child support scheme
from 1 july 2008, the australian child support scheme will change. the changes will affect parents who pay or receive child support through child support assessments or private child support agreements.
The Child Support Agency has introduced this new scheme with an aim to: Reduce conflict between parents about parenting arrangements Encourage shared parental responsibility Ensure child support is paid in full and on time.
The current formula uses fixed percentages of income to work out the child support amount payable and does not take into account the different costs of raising children of different ages, any Parenting Orders or Agreements in place or the effect of income tax. The new formula tries to balance the interests of both parents by focusing on the needs and costs of children.
The key components of the new formula are:
- The costs of raising children will now be the basis of the formula Both parents' incomes will taken into account and considered equally
- The same self-support amount will be deducted from each parent's income before child support is worked out
- A greater emphasis will be placed on arrangements where the care of the child is shared between the parents Children from first and subsequent families will be treated in a similar way.
- Parents paying and receiving Child Support in accordance with the current formula do not have to calculate the new payments themselves.
The Child Support Agency will do all of the calculations for you and issue you with a new Assessment before mid-May 2008. For those parents who have Private Child Support Agreements, the new Scheme may mean that your Agreements will have to be changed.
The Child Support Agency will be reviewing every Child Support Agreement that has been registered with the Agency prior to 1 July 2008 and contacting those parties who will be affected by the change to discuss the effect of the new Scheme on the Agreement.
In the meantime, all current assessments and agreements are still valid so you should keep going with your current arrangements, including payments up to and beyond 1 July 2008, unless you are contacted by the Child Support Agency.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.