Top Tips for a Thorough Child Support Agreement (Based on family law in Queensland and indeed divorce law across Australia & generally):-
As the unavoidable unfortunately happens, your child’s welfare has to be prioritised. Divorce or separation is never easy, but this does not mean your child’s interests will be compromised.
More than ever, this is where your child’s crucial years must be constantly nurtured. It’s always best to consult with a Family Law expert to maintain a well-covered settlement.
Here are some tips you’ll need to consider as you draft and finalise your child support agreement:
- Time spent with each parent
- Budget capacity of ex-spouses
- Payment schedule
- Logistical arrangements
- Miscellaneous support
Time spent with each parent
It’s equally important for the mother and father to be around as a child grows up. As much as possible, a balance between time spent and payables (monetary obligations) must be made.
While 50-50 shares are optimal, each ex-spouse’s financial situation might vary. The other one may have enough income to cover for most of the obligations, but will lack enough quality time to spend for the child. The opposite situation may apply for the other parent.
In this case, special and non-working holidays might be given to the busy parent. This may serve as a life’s highlight to the little one, as a whole day will be dedicated for bonding.
Budget capacity of ex-spouses
The child support agency will most probably calculate the budget needed for the child, until he or she reaches 18. Both parents may refer to these publications released by the Australian government, so as to estimate the budget they’ll need to devote for their children:
These publications and links can come up with customised budgets after gauging your situation (profession, educational attainment, working skills, living situation, etc.). All these will be factored in, towards estimating how much you can pay within an agreed schedule with your ex-partner.
Aside from rates, payment schedules are one of the most challenging items to be agreed between ex-spouses. Payments are usually made on a monthly basis, depending on the frequency needed by the child. Ideally, the child’s needs should be prioritised over the parents’ payment capacity.
A Court Order is highly advisable to maintain regularity of payments. You may agree for either parties to both have District Attorneys or DAs on stand-by, should either of the two refuse to give their justifiable obligations.
Each partner must be within reach to cover for the child’s needs. This means distance should not be a factor for both ex-spouses, regardless of which state or country they may be based. It is actually ideal for either of the parties to be within a few kilometres from each other, since quality time with their child will be of utmost priority.
If either of the two would constantly have a hectic schedule, then a bank account may be made as a supporting facility for the child. Both partners can schedule for fund transfers, so the budget may be acquired within specific periods of time.
Future plans or insurance agreements should also be arranged, apart from setting some quality time and budget for the child. There are insurance policies which take care of a child’s health and other unforeseen incidents, such as accidents, injuries or critical illnesses.
Should an illness be diagnosed, a monthly payment fee can be agreed to cover for treatments. Some conditions may affect a child as he or she grows up which is why aside from clinical support, the little one may need to be cared for by other means (support groups, care centres, therapists, etc.).
Your child needs utmost support during this difficult time. These pointers should guide you in thoroughly covering for your little one. His or her quality of life while growing up will be highly dependent on what you’ll arrange with your ex-partner, and how you’ll follow through on the agreement. For an objective and optimal set up, a family lawyer’s expertise will be necessary.
Image Credit: Hagerty Ryan