If you are getting a divorce or ending a de facto relationship, you can ask a Family Law Court to enter a financial order that divides your property or grants maintenance. You can also apply for a parenting order that addresses issues concerning children, including where they live and when they see their other parent.
Parents are usually entitled to child support if they are taking care of the children they had with a former spouse, but in most cases you cannot apply to a Family Law Court for a child support order. This article will explain that rule and its exceptions.
Most parents who seek child support must apply to the Child Support Agency. That agency uses a formula to compute child support. It generally makes a new assessment each year as long as at least one child of the parties is still a minor.
If you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Child Support Agency, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. Appeals are generally based on evidence that the Child Support Agency failed to follow the law or made a mistake concerning the facts of the case. Mere unhappiness with the result is not a ground for appeal.
Although most parents are required to seek child support through the administrative process described above, there are some limited instances in which a Family Law Court has the power to make child support orders. They include:
If you are entitled to ask the court to enter a child support order, you must file an application that explains the order you are seeking. The application must be supported by an affidavit and, in some instances, additional documents.
Child support proceedings in court are complicated. You have a better chance of navigating the system and of achieving a favorable outcome if you are represented by a lawyer.