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Child Support - What if we can agree?

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020
By: Kate Trajcevski, Special Counsel and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Coote Family Lawyers

Thank you so much for your help this year, I am thrilled to have this resolved.

If you can reach agreement about the child support necessary for your children, there are two ways of legally formalising that agreement.

What if we can agree?

As with all aspects of Family Law, the first step is to discuss the matter with your former partner to see if you can reach an agreement.

If you can reach agreement about the child support necessary for your children, there are two ways of legally formalising that agreement.  Unless your child support agreement is documented in one of the following ways, it may not be a legally enforceable agreement.

Limited child support agreements

A limited agreement must be in writing, signed by the parties and registered with Services Australia (previously the Child Support Agency). 

It is not necessary to obtain legal advice prior to entering into a limited agreement, but it is highly recommended that you speak with a lawyer, so you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of entering into the agreement before you do. 

It is possible to unilaterally end a limited agreement after three years.  They may not provide the level of finality and certainty that a binding child support agreement can provide.  

Binding child support agreements

A binding child support agreement must also be in writing and signed by the parties, however a binding agreement cannot be entered into until each parent has received independent legal advice from a lawyer.

It is not necessary to have an assessment in place with Services Australia, and the binding agreement can provide for more or less than the amount Services Australia would otherwise assess is payable in your circumstances.  

It is generally more advantageous to enter into a binding child support agreement as they cannot be terminated without agreement of both parties or order of the Court, and only in limited circumstances. 

Both limited and binding child support agreements can be suspended for periods when there has been a significant change in care of the children.  

If you don't think you can agree on child support with the other parent, click here to read more about child support and the options

Whatever your circumstances Coote Family Lawyers can assist you with all aspects of your children's financial support.  We are recognised as one of the top family law firms in Melbourne, so call 9804 0035 to speak with someone today.




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