Child Support Agreements (CSA) provide an alternative method of governing child support obligations and entitlements. You might choose to enter into a CSA where you and the other parent have reached an agreement in relation to child support that differs from the administrative Child Support Assessment, and which you feel is necessary to put into writing.
CSA usually contain the entire agreement reached between the parents. This includes the commencement and termination dates of the agreement, the amount and/or the nature of child support payable, and the method of payment.
There are two types of Child Support Agreements, namely Binding agreements and Limited agreements.
- Binding CSA can remain in force for the whole of the child’s upbringing and may provide that the child support sum is less than, equal to or greater than the assessed amount. Before entering into a Binding CSA, both you and the other parent will require independent legal advice.
- Limited CSA can only operate for up to three years. At the end of this period, the obligations of the paying parent revert back to normal; parties may wish to renew the agreement, vary its terms, or simply allow for child support to be assessed and collected by the Child Support Agency. Under Limited CSA, the child support payments provide for a sum equal to or greater than the amount assessed by the Child Support Agency. Independent legal advice is not required before entering into a Limited CSA.
CSA can characterise as child support both lump sums and periodic payments. Some agreements might provide that the paying parent, by way of child support, pay a certain amount on a fortnightly or monthly basis per child. It may also stipulate that the paying parent is to cover the cost of the children’s school fees, sporting activities, clothing etc.
CSA, especially Binding CSA which might continue in operation for decades at a time, can be drafted to increase or reduce the child support sum over the years, based on, for example, the ages of the children or inflation.
We can assist with advising and drafting both Limited and Child Support Agreements.