binding child support agreement

If you and the other parent or guardian both agree on child support arrangements, and have both received independent legal advice, a Binding Child Support Agreement could be the right choice.

Here’s the first thing you need to know about Binding Child Support Agreements.

There are two categories of Child Support Agreement that fall outside the standard assessment formula which would typically be applied by the Child Support Agency (CSA), and both of these agreements can add significant certainty, security and flexibility to the agreement for both parties.

These separate agreements are:

  • Binding Child Support Agreement. Where both parents or guardians agree on child support arrangements and sign an order by consent, having both received independent legal advice (to a provable standard) in relation to what they are agreeing to. Significant benefits include reassuring certainty and security, and the ability to specify tailored arrangements designed to suit both parties – plus the commitments of both parties are enforceable through Family Court.
  • Limited Child Support Agreement. Where both parents or guardians agree on child support and sign a consent order, such as a standard Financial Agreement, but have not sought the required independent legal advice. Without that legal advice, there’s a risk that a party may not fully understand what they are agreeing to or the longer-term ramifications – therefore the legal power of the agreement is limited and not enforceable through Family Court.

Will a Binding Child Support Agreement be an advantage for you?

Thinking about the needs of your children in terms of custody, care and education, there are a number of clear, hugely significant benefits for both parents or guardians within a Binding Child Support Agreement, which are simply not offered within the standard CSA agreements.

  • Security, certainty and flexibility. A Binding Child Support Agreement enables parents and guardians to make quite specific, tailored arrangements which work around everyone’s individual lifestyle and financial circumstances, with the peace of mind and certainty of knowing those arrangements are legally locked-in.
  • Structure for efficient education funding. Whatever educational path best suits your children, a Binding Child Support Agreement can comprehensively lock-in funding for all types of educational institutions – from top tier private schools to vocational programs – so everyone is kept on the same page until the desired education is complete.
  • Special medical or educational needs. Security and certainty around the regularity and reliability of child support payments is especially crucial when it comes to extra financing required for special medical or educational needs – the long-term peace of mind given by a Binding Child Support Agreement is unrivaled in Australian Family Law.
  • Extra payments, insurances and activities. The fact is, there’s a lot more to life than is catered for by the standard CSA agreements. Whereas a Binding Child Support Agreement can encompass and guarantee payments for anything from private health insurance and plastic surgery, to sports coaching and passionate hobbies.
  • And perhaps the most powerful aspect of all is that a Binding Child Support Agreement is directly enforceable through the Family Court, should either party fail to fulfill their obligations.

Things to think about before entering a Binding Child Support Agreement

Before entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement, take some time to consider these key features and double-check it’s the right path for you and your children.

  • It’s a long-term commitment. A Binding Child Support Agreement stays in place until a ‘terminating event’ takes place, typically the child finishing school or turning 18.
  • Any changes require more legal advice. If any amendments are needed, perhaps due to a significant income or life change, both parties must consent and engage further legal guidance.
  • Termination needs mutual agreement. Once entered into, a Binding Child Support Agreement requires consent by both parties to end it. Which means if one party wants to end it and the other doesn’t, a potentially costly, time-consuming application to Court is required.

Was this helpful? If you need any more information about Binding Child Support Agreements, read this case study or talk to a friendly Family Law specialist at Antunes Lawyers today – for free.

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The articles on this website comprise legal general information and not legal advice. The general information presented here must not be relied upon without legal advice being sought. In the event that you wish to obtain legal advice on the contents of this general information you may do so by contacting our office or your existing solicitor.