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Child Support

The best interests of you and your child are our top priority. We will support you at all times through this difficult period.

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Why you need a family lawyer for
child support

Financial Assets

Explaining the child support process

After a couple separates, both parties are expected to continue to financially support their child or children to cover the costs of living, education, medical and extra-curricular activities. We can explain how this process will work so both parties are well informed throughout.

Timely Legal Services

Providing detailed advice for you and your child’s situation

The circumstances relating to each child support case will vary, and the law may apply differently to each situation. Our family lawyers have decades of experience navigating even the most complex areas of law that could apply to your situation. We will provide expert advice to help you throughout the child support process so you do not feel alone or unsupported.

Dispute Resolution

Drafting legal agreements

If you are considering entering a binding child support agreement or need to fill in a child support change of assessment form, we can help. We can draft these forms for you in line with the requirements, terms and formalities listed in the Child Support legislation.

Assisting you with paying or receiving child support

It is not recommended to have an informal agreement between parents where cash is exchanged as child support payments. These informal arrangements often result in implications later down the track, as one party can easily claim they have not received payment which the other party can refute, with no reliable means of proof either way. We can help you create a formal agreement that is binding and legally enforceable.

Advise you on moving forward after an outcome has been reached

Sometimes the child support process does not result in a positive outcome for the parties involved. If the child support process does not provide parties with an agreeable solution, we can advise you on how to move forward with your case and explain the options available for progressing through the court system or tribunal process.

Frequently asked questions

Any individual responsible for a child can apply to the Child Support Agency for a child support assessment. This can be done by directly contacting the Child Support Agency. However, for an application to be successful, the child must be an Australian citizen or present in Australia. A presumption of paternity must also apply, which means that a man is presumed to be a child’s biological father.
A presumption of paternity may be confirmed if:

- A party is listed as a parent of the child on the child’s birth certificate;
- At the time of the child’s birth the parties were married;
- The parties were living together between 44 to 20 weeks prior to the birth of the child;
- A party adopted a child;
- A party signed a statutory declaration that they are a parent of the child;
- The child was born using a surrogate;
- The child was conceived by the parties using artificial means; or
- The court has made an order declaring the parentage of a child.
The amount of child support payable by a parent is calculated by the Child Support Agency and varies depending on:

- The care arrangements for a child, including the amount of overnights the child spends with each parent;
- The income of each parent before tax;
- The child’s age; and
- Other needs or circumstances.
A child support change of assessment form is sought though the Child Support Agency internal review system. These forms are used if you or the other party believe the calculated amount of child support payable is unreasonable. For a change of assessment to be considered, at least one of the following must be demonstrated:

- The cost required to spend time with or communicate with the child significantly reduces your ability to pay child support (for example, if costs of travel, accommodation and phone calls equate to more than 5% of your income);
- The child’s special needs significantly impact the costs of maintaining the child;
- The child’s care, education or training significantly affects the costs of maintaining the child;
- The child’s income, earning capacity, property or financial resource renders the arranged payment unfair (for example, if a child is working or receiving income from a trust structure, the amount of child support payable could be reduced);
- Money paid by you to the child, the other parent or someone else for the child’s benefit renders the arranged payment unfair; or
- The child is under 12 years old and their childcare costs significantly affect the costs of caring for them (the cost of child care must exceed 5% of your income).
After you have submitted a child support change of assessment form, a Senior Case Review Officer will review the form and decide the outcome of your application. A Senior Case Review officer has the power to:

- Make changes to the amount of child support payable;
- Determine the amount of time each parent is spending with the child;
- Allocate an amount based on each parent’s income; and
- Backdate child support payments.

Why choose us

We will tell you the truth at all times

We will be honest with you about your prospects of success, issues that arise or the commercial viability of your matter. The first time you come to see us, we will tell you whether you even need a lawyer.

We will respect you and your situation

Our job is not to judge anything you may have done. Our job is to guide your matter and actions moving forward to give you the best possible outcome for you, both legally and personally.

We will listen and understand your needs

We will hear not just what you want to achieve, but why you want to achieve it. We will tell you what you need to do to achieve the outcome you are after, legally, practically and emotionally.

We will stand by you all the way

Your matter doesn’t finish once a court order has been made. We will stay on your matter right up until all of the outstanding issues have been dealt with and the court orders are complied with.

We can help you with all family law matters

Forge Legal’s family lawyers are specialists in all areas of family law and can assist you with all child support matters.

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I needed a family lawyer I could trust. And I trusted Forge completely.

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In my darkest times Forge’s family first approach made me feel comforted and safe.

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In my darkest times Forge’s family first approach made me feel comforted and safe.

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