In divorce cases, child support is one of the most important areas for discussion. One of you will need to pay child support. Here are guidelines to help you gain a better understanding of what it is, how the amount is decided, and what issues might come up, so you’ll know what to expect once you move forward with the case.
Child Support: What Is It?
This is a monthly payment that parents make to cover the costs linked to rearing a child. In your case, there will be one parent assigned as the custodial parent. If you end up as the custodial parent, then you’ll care for the child most of the time. The child will live with you. The non-custodial parent will get less parenting time but will be allowed to visit, depending on what the court decides. In some cases, though, the court awards joint custody, so both parents have the same amount of time with the child. As for who becomes the custodial parent, the court usually assigns the non-custodial parent to send child support. To understand that in greater detail, consulting with a child support lawyer will help. In some cases, though, the court can order both parents to send child support, especially in Australia, where it is expected for both parents to support the child after the divorce.
Length of Child Support
Child support payments must be made until the child reaches the age of 18. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If the child is already 19 but is still in high school, living with the parent, then the monthly payments need to continue. However, if the child marries or has a domestic partnership, or if the child becomes self-supporting before turning 18, or joins the military, then the payments are stopped. If the child cannot be self-supporting because of a disability, then the payments will continue even beyond the age of 18.
Child Support in Australia
Coming up with an agreement without the involvement of the Department of Human Services (DHS) is certainly less stressful. So, you and your partner need to make smart decisions. However, if that fails, you’ll need to hire a child support lawyer to help you. Find someone with the following qualifications:
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