Child Support Changes in Australia
Separation is a major stressful event in a person’s life. It can provoke multiple ranges of response and a lot of painful feelings. When a couple separates or gets divorced, its emotional complexity is similar and often compared to the emotional complexity of a death in the family. And to a child, this situation can be a traumatic and unnerving experience.
Children have to deal with a range of changes and adjustments as a result of their parents’ separation: changes in family lifestyle, rules and discipline. There may also be a lot of other changes, for example, a new house and a new school. Invariably, a lot of change is required. Although parents are often upset and confused at this time, it is important to try to understand what your children are going through and to consider their feelings, as well.
Couples who are separating as friends are in a better shape than those who are separating as bitter enemies. For one, they are able to enjoy joint custody. Joint custody implies shared physical and/or legal custody of a child, after parents separate. In such cases, parents share in the everyday responsibilities of raising a child, including all financial responsibilities. In such cases, lawyers like those from Prime Lawyers can help you with the details of child support and its coverage.
In family law and public policy, child support (or child maintenance) is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. The non-custodial parent is often the one who pays for child support. While the one who receives the child maintenance fees is usually the custodial parent, a caregiver or guardian or in some cases the state. Normally, one has the same duty to pay child support irrespective of sex, so a mother is required to pay child support just as a father must pay a child support.
As a rule, child support is often set as part of a divorce, marital separation, annulment, determination of parentage or dissolution of a civil union, and may supplement alimony (spousal support) arrangements. In Australia, it is being monitored by the Child Support Agency (CSA), this agency is responsible for managing the Child Support Assessment act of 1989 which categorizes the calculation of child support, based on a formula covering the income of the parent/s, care arrangements of the children, ages of the children, other dependents and a number of other factors; and the Child Support Registration and Collection Act of 1988 regarding to the transfer and collection of the calculated payments, including enforcement of unpaid amounts. It has firm implementation which can range from the involuntary cuts from salary and bank accounts, to litigation and restrictions on overseas travel until payment has been made for the child support.
CSA has undergone major reforms which were announced by the Australian Government back in February 2006. They were introduced in stages over four years with the Child Support Formula (which was the 1st major change) taking effect on July 2008. These changes recognized more varied arrangements for care of children, equal treatment for the incomes of both custodial and non-custodial parents, increased claim for teenage children and special provisions for the first 3 years after separation while the parents are re-establishing themselves financially. In 2011, Child Support became on one of the Master Programs of the government Department of Human Services and is no longer an independent government agency.
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