As difficult as it may be, during a divorce there’s admin that you simply can’t ignore, particularly if you have children. Child support is one of those things.
When going through a divorce with children, you absolutely have to put the care of your children first, whether you and your ex-partner split amicably or not. You simply cannot neglect your children in a pursuit to one-up your ex-partner.
When negotiating child support, don’t stoop into the mindset that you are collecting money off your ex-partner for you, or that you are directly paying your ex-partner. Keep in mind that child support is so your kids can grow up healthy, happy, and successful.
That being said, what is child support? And how much gets paid to who? Don’t worry, in this article we will go through what you need to know so that you can alleviate your stress and give your kids the best chance to be happy.
What Is Child Support?
Child support isn’t big, bad and scary like it is made out to be in popular American television. Child support is a financial support plan paid by parents for the day-to-day expenses of your child. It exists so that Australian children don’t become neglected and live a happy life.
What Things Does Child Support Cover?
Child support as you might imagine covers the expenses of your child. Remember that some things that will be covered may not deem to be essential to you, but the support has to cover your child’s happiness too. These things include:
- Medical expenses
- Co-curricular activities
What If The Child Support Isn’t Used For My Child?
You don’t actually have to prove that child support is being used for your child. This is because it falls into “household budget” so the definition is quite loose. If you have concerns, you should bring them up with a family lawyer.
What Factors Affect A Child Support Parenting Payment?
Does everyone pay the same amount of child support? Absolutely not. Everyone’s situation is different so there will be several assessable factors that affect how much child support is paid. If you want to be sure on them you should see a lawyer, but some of them include:
- How many children you and your ex-partner need to look after
- How you and your partner divide the time you spend with the children
- The age of the children in your care
- Whether the level of care between the children is share or not
- The level of which care is shared
- The income differences between each parent
- If the parent is responsible for any other legally dependant children
How Is Income Assessed For Child Support?
Your accessible income for child support is similar to your accessible income for tax purposes. That means it is your taxable income before the payment of tax and the medicare levy. This includes:
- PAYG summaries
- Pensions and government allowances
- Interest earned (banks etc)
- Rental property income
- Business income
- Other income earned (capital gains etc)
For a proper assessment, a family lawyer will be able to help you.
What Age Does Child Support Stop In Australia?
Usually, child support remains payable until the child is 18 years of age, but there are exceptions. The exception to this rule is if the child is still attending secondary school, and until the last day of secondary school. The last day of secondary school is defined as:
- If the child is not required to sit any examinations, the last day of the school year is determined by the school
- If the child is required to sit an examination, the last day of school is the last day of the examination period
How Much Child Support Do You Have To Pay?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one all in one; child maintenance calculator AU, single parent payment calculator, childcare support calculator, or anything like that in Australia.
As mentioned above, there are several complex factors that will determine how much child support is paid, so everyone’s situation is different. If you want an accurate estimation of how much child support you will pay, book a free consultation with a lawyer.
As a rough guide, here are some of the steps taken to calculate alimony in Australia/CSA Australia:
- Determine the income of each parent up for child support
- Put both incomes together to determine combined child support income
- Divide each parents income by the total child support income to calculate their percentage of contribution
- Determine each parents level of care percentage
- Work out cost percentage of the child
- Subtract the cost percentage from the income percentage for each parent. The result i called the child support income
What If My Child Has A Disability?
If your child has a disability, child support may need to be paid, even if the child is over the age of 18. This is because if the child is not deemed to be “independent” you will still have to help provide care for the child. If you need help to determine if the child is independent or not, seek legal advice.
Where To Find Affordable Legal Help
Don’t let Google search stand in as your lawyer. The information out there is incomprehensive and untrustworthy. Let legal professionals sort your child support applications.
So how do you find a lawyer you can trust and rely on? With so many law firms in Perth, it can be hard to find one who will understand and listen to your situation.
Savannah Legal offers a free 1 hour consultation and we take the time to understand your situation, concerns and needs, before providing you with a legal plan outlining your options. Our goal is to give you affordable legal advice while lifting a burden off your shoulders. Book your free consultation today.
If you still have questions, such as; “how much does a restraining order cost in Australia” and “can you get a restraining order for harassment”, we can help.