It costs a lot to raise children and working out "who pays and how much" child support is complicated and often a contentious issue between separating parents.
It costs a lot to raise children and working out “who pays and how much” is complicated and often a contentious issue between separating parents.
Wendy Barry, an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Partner at TGB Lawyers, explains how child support is calculated and the process of coming to an agreement.
“I think child support agreements can be really helpful in terms of working out who’s going to pay for what and the future care arrangements for the children,” Ms Barry told Surviving Separation.
“One of the biggest things that creates disharmony in an otherwise flexible and cooperative parenting arrangement is where the parties say “oh, we’re in such a good place. We can work all of this out ourselves. We don’t need an agreement.” Just one of the parties has to re-partner with someone who is not quite as dedicated to spending the relationship money on children who are not theirs for the whole thing to go south.”
Wendy also talks about:
– How to dispute a child support decision
– How care arrangements impact child support
– Coming to an agreement outside of the Child Support Agency
And, what if one partner isn’t able to cover their own financial needs after separation? Wendy discusses the complex issue of spousal maintenance.
“I think most people can show that they have need, in other words their income doesn’t meet their outgoings,” she said.
“We all, I speak for myself, tend to live beyond our needs. So need is usually very easy to show. Capacity to pay on the other hand, which is the second part of the test, is a lot harder. You’ve got to show the other party has surplus income at the end of every pay cycle.”
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