Child Support – Recent changes to the law regarding Binding Child Support Agreements

18-February-2019 Family Law By Simone Green

Did you know that on the 1st of July 2018, significant changes were made to Family Assistance and Child Support legislation ? Importantly, these changes can act retrospectively for anyone with a Binding Child Support Agreement.

How do the changes affect me?

Some things stay the same…

A Binding Child Support Agreement (‘Agreement’) remains a private, written legal document that allows separated parents to agree to their own arrangements for the amount and nature of child support payments.

As the name suggests, it is binding (provided that the document complies with the legislative requirements and both parties received independent legal advice prior to signing) unless terminated by a new Agreement or otherwise set aside by the court, or the children cease to be ‘eligible children’ under the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 (‘the CS Assessment Act’).

Some things have changed…

As of 1.7.18, if a child has a change in residence for a period of 28 days, or up to 26 weeks if ‘special circumstances’ apply to the change of residence (this is at the discretion of the child support registrar), payment of child support under the Agreement will be suspended.

Also, if the former carer does not resume care of the child after that period, the Binding Child Support  Agreement will be terminated.

What should I do if my child’s residential circumstances change?

For those of you who have already entered into a Binding Child Agreement, check if the agreement makes provision for a change in living arrangments between the parents. If not, please take special note of the updated Amendments should your child change residence and seek expert Family Law advice.

Streeterlaw’s Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Simone Green emphasises the need for competent legal advice for people contemplating entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement, particularly as they last until the child is 18 years of age.

If the amendments affect you, Streeterlaw’s highly experienced and dedicated Family Law team would be very happy to assist you and can be contacted by calling 02 8197 0105 or using the below contact form.

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