Binding Child Support Agreements allow separating parents to make binding financial agreements about child support. Creating a Binding Child Support Agreement allows parents to choose how child support will be paid without the need for administrative assessments.
The Binding Child Support Agreement can only be made between parents or parents and eligible non-parent carers. Each party in a valid Binding Child Support Agreement must have received independent legal advice before entering and terminating the Agreement. The advice must be given by a legal practitioner with a current practicing certificate who was admitted under any State or Territory Supreme Court.
The parties to the Agreement cannot act as legal practitioner for themselves, the other party or both. Similarly, the same legal practitioner cannot provide advice to both the parties. If the Registrar determines any of these has occurred, it will be deemed that there was no independent legal advice and the Agreement will not be binding.
To create a valid Binding Child Support Agreement, it must be in writing and signed by both parents or parent and eligible non-parent carer. The Agreement must include a statement that each party has received independent legal advice as to the effects, advantages and disadvantages of the Agreement before it was signed. Finally, there must be an annexure in the Agreement certifying advice was provided and signed by the practitioner who provided legal advice.
Binding Child Support Agreements cannot be varied once they are operating. If changes need to be made to the Agreement, the existing Agreement must be terminated, and one made anew. However, this does not require an entirely new Agreement be drafted. The terms of the old Agreement can simply be incorporated by reference into the new Agreement and the variations added. It also follows that the whole process must be repeated. Independent legal advice must now be sought again, and the new Agreement must adhere to the above formal requirements.
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Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.