The payment of child support is one of the responsibilities of a parent. Child support may be paid by the parents who have agreed among themselves how much money they each will provide for their child.
The carer of the child whether he be the parent, a relative or a concerned person is entitled to financial support from those who have parental responsibility over the child. Raising a child requires money for education, extra-curricular activities, health and to maintain the general well-being of the child.
The parents can agree on how much child support they will pay for their child without having to go to court. It is best practice for these parents to have their agreement in writing which will then have a binding effect. There are different types of child support agreements that are effective and valid depending on the circumstances of the parties.
This agreement is similar to a binding financial agreement that allows the parents to enter into financial agreements concerning their child. The legal requirements are the same: must be in writing, parties have received independent legal advice and a certificate of the legal practitioner must be attached as annexure as proof that legal advice has been given. In the absence of independent legal advice the agreement may be accepted as a limited child support agreement.
This agreement can be varied or terminated only through another binding child support agreement.
This is a special type of binding child support agreement that was accepted before July 1, 2008 and continued to be effective from that date. On July 1, 2008 new legislation reformed the child support scheme necessitating the Registrar to review current child support agreement that were in force as of that time.
If the agreement was not affected by the reforms the Registrar will not terminate such an agreement but it will continue to be effective and thereafter known as a transitional child support agreement. Such an agreement can be ended through another written agreement that is executed without the parties having to ask for legal advice.
This type of agreement only applies if there is already in place an administrative assessment for child support. The parents have already been administratively assessed and they are already aware of how much they will be paying for child support by the time they submitted the child support agreement.
The agreement is only acceptable if the annual rate of child support agreed upon is the same that would otherwise be payable by each parent under the administrative assessment. With this agreement parties can make up their own terms and conditions regarding the arrangements for payment of child support.
The legal requirements to make this type of agreement binding are not so strict. Unlike binding financial agreements, in a limited child support agreement the parties do not need to have independent legal advice.