Child Support is governed by the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988. The combination of these Acts provides the basis for the provision of administrative assessments of Child Support by the Department of Human Services (Child Support) – formerly the “Child Support Agency”.
In certain circumstances, one party may seek to depart from the administrative assessment of Child Support. There are ten grounds for departure, in the special circumstances of each case:
- The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected by the high costs of spending time or communicating with the child.
- The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected because of their special needs.
- The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected because the child is being cared for, educated or trained in the way both parents intended.
- The child support assessment is unfair because of the child’s income, earning capacity, property or financial resources.
- The child support assessment is unfair because one party has paid or transferred money, goods or property to the child, the other parent or a third party for the child’s benefit.
- The costs of maintaining the child are significantly affected by either parent’s high child care costs, and the child is under 12.
- One parent’s necessary expenses significantly reduce their capacity to support the child;
- The child support assessment is unfair because of the income, earning capacity, property or financial resources of one or both parents;
- One parent’s capacity to support the child is significantly reduced because of their legal duty to maintain another person or child;
- One parent’s responsibility to support a resident child significantly reduces their capacity to support another child.
The process for departing from the administrative assessment can be confusing and difficult. Most of these applications are determined by the internal review process within the Department of Human Services.
However, in the unusual occasion whereby an application for a departure order is issued in a Court, Ms Devine can provide advice, and appear if necessary, on the hearing of the matter. Ms Devine can also assist in defending such an Application.