cease.
Number of Children from the Relationship:
More children means more healthcare, school fees and other similar expenditures. The child support to be granted must correlate with the number of children to ensure that they are all well taken care of.
Custody and Visitation Expenses
Typically, the court determines which parents get custody of the child at the end of divorce proceedings. However, while these proceedings are pending, temporary custody can be granted. The parent who has custody is the custodial parent.
Whoever has the children around more, will have financial obligations. The same applies for the parent who has visitation rights or has the child less frequently. As such, the court considers the cost of feeding, caring and providing for the child or children.
Child Support from Former Relationships
Either of the parents may have been in a previous relationship. If children were born from that union, upon separation, child support would have been granted.
Where this is the case, the parent with pre-existing child support may be billed less for the current child support.
Child’s Standard of Living:
When considering this factor, the court looks at the way of life the children have been enjoying.This goes beyond basic needs such as food and clothing. It includes the living standards the child is used to.
To maintain certain lifestyles may mean more expenses on a parent, especially the one who has greater gross income.
Child Support covers a wide range of situations. It ranges from basic day-to-day needs of a child to more unexpected needs. One of such needs that fall in the latter category are medical bills not covered by insurance.
More permanent needs like accommodation and continued education must also be considered. As such, child support covers anything which provides for, and makes life comfortable for, the child or children.
Child support does not run forever. It is meant typically for a child who is a dependent. This means that when the child has the capacity to care for his or herself, this support will cease.
As such, age is a common reason child support ends. Once a child turns 18, he is considered an adult, and thus, able to fend for his or her needs.
An exception is where such a child is still living with a parent and is yet to graduate from high school.
This exception extends to a child with mental or physical disability. These disabilities are termed special needs.
Other instances where child support ends are the death, marriage or adoption of a child who is under 18.
Going through the task of requesting child support can be tedious and you will need to be up to date with how your income will be calculated and what you are actually entitled to.
Even after child support has been granted, it must be enforced. You need a family lawyer to guide you on what to do where there is default in payment.
Our team of experts are here to answer all your questions and guide you through this process. Get in touch today and let us help you.