When couples get divorced, they are still obligated to support their children financially. In Australia, the child support scheme is involved in assessing and collecting child support payment while ensuring that parents live up to their financial responsibilities. Read on to learn how to apply for child support, how child support is calculated and what happens if the other parent fails to deliver child support payments.
Applying for Child Support
You can apply for child support if you are the child's parent or have shared custody. You can only be said to have shared custody if you were responsible for caring for the child for a one year period. For you to qualify for child support payment, the court will consider the following conditions according to section 29 of the "Child Support Act":
- You were married to your spouse when your child was born
- Your name was on the child's birth certificate
- You acknowledged that the child was yours in a legal document
- The court declared you as the child's parent
- You adopted the child
- You and your partner lived together for 11 months before the child was born
You can only pursue child support if you are residing in Australia and if the child is also living in Australia. If you are not a resident of Australia, you can only demand for child support if you are residing in a region that has agreed with Australia to see to it that you meet your support payments according to section 29A of the Child Support Act.
Calculation of Child Support
The calculation of child support varies depending on individual circumstances. However, according to the "Child Support Act", the main things that are considered include:
- Income of both parents
- Average cost for raising a child
- The presence of other children
- Whether the parent has other child support responsibilities
- The parent who lives with the child and is its primary carer
What Happens if A Parent Fails to Make Child Support Payments?
If the other parent refuses to pay child support, the child support agency will enforce payment using other means like debt collection, seizing assets, using tax refunds, garnishing the parent's wages and taking over possession of the parent's property until they clear their debt.
If the parent provides false or misleading information in a bid to avoid paying child support, the child support agency may result to filing an enforcement summon in court to compel the defaulting parent to make payments.
For more information, you should contact a family law firm in your area.