When parents of young children get divorced, they need to decide how best to continue providing for their children. Divorced couples have to set up parenting time and they have to agree on child support payments.

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When parents need legal help to come to agreements, family lawyers in Melbourne can help. Once parents decide on the details of the divorce, they can choose from two types of child support agreements.

The child support agreements include written details about how much parents pay and how they make their payments. The two types of child support agreements are binding and limited.

Binding Child Support Agreements

In Australia, binding child support agreements happen after the parties work with their lawyers and receive independent advice. The lawyers provide a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice showing that the parents worked with them. The parents cannot receive advice from the same lawyer, and the certificates prove that they did.

Parents should know that their binding child support agreements could affect their Family Tax Benefits. The Services Australia website shares details about the financial repercussions of binding child support agreements.

Binding child support agreements are binding, so both parents must agree to any changes. If they don’t agree, but one parent demands a change, then the two parties must go to court. The court could discharge the old agreement to make a new one, especially if it is in the best interest of the children or if the needs of the requesting party are exceptional.

Limited Child Support Agreements

If you prefer not to use legal advice for your child support and parenting time, you can choose a limited child support agreement. Most lawyers and advocates recommend talking to lawyers before you and your former partner decide how to support your children financially.

Before your limited child support agreement goes into effect, you have to work with Services Australia. The assessment will tell you how much your child support agreement should be, and when you create your limited child support agreement, it cannot be lower than the results of the assessment.

You can choose not to work with a lawyer and rely on the paperwork and forms from Services Australia. The organization will need to approve the agreement before you begin sending or receiving payments. Services Australia and the courts can make the agreements invalid if they determine that one party used unsavory methods, like coercion, threats, or violence to get the other party to agree to the child support amounts.

While it’s difficult for courts to overturn binding child support agreements, courts and parents can end limited agreements. Both parents would need to agree in writing to end the child support payments. If the agreement is three years old or older, parents can end the agreement. Courts will also end agreements if income changes affect the child support assessment. Parents will need to create a new agreement, either binding or limited. Courts can order the end of agreements if they see fit.