I HAVE HEARD OF BINDING CHILD SUPPORT AGREEMENTS, THAT THEY LET ME PAY THE CHILD SUPPORT TO WHERE I WANT

That’s right. A binding child support assessment lets you pay things like school fees, and credits the money you pay against you child support assessment.

THAT SOUNDS GREAT. ARE THEY COMPLICATED?

Binding child support agreements are easy to draft. For them to be binding they must:

  • be in writing; and
  • be signed by the parties to the agreement; and
  • contain a statement (one for each party to the agreement) to the effect that each party has been provided with independent legal advice regarding:
    • the effect of the agreement on the rights of that party; and
    • the advantages and disadvantages, at the time that the advice was provided, to the party of making the agreement; and
  • contain a certificate signed by the legal practitioner stating that  the independent legal advice was provided; and
  • not have been terminated; and
  • after the agreement is signed, either the original or a copy of the agreement is given to each party.

SO I NEED TO USE A SOLICITOR?

The short answer to that is yes. There are child support agreements that do not need a solicitor and do not need to be registered with the Department of Human Services (what used to be called the Child Support Agency, or CSA).

SO ARE THERE REAL SAVINGS INVOLVED?

It is fairly standard for someone to pay child support, and then pay school fees on top of that. If the school fees are much more than the assessed child support amount, which is common, they actually pay less than if they paid the full amount of school fees. For example if you child support assessment was $16,000 for two kids, and school fees were $35,000, where you to pay the assessed rate of child support and half the school fees, you are in fact paying $33,500, whereas to pay the full amount of school fees alone, you are paying $35,000.

But, if you are to pay the full school fees, you know where the money was going. For many people, that is worth the extra cost, to know that their child support is being spent on their children.

I WANT THAT CERTAINTY, WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

Give Pierce Carstensen a call and you can discuss whether a binding child support agreement is right for you.