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As most separated or divorced parents would know, child support is managed through the Child Support Agency of the Department for Human Services.

Individual child support assessments can vary enormously to the extent that a new assessment may be issued each month. This can be frustrating for both parties, and can make it difficult to arrange finances with any degree of certainty.

Parents can avoid this uncertainty by entering into a child support agreement, of which there are two types – Limited and Binding.

A Limited Child Support Agreement can include periodic or lump sum payments of child support but also can provide for support in kind, such as maintenance of a family health insurance policy, payment of private education fees etc.  You need to have an assessment in amount that is less than the assessment.

Binding Child Support Agreements allow parents to set the level of child support to be paid until a terminating event occurs, such as a child turning 18 or obtaining employment. These agreements don’t require a Child Support Assessment to be in place.  You can agree to arrangements for payment of a set amount of child support, but also extra curricular activities and school fees in lieu of child support.  These agreements create certainty for both parties – the payer knows how much they will pay, and the payee knows how much they will receive.

Binding Child Support Agreements must meet certain technical requirements to be enforceable, including a requirement that you obtain independent legal advice.

Should you have any queries in relation to child support agreements please contact our Family Law team at 1800 609 945 or email us.