Going Beyond the Child Support Formula: Questions to Consider

Law Blog

The Australian government has formulas that help families determine a fair amount of child support for their situations. Essentially, these formulas are set up to ensure that each parent has enough money to live on, and then, the formulas base projected payments on a percentage of each parent's income. Finally, the formulas take into account child support time.

In addition to using those formulas, you may want to take a few other factors into account. Check out the following questions.

Does the Child Have a Relatively Equal Standard of Living in Both Homes?

Beyond just looking at the numbers, you may want to take into account your child's standard of living. Does the child have access to roughly the same amenities at each home? If a child has to move between a poverty-stricken environment and a wealthy environment, that may be confusing for the child.

Additionally, as the child gets older, the child may prefer the parent with more resources. To avoid that, you may want to set up a child support arrangement that creates a more equitable situation for everyone involved.

Did You Remember to Account for Extra Costs?

Usually, child support payments help one parent to take care of the child while in their care. The money may cover basic living expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, and utility bills as well as personal expenses such as clothing.

However, you and your ex may also want to talk with a family law specialist about extra costs that you may incur. Those may include fees for camps or afterschool activities, tutoring or any other costs you think are important.

For expenses like this, you may not want one parent to send a payment to the other parent. Rather, you may want to decide which parent is going to make the payment to the organisation.

Does Age Matter?

The government's standard formula for kids divides them into two main groups: under 13 and 13 and over. Child support payments on behalf of children in the older category are higher than payments in the lower category.

However, that set up may not work for you. You may want to set up large child support payment for babies and toddlers who need more care, or you may want your child support payments to get larger every year as the child gets older.

Do You Want to Include Spending Money?

Finally, you may even want to consult with a family law specialist about spending money. You may want one parent to be in charge of giving the child spending money, or you may want to explore other options. Ultimately, you and your ex can figure out what's good for your family.


25 October 2017

Dealing With Divorce

Hello, my name is Sandra. I live with my two children in Eastern Australia. I have recently come through a very difficult divorce. My ex-partner used to drink too much and he wasn't a very good husband or father. The final straw was when I discovered he was having an affair. I filed for divorce the same day. I knew that getting divorced would be difficult but I didn't realise just how difficult. My husband did all he could to make it hard for me and the kids. Thankfully, I found a fantastic family lawyer who helped me through the entire process. I won custody of the kids and my husband has been asked to pay child support. I decided to start this blog to help others who are going through a divorce.