CHILD SUPPORT

What is a Child Support Agreement

The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 provides flexibility for parents who want to make their own Child Support Arrangements and document those arrangements in a Child Support Agreement.

Child Support Agreements include provisions for periodic, non periodic or lump sum payments from one parent to  the other.  

The Child Support Agreement might also make provision about payments by one or both parents to third parties. 

Those third parties might include schools, banks, insurance companies, medical practitioners and the like.

Child Support Agreements may be registered or unregistered.

The two types of registered Child Support Agreements which can be entered into by parents are:

  • Binding Child Support Agreements;
  • Limited Child Support Agreements.

Both Binding and Limited Child Support Agreements can be registered with the Child Support Agency, the Australian Tax Office and Centrelink.

Parents might agree to enter into one Child Support Agreement which deals with two or more children, however consideration should be given to specifying a separate rate for each Child.

Child Support: What else you need to know

Read about when payment of Child Support will stop.

There is a difference between Child Support and Child Maintenance. If you don't know what the difference is, you can read more in our fact sheet What is Child Support and Child Maintenance.

If you need to know who must pay Child Support, you can read more in our fact sheet Who is liable to pay Child Support.

We also have a separate fact sheet answering the question Does Child Support have to be paid.

Whether you arrange to have child support paid privately or collected through the Child Support Agency, you will need to know what to do to arrange for Child Support payments to start. This is explained in our fact sheet What is the procedure & steps involved for Child Support payments.

How much Child Support should be paid is commonly an issue between parents. There is a method the Child Support Agency use to assess Child Support which is explained in our fact sheet How is Child Support Calculated.

If you do not agree with the decision made by the Child Support Agency when they assessed the amount of Child Support to be paid then you should read the fact sheet What if I disagree with a Child Support Agency Decision.

Most commonly paying parents arrange to pay their child support from their wages, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. More significant lump sums can be paid, including a lump sum payment being made by the transfer of a house or unit. Read more in the fact sheet Can I do Lump Sum Child Support Payments.

Some parents reach agreement about how much child support should be paid. there are different types of private agreements you can enter into. Read more in the following fact sheets:

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Content By:
Michelle Beatty
MRB LAW

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