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Child Support Agreements

Child Support Agreements


If parents are unhappy with a child support assessment, they can reach an agreement and formalize it by way of a child support agreement.

There are two types of child support agreements:

  1. Limited Child Support Agreements (“LCSA”); and
  2. Binding Child Support Agreements (“BCSA”).

Both types of agreements replace the child support assessment.

Limited Child Support Agreements

An LCSA is a formal agreement between parents about child support that remains in force for up to three years.

LCSA’s are often a less expensive option, as you are not required to obtain legal advice and can use the template provided by the Child Support Agency (“CSA”).

Whilst in force, LCSA’s can be terminated:

  • With the consent of both parties; or
  • if the notional assessment varies for more than 15%.

At the end of the LCSA period, the LCSA can be y:

  • terminated by either parent in writing, without the consent of the other parent; and/or
  • replaced with a further agreement.

For an LCSA to be accepted:

  • The periodic payments in the LCSA must be equal to or more than the amount of periodic child support that would be payable under a CSA assessment; and
  • the person receiving the payment must have at least 35% care of the child (i.e., be an “eligible carer” in accordance with the Act).

The LCSA must be registered with CSA and it will not be accepted unless the Registrar considers it just and equitable, and complies with the abovementioned requirements.

Binding Child Support Agreement

A BCSA is a formal agreement between parents about child support and will apply until:

  • a terminating event occurs, such as a child turning 18 years of age; and/or
  • the parties agreeing to terminate the agreement; and/or
  • by way of court order.

Before entering into a BCSA, both parties to the agreement must obtain independent legal advice, evidenced by certificate attached to the back of the BCSA.

Unlike an LCSA, the periodic child support payable under a BCSA does not need to be equal or more than the CSA assessment, and does not have to be just and equitable (which is why parties must obtain independent legal advice).

BCSA’s can define both periodic payments and non-periodic costs such as school fees, health insurance and extracurricular activities. Only periodic payments can be enforced by CSA; non-periodic costs are enforceable through application to the Family Court.

A BCSA can only be terminated in very limited circumstances, so it is important you consider whether the terms are right for your situation.

Contact our friendly and professional team now on 08 9443 1111 to seek advice about child support, or any other family law matter.

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