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Property Settlements

Cecil Black can assist you at all stages of obtaining a property settlement.

Cecil Black Mediation and Family Law

Cecil Black has sensitively guided local and interstate families through the legal process for more than thirty years.

Mediation Services

We use creative problem solving in a way that you can reach your own agreement.

Child Support Agreements

I have worked in the legal industry for a very long time and I well remember the unfortunate incidents where men who were under an obligation to pay maintenance for their children chose to go to prison which was the option those days for non-payment of maintenance, rather than support their children.

 

Fortunately, those days are long past and a much fairer system for the payment of child support has been introduced, and there are ways that children can benefit from the flexibility given to those who seek money for their support and those who pay for their support can arrange that payment.

 

Under the Child Support (Assessment) Act, the Child Support Agency may make an administrative assessment or an administrative departure from the previously made assessment that provides for periodic payments of child support.

 

However, some parents and non-parent carers prefer to have greater control over the way in which provision is made for the payment of child support.

 

Sometimes agreements relative to the payment of child support are made because in arriving at a property settlement there is contained a component of financial support for children which may be in the form of cash, or property.

 

Sometimes agreements are made in a desire to provide greater finality following separation.

 

Also, agreements are sometimes made to address particular circumstances of the parties. Those particular circumstances can also be met in seeking a variation of a child support assessment but many people who enter into this type of agreements prefer to maintain

control of the process and not leave it to the discretion of a third person employed by the Child Support Agency who makes the decision whether to vary the assessment.

 

The provisions that can be made in an agreement are endless and depend entirely upon the particular circumstances of the parties and the way in which they perceive justice and fairness will prevail for the sake of the children the subject of the agreement.

 

The purpose for the making of an agreement is to remove from the authority of the Child Support Agency the power to make an assessment other than what has been agreed to unless the agreement has a terminating event.

 

In my experience, a binding child support agreement is the most common of the agreements made. These types of agreement provide a high level of certainty and finality for all concerned.

 

It is not necessary for an assessment to be in place, that there be an existing child support assessment, so this type of an agreement can be made without having to 1st seek a child support assessment.

 

These types of arrangements are underpinned by the requirement for the provision of independent legal advice that is each party must have their own lawyer and preferably one who is experienced in these sorts of matters although that is not a requirement under the Child Support (Assessment) Act. So, the parties to these types of agreement cannot use the same lawyer or the same legal practice.

 

The binding child support agreement is intended to make provision in the longer term, whereas a limited child support agreement that is the 2nd type of agreement that can be made, is intended to give parents some scope for flexibility in the short term but without the consequences of long-term.

 

Because of the nature of a limited child support agreement it is not necessary for the parties to have independent legal advice.

 

Unlike in the case of a binding child support agreement, an assessment must be in place before the limited child support agreement can be made.

 

It is important that the parties intending to enter into a child support agreement considers the effect that such an agreement may have upon their Family Tax Benefit Part A payments.

 

Once an agreement is made, it must be sent to the Child Support Agency for registration. The agreement can only be rejected if it does not comply with the legislation, and not on the basis that it is not considered to be just and equitable.

 

Once made, a child support agreement can be terminated or it may be set aside by a court, and the grounds for termination or being set aside are set out in the Child Support (Assessment) Act.

 

Should you wish to find out more about these what I have set out in this post, please contact me on (07) 4723 4601, or send me an email to the address on my website.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation”

The contents of this document are not intended to create any legal relationship between the author and the reader.

The material contained herein is designed to provide you (the reader) with some important but general information and should be read in association with legal advice given to you.

You should not rely or act on this information without seeking legal advice specific to your circumstances.

 

Cecil Black

 

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