Are you entitled to receive child support?
In Australia, both parents have a legal responsibility to financially support their children, regardless of whether they live with them or not. The right to child support is generally based on the child’s needs and not the parent’s relationship status or personal circumstances.
You may be entitled to receive child support if:
- Parental Responsibilities: You have primary care or significant responsibilities for the child(ren).
- Child’s Residence: The child spends more time with you than with the other parent, meaning you incur more daily expenses for their care.
- Financial Circumstances: The other parent has a higher income or financial capacity to support.
- Private Agreement Absence: There isn’t an existing private child support agreement or limited Child support agreement that specifies different terms.
- Child’s Age: The child is under 18 years of age and hasn’t completed their secondary education.
- Special Circumstances: The child has specific needs, such as medical conditions, educational needs, or other expenses, which require financial support from both parents.
It’s essential to note that child support paid out isn’t just about monthly payments. It can cover various costs, including schooling, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and more.
How is the amount of child support determined in Western Australia?
The Child Support Agency (CSA) assesses the amount of child support payable from one parent to the other. You can estimate how much child support you might be entitled to by using the CSA’s online child support assessment calculator. Factors that determine how much child support you might receive include:
- Your income and the income of the other parent;
- How much time the child or children spend/s with you (percentage of care); and
- The age of the child.
Child support is usually paid until a child reaches the age of 18 years. However, in some cases, a parent may be required to still pay child support for a child over 18 years. If you are worried about your current situation, our team will be happy to provide advice & guidance on how to reach the best outcome for your situation.
What should you do if you are not receiving child support that is owed to you?
In general, the CSA will assist if you are not receiving the full amount of child support payments that is owed to you. However, there are some circumstances in which you may need to make an application to the Family Court in relation to the amount of child support. The court can make orders to enforce child support payments.
If you need legal advice please contact our Family lawyers on (08) 9322 1966 or Email who will provide you with advice about the relative merits of your case.
*This is general information only and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.
Do I need a lawyer for child support matters, or can I handle it myself?
While you can handle child support matters yourself, a lawyer can provide valuable expertise, especially in more complicated matters or disputes. They can help ensure your rights are protected and that the best interests of the child are upheld.
Can I challenge or change a child support decision made by the Child Support Agency?
Yes. If you disagree with the CSA’s decision, you can apply for an internal review. If unsatisfied with that outcome, further appeals can be made to external bodies like the Social Security Appeals Tribunal or the Family Court of WA.
Private Agreements vs CSA Assessments
Parents often face a choice: enter into a private agreement or seek an assessment from the Child Support Agency (CSA). Each route has its merits. Private child support agreements can, for example, offer flexibility to negotiate terms and can include costs like extracurricular activities or special needs. However, for a binding child support agreement, specific legal criteria must be met.
On the other hand, the child support agency (CSA) offers a structured approach to providing financial support, ensuring payments align with the other parent’s income and how much time the child spends with each parent.