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Child support is a payment made by one or both parents to the other to help with the cost of looking after the children.

If parents agree, they can make a legally enforceable agreement about the amount, frequency and method of child support payments after separation.

There are two types of child support agreements:

  • limited agreements.
  • binding agreements.

Child support agreements should not be entered into lightly. They are legally enforceable financial agreements that, in some cases, can only be changed by future agreement between you and the other parent or by making a complicated application to the Federal Circuit Court. You should get legal advice before making or ending a child support agreement.

 

Making a child support agreement

If you and the other parent agree about how your child should be supported financially, you can make a legally enforceable child support agreement.

Child support agreements set out in writing the amount, frequency and method of child support payments. Child support agreements make sure the child receives a proper level of financial support from their parents.

There are two types of child support agreements:

  • limited agreements.
  • binding agreements.

 

Limited child support agreement

A limited child support agreement (limited agreement) is a written agreement signed by both parents about the amount, frequency and method of child support payments.

To make a limited agreement:

  • there must be an administrative assessment in place
  • the amount of child support to be paid under the agreement must be equal or greater than the assessment.

The agreement can be ended:

  • by making another limited or binding agreement.
  • if both parents agree in writing.
  • if the notional assessment changes by more than 15% (then either parent can choose to end the limited agreement).
  • by either parent after 3 years.
  • by a Court Order.

 

Binding child support agreement

A binding child support agreement (binding agreement) is a written agreement signed by both parents about the amount, frequency and method of child support payments.

Unlike a limited agreement, a binding agreement can be made and accepted even if a child support assessment hasn’t been made. It can be made for any amount both parents agree on. It could be less than, equal to, or more than the child support rate payable under an administrative assessment.

To make a binding agreement:

  • both parents must get independent legal advice on the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement.
  • the lawyer for each parent must sign a certificate stating legal advice has been given.
  • the lawyer’s certificates must be attached to the agreement.

The agreement can be ended:

  • in writing by both parents.
  • by making another binding agreement.
  • by a Court Order.

If you can’t agree on child support payments, you can apply to the Department of Human Services (Child Support) for an administrative assessment.

 

Disclaimer: The material presented on this website is an information source only. The information on this website is written for people resident in, or affected by the laws of Queensland, Australia only. Links to other sites from this website are provided for the users’ convenience. The LGBTI Legal Service does not endorse these sites and is not responsible for the information on these sites or the use made of this information. If you have a specific legal problem, you should consult a professional legal advisor.

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