Family Law Services
Family law matters are generally very stressful and require particular understanding and sensitive handling. With more than 40 years assisting clients in the field of divorce, property settlement issues, spousal maintenance, child support, access, custody and guardianship, we are competent to advise in this area.
WHAT IS CHILD SUPPORT?
The Child Support (Assessment) Act, states that the child or children’s primary carer can make a claim for child support from the other parent. The Child Support Agency is responsible for administering your child support arrangements and assessing the amount of support which should be provided. The decision is based on each parent’s income, the number of children and their living arrangements.
DO I NEED TO PAY CHILD SUPPORT?
It is a key pillar of family law that parents share in the financial costs of caring for their children. To work out how you will share the financial support of your children you can contact the Child Support Section of the Department of Human Services. http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/child-support
The assessment which is the amount of child support payable by one parent to another is worked out by the Department of Human Services based upon several key criteria including
- the number of nights that a child lives with each parent
- the taxable incomes of each of the parents.
The Department of Human Services will determine a monthly amount of money payable by one parent to the other parent. This monthly amount of money is intended to cover all of the financial needs of the child including their food, housing and any school fees. The monthly amount of money can be paid to the other parent through the Department of Human Services directly or the parents can agree on a “private collection” arrangement where one parent pays the monthly money directly to the other parent’s bank account.
AM I IN A DE FACTO RELATIONSHIP?
Many people believe that you are only in a de facto relationship once you have lived with your partner together in the same house for 2 years or more. According to the legal requirements in the Family Law Act it is possible to be in a de facto relationship even though you are not living in the same house and you have been together for less than 2 years.
Determining whether you are in a de facto relationship or not will have consequences on your finances such as property settlement and/or maintenance when applicable in the event your relationship breaks down. If you are not in a de facto relationship then you have no financial obligations following the breakdown of your relationship.
The Family Law Act includes a non-exhaustive list of 9 factors in that a court will review to determine whether two people are in a de facto relationship.
- the care and support of children;
- how long the relationship has been going on for;
- whether the people live in the one house;
- whether there is a sexual relationship between the two people;
- the degree of financial dependence or inter-dependence between the two people (i.e. is one of the people paying for expenses of the other person);
- the ownership and use of property (ie, do they own a house together?)
- the “degree of mutual commitment to a shared life”;
- whether the relationship was registered under a State or Territory law; and
- the reputation and public aspects of the relationship (i.e. do you spend Christmas and birthdays together?)
You can also be in a de facto relationship with more than one person at one time. The Family Law Act clearly states that you can be legally married to someone else and in a de facto relationship with another person (or persons). The gender of the people involved in the de facto relationship is irrelevant.
Family Law Services
We can offer some of the top family law Sydney has to offer. We have worked with both junior and senior barristers whose services include divorce law, child custody lawyers, prenuptial agreements and de facto agreements.
Family law matters are generally very stressful and require particular understanding and sensitive handling. With more than 40 years assisting clients in the field of divorce, property settlement issues, spousal maintenance, child support, child access, custody and guardianship, we are competent to advise in this area.
We have 40 years experience advising in relation to financial agreements pursuant to the Family Law Act, including pre- and postnuptial agreements between fiancés and married spouses, financial agreements between de facto and prospective de facto couples (heterosexual and same-sex relationships), marriage separation and cohabitation agreements.
It is important for individuals to know how to protect their individual assets and sources of income on separation, particularly in cases where the individuals entering the relationship have valuable established estates and are seeking protection in the event of separation.
Many people do not realise until it is too late, that without a valid, binding financial agreement, they may have to share assets and inheritances with their spouse on separation. Often, by the time people realise the need for an appropriate agreement it is too late to rectify the situation.
We are top Sydney family lawyers. Services and areas of advisory include:
- Property settlements
- De facto relationships
- Child orders, parenting and child custody
- Child residence, contact and child access
- Spousal maintenance and child support
- Prenuptial, postnuptial, de facto and separation agreements
Child Support is more than just a number, however, here is a child support calculator tool to give you an idea of how child support is calculated in Australia.