03 Sep What is a Binding Child Support Agreement?
Child Support is paid for the benefit of children. The amount of an individual Child Support obligation is generally determined by an administrative assessment made by the Child Support Agency.
For some people rather than relying on the formula as applied by the Child Support Agency, child support can instead be privately agreed to and recorded in a Binding Child Support Agreement.
A Binding Child Support Agreement can provide for a variation to the rate of child support or alternative payments (e.g. school fees, health insurance). A Binding Child Support Agreement can make provision for the payment of child support (periodic payments) and other expenses related to costs incurred in raising children, for example by way of contributions towards medical expenses or school fees (non-periodic payments).
It is important to know that a Binding Child Support Agreement can be varied if:
- The child turns 18;
- If a parent loses their capacity to earn an income;
- By consent between the parties; or
- Otherwise set aside by Court Order.
- At an agreed date
The Family Courts will only terminate or set aside a Binding Child Support Agreement if it is satisfied that there has been a significant change in circumstances, if the rate of child support was not proper or adequate or if the Binding Child Support Agreement was entered into as a result of fraud, undue influence or unconscionable conduct.
Binding Child Support Agreements are intended to allow parents the freedom and flexibility to make different arrangements regarding child support whilst providing a high level of certainty and finality. It is compulsory that parties to a Binding Child Support Agreement receive independent legal advice so they both have an understanding as to the advantages and disadvantages of such agreement.