Child support agreements

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Child support agreements

In some situations, parents can make their own written agreement about child support. The agreement can be about how much, and in what form, child support should be transferred. There are two legal types of child support agreements:

  • binding child support agreements
  • limited child support agreements.

Binding child support agreements

A binding agreement is a written and signed agreement that has been made after each parent has received independent legal advice. Your lawyer must attach a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice to the binding child support agreement after giving you legal advice. Both parents must get legal advice from two different lawyers.

Binding child support agreements can affect your Family Tax Benefit. Go to the Services Australia website for more information.

You can only end a binding agreement by making a new one if both parents agree, or by going to court. The court will only discharge (end) a binding agreement in exceptional circumstances.

Please note that our organisation is not able to provide a Certificate of Independent Advice, or give you advice about changing or ending a binding child support agreement.

Limited child support agreements

The law does not say you must get legal advice before making a limited child support agreement. However, it is highly recommended that you speak to a lawyer before making any child support agreement.

You must have a child support assessment with Services Australia (Child Support) before doing a limited child support agreement. The agreement must be for at least the same amount of child support as under the assessment.

Services Australia has a Child support agreement form that you can use. Send a copy of your agreement to Services Australia to be approved.

The court can find that a child support agreement is not legal if it was made using threats or pressure.

Limited agreements can be ended if:

  • both parents agree (in writing) to end the agreement
  • it has been three or more years since you made the agreement
  • your income changes by more than 15 per cent from the original child support assessment (contact Services Australia for more information)
  • parents enter a new limited or binding agreement, or
  • there is a court order that sets aside (ends) the agreement.

More information

Child support assessment

Child support payments

Family Tax Benefit and child support

Disagree with a child support decision

Adult child maintenance for over-18s

Proving who the dad is

Get help

Find out how you can get help with child support.

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