You can choose to arrange parenting issues with either a parenting plan or a parenting order.
An appropriate level of financial support from the other party can ease your financial burden and cover part of the day-to-day expenses of your children.
If you can agree on the arrangements for your children
Then you should consider arranging a parenting plan. This method is much cheaper and saves you time. It is drawn up with a shared commitment to your children and their future. A written parenting plan, agreed upon by both parents, will provide certainty on the arrangements for the care of your children.
If you cannot agree on the arrangements for your children
Then you should consider seeking a parenting order made by the court. The court must consider what is in the best interest of the child and make an order accordingly. You should be warned this process can be expensive and it takes time. However, a parenting order is legally enforceable and breaching it does have legal consequences.
Parenting Plan vs Parenting Order
It is a written agreement between parents. It clarifies practical issues related to parental responsibility.
The parenting plan will need to set out details related to practical decisions about children in areas such as:
It is a set of orders made by a court about parenting arrangements for a child.
A court can make a parenting order based on consent orders or after a court hearing or trial. When a parenting order is made, each parent or person named in the order must follow it.
The court must consider what’s in the children’s best interests, including:
You should know that equal shared parental responsibility is not the same as equal parenting time.
The child support scheme aims to ensure that children receive an appropriate level of financial support from parents who are separated or divorced. The cost covers the day-to-day expenses of a child, including but not limited to:
It may vary depending on the income of the payer parent and the child’s living needs.
Services Australia is the responsible agent in managing child support payments.
Child support is payable for all children living in Australia whose parents have separated, whether or not the parents were married. Normally, child support stops when your child turns 18.
To pay child support to a child over 18, an application can be made to court if:
If you are unable to reach an agreement about a child support payment with your former partner, Services Australia can calculate the amount using an 8-step formula, with consideration of:
All you need to know about child support
If the payer parent failed to comply with their financial obligations, you may enforce any outstanding debt personally or inform Services Australia about the outstanding debt. You must address any debts as soon as possible.
Services Australia can enforce the child support payment in several ways. These include but is not limited to:
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