Following on from our last article, following separation parties are usually anxious to finalise child support and parenting arrangements. There is usually confusion about the interaction of property matters and parenting issues.
There is nothing preventing parties from finalising parenting matters or property matters post-separation.
In basic terms, Child Support is a payment made by a parent to help the other parent with the cost of caring for the child or children. Child Support can be by private agreement (either written or formalised in a Binding Child Support Agreement (“BCSA”)) or collected by the Child Support Agency (Services Australia). Child Support can be calculated between the parties or by the Agency. The Agency calculates Child Support from the age of the child or children, the income of the parents, and the amount of overnight care the parent with the least amount of care has. To formalise private Child Support arrangements parties must enter into a BCSA. Both parties to the BCSA must be legally represented.
Parenting arrangements can be formalised or recorded in two ways:-
- A Parenting Plan which is simply a written agreement signed by the parties. Such an agreement is not legally binding but can provide for any matters in relation to the care and upbringing of the children.
- An Application for Consent Orders which is filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Such Application is legally binding on the parties and provides for all matters in relation to the care and upbringing of the children.
For more information call us at Family Lawyers Mackay at (07) 4847 0198 or visit us at https://familylawyersmackay.