Child Support & Spouse Maintenance
Where a marriage or de facto relationship has broken down and there are children involved, the law requires that parents contribute to the financial support of their children, irrespective of whether they are living with the child or not.
Where the parents are unable to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding financial support, the Child Support Agency is able to make a determination that requires the party not living with the child to pay financial support. The amount of this support differs from case to case and is determined on a number of factors including family income.
The Child Support Agency is also empowered to enforce the payment of child support. We can advise you on your rights in the event that a dispute arises regarding child support payments.
Our Family Law Team assist parents every day in the complex area of child custody / parenting orders. Where a dispute has occurred, we can guide and advise you to help expedite a resolution and ensure that your children’s interests are taken care of.
In Family Law matters, ensuring that children’s interests are met is a primary concern of families as well as the legal system. Under the Australian legal system, it is usually presumed that both parents will have equal responsibility for any children. Naturally, however, this can be an emotionally fraught time and sometimes expert guidance is required to come to a satisfactory resolution.
There are various courses of action that may be available to you including mediation. Where possible, we seek to achieve a satisfactory solution without the need for litigation. If litigation is necessary however, we will act for you in all proceedings, drawing on our considerable expertise in this area to work towards the outcome you are seeking.
Change from ‘child custody’ terminology
In recent years, there has been a change in terminology from ‘child custody’ to ‘Parenting Orders’ that define who children ‘live with’ and who they ‘spend time with’. This change came about because the term ‘custody’ implied that the children were ‘property’ and the legal system wanted to make it clear that this is not the case, and that children’s interests are paramount in all family law matters.
At Clinch Long Woodbridge , we draw on extensive experience in helping our clients to take care of their children’s needs following separation or divorce.
Contact a member of our Family Law Team for insightful guidance in all aspects relating to Children’s Issues and Family Law. How can we help?
Frequently Asked Questions
He/she just doesn't pay and the Agency don't chase him/her – what can I do?
The processes in child support are complex, after an assessment/review/tribunal process/Court, all of which can be used to reassess/garnishee wages/freeze bank accounts or even prevent overseas travel by a spouse not paying.
I can't get maintenance and child support?
Wrong – spouse maintenance is for you and is separate and additional to child support for the children and is also separate and additional to your property rights.
He/she spends the child support money on drugs and parties can I stop this?
Yes. Orders can be obtained to pay school fees/sports clubs/child minding directly so that your contribution goes to the correct location. But if you do it yourself without an Order you often have to pay twice! So get advice.
She hides her income in her company, I can't get it?
Wrong, “income in kind” such as cars and related costs, nanny’s, food, rent and even dry-cleaning can be added to taxable income to show the “real income” to calculate for child support.
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