Family Law Library

Child Support Agreements

There are two types of Child Support Agreements: Binding Child-Support Agreements and Limited Child Support Agreements.

Child Support Agreements can provide for financial support in various ways such as the payment of school fees, health insurance premiums or mortgage repayments, as well as periodic cash payments.

A Child Support Assessment can be changed by entering into a Child Support agreement. Such an agreement should be signed and in writing.

Where there has been no Child Support Assessment there may be a private Child Support Agreement or the parents may have their Child Support Agreement registered with the Child Support Agency.

Some parents may prefer for the Child Support Agency to work out the amount to be paid, but the amounts may be transferred privately. Private collection is recommended in cases where the payer is likely to pay or has a good payment history

Where parents make their own arrangements for the payment of Child Support, it is important to maintain a record and/or receipts for all payments made or received, these receipts should be retained in order to avoid disputes.

Payments can be collected by the Child Support Agency. Both parents may prefer this option or in situations where the parent liable to pay child support is failing to pay. Notification to the Child Support Agency creates an ‘enforceable maintenance liability’. The Child Support Agency has broad powers to collect child support debts including collecting from wages, intercepting tax refunds and collecting money from bank accounts. If payments are not made on time and in full, late payment penalties can be charged.

If parents agree, they can end a Child Support agreement at any time by making a further agreement terminating the earlier agreement, but independent legal advice is required for an agreement terminating a Binding Child Support agreement.