Business people negotiating a contract. Human hands working with documents at desk and signing contract.

Could your Binding Child Support Agreement be suspended?

On 1 July 2018, amendments to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 were made which have the potential to affect you if you have a current Binding Child Support Agreement with your ex-partner.

These recently introduced changes will affect you if under your Child Support Agreement, the parent receiving child support (“payee parent”) is caring for a child across less than 35% of all overnight stays.  If this is the case, the payee parent is no longer considered to be an “eligible carer” under the relevant legislation, and is in turn no longer eligible to receive child support payments.

If this is the case, the Binding Child Support Agreement may be suspended for 28 days – although it is important to note that this period of suspension can be extended to 26 weeks in circumstances where:

  1. The Binding Child Support Agreement specifically provides for such;
  2. Both parents agree, and advise the child support registrar of this prior to the 26 weeks having passed; and
  3. The child support registrar is satisfied that there are special circumstances at play.

If the payee parent recommences caring for the child across at least 35% all overnight stays, and once again becomes eligible to receive child support payments within either the 28 day or 26 week timeframe (whichever is relevant under the specific circumstances), the agreement will no longer be suspended.

If the payee parent does not recommence caring for the child for across at least 35% of all overnight stays, the Binding Child Support Agreement will be terminated.

What if there are multiple children with different care arrangements?

If the Child Support Agreement pertaining to one specific child is either suspended or terminated, the Agreement may still continue with respect to the other children – as long as the payee parent continues to be an eligible carer of those other children.  That is, if they are looking after the other children for 35% or more of all overnight stays.

It must be noted that these changes do not just apply to new Binding Child Support Agreements, they also apply to all Binding Child Support Agreements that were already in place before 1 July 2019 – even if they were signed years prior.

If a Binding Child Support Agreement is either suspended or terminated, child support may still be payable, just at a different rate.  This rate is prescribed by the Department of Human Services (Child Support Agencypursuant to a formula, in the usual way.  An administrative assessment will need to be updated (or applied for, if one was not already in place) in order to confirm how much is payable.

Have your circumstances changed? 

If you haven’t already, now may be the time to ask whether, under your parenting arrangement, the payee parent is caring for either one, or all of the children less than 35% of the time.  If this is the case, and you believe that your Binding Child Support Agreement may be suspended or terminated pursuant to these changes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of Coleman Greig’s Accredited Family Law Specialists to receive expert advice, tailored for your specific circumstances.


Send an enquiry

Any personal information you provide is collected pursuant to our Privacy Policy.


More posts

Understanding roles in the strata scheme

A strata scheme is a building or group of buildings that have been divided into lots which can be apartments, villas, offices, units or townhouses. This will be articulated in the strata plan.

Can i put my home on Airbnb?

Airbnb is a form of short-term rental accommodation. To add your property to Airbnb in NSW, you are required to meet several laws and regulations governing short-term rentals.

When are liquidators required to seek approval to retain legal counsel?

When does a liquidator (or the company he or she is appointed to) need court, creditor, or committee approval to validly retain a solicitor to act in a liquidation matter which is likely to extend for longer than three months?  The answer to this question has only recently been settled.

Proposed changes to building and construction law in NSW

The Building Bill 2022 (the Bill) is the key avenue through which the NSW Government has proposed to reshape the culture of the building and construction industry by eliminating poor performance and improving the quality of building statewide.

Can you dismiss an employee who fails to return to the office?

Slowly but surely, most employers are requiring employees to return to the office for at least a portion of their working week. Some employers continue to struggle with employees resistant to returning to the office or those who have an expectation that they can continue to work from home whenever it suits them.

New powers to combat phoenixing in construction

The rise of phoenixing in the building and construction industry in Australia in recent years has proved a significant challenge to regulators. Mismanagement of time or cashflow can quickly propel businesses into insolvency.

The NSW Building Commission’s extraordinary powers

In late 2023, the NSW Government passed the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (Amendment Bill). The Amendment Bill established the NSW Building Commission and granted it extraordinary powers to enter construction sites, inspect work and take away information and materials.

© 2024 Coleman Greig Lawyers   |  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. ABN 73 125 176 230