.Twohill Lawyers

Your Family Lawyers on the Gold Coast and Queensland

​"Lawyers you can trust"

Child Support

At Twohill Lawyers, our firm specialises in resolving Child Support issues.  

Our Child Support Consultant has expertise in the areas of:-

  • Reassessments of Child Support;

  • Negotiating and registering Binding Child Support Agreements;

  • Resolving issues relating to outstanding Child Support payments.

If your children spend most of their time with you, you are likely to be entitled to Child Support payments.  The amount of Child Support payable varies according to your specific circumstances and is decided upon and monitored by the Child Support Agency

The amount of Child Support is worked out based on things such as the income of both parties, the cost of the care of the children and the percentage of time the child spends with you.

How can I work out what Child Support I’m entitled to?

There is an online Child Support calculator provided by the Child Support Agency which can help you estimate both your Child Support and Family Assistance payments:  https://processing.csa.gov.au/estimator/.  This is an estimation only though as the calculation is quite complex and tailored to your situation.  You might also benefit from reading the Parent’s Guide to Child Support: http://www.csa.gov.au/__documents/publications/4110.pdf

Can I overturn a decision made by the Child Support Agency if it’s not fair?

Yes, you may be able to.  You have the right to object to the decision within 28 days and then an internal review of the decision will take place within 60 days of the objection being filed.  You can also continue to appeal if the original decision was upheld by applying for a review through the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

What if my ex-partner doesn’t pay?

The Child Support Agency has the power to investigate and enforce payment which includes the power to collect the payment from employers, the Tax Office and Social Security.  It also has the power to stop people from leaving the country while there are outstanding payments.

We can help

Child Support issues can be sensitive and difficult to work through but we can help you find your way through the process and the legislation. 

Contact us at Twohill Lawyers to discuss your particular circumstances with one of our experienced Family Lawyers.

Child Custody and Child Support

Child Custody

Australian law focuses on the rights of children to have an ongoing relationship with both parents so that separating from your partner or spouse doesn’t mean that you are separating from your child or children.

Although the terms ‘custody’, ‘residence’, ‘contact’ and ‘access’ are no longer used much by lawyers today, the issues behind the jargon are still on the top of the list of concerns for separating couples, namely:-

  • Who will the child or children live with?

  • How will they spend time with the other parent?

  • How will both parents be kept in the loop in regard to important decisions such as education and health?

Joint Custody and Shared Responsibility

Joint custody or shared responsibility means that both parents have legal rights and responsibilities towards the child.  It doesn’t mean that the child will spend half of their time with one parent and half with the other but that each parent has an equal say in decisions relating to the child in areas such as health and education.  Even if the child lives with the other parent you may still have joint custody.

But doesn’t the law now say that children have to spend equal time with each parent?

No, it doesn’t.  The law ensures that the best interests of the children are served first.  When considering what is in the children’s best interests, the Court has to consider facilitating a meaningful relationship between the children and both of their parents and also to protect the child from harm.  If the Court is to provide equal shared responsibility then it will also consider whether equal time is in the best interests of the children and whether it’s practical.  Instead of equal time, for example, the Court may order substantial and significant time be spent with the other parent which might translate to be 4 nights per fortnight rather than 7 nights.

Where do I start?

Firstly, get legal advice.  Our lawyers will take you through all of the areas which need to be considered and document what you think is a fair approach to arrangements for your children.  If your partner is agreeable, our lawyers can help you formalise the document without proceeding to costly Court action.  If your differences are unable to be settled then you will need to commence on the path to having Parenting Orders issued by the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.  Recent changes to the Family Law Act 1975 mean that you will need to attend Family Dispute Resolution before applying for Parenting Orders. The Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will issue a Certificate which must be filed with the Court Application and simply states that your differences were unable to be resolved.  If your case does end up in Court, a legally binding decision will be made through a Hearing where the Judge will decide what is in the child’s best interests.

Why use a lawyer?

As Twohill Lawyers are experienced in this process, we can advise you in regard to the complexities of your specific situation as well as guide you through what can be a stressful and confusing process.  We can help take the heat out of a difficult emotional situation and negotiate on your behalf to obtain the best possible result for your children.  If it does go to Court, we are very familiar with the Court system and can use our experience to your advantage.

Contact us at Twohill Lawyers to discuss your specific situation in regard to your children.