Article by Yarra Legal
Everyone knows someone who has had a marriage bust up and can tell you "What happens when." From these experiences urban myths form and some of the most common urban myths are about child support.
Let's dispel some now.
The bottom line on Child Support is - Every parent has an obligation to provide for the support of their child.
This obligation does NOT stop because:
Your child is still your child. He/she still needs to eat, have clothes, go to school and generally be looked after. All of this takes money, which parents have to provide.
- You separate
- Your child does not live with you
- You don't have any contact with your child
- You and your ex partner fight
- You think your ex partner will use the money you pay for child support
- Your ex partner has a new partner
The other urban myth sometimes heard (usually from parents who have kids living with them) is that if the other parent is not paying child support, then they can't see the child. Wrong!
- Kids love their parents
- Kids have a right to know and be cared for by both parents
- Contact (seeing the parent they don't live with) is a right of the child
- Contact is not a right of either parent
- Time with children should not be "traded"
- Children who have regular contact with both their parents adjust better and generally do better in life
- Children generally adapt to separation, ongoing conflict between parents (over issues such as child support) hurts kids.
If you have separated, and cannot negotiate child support arrangements, you may need help from the Child Support Agency www.csa.gov.au
Local Legal Aid offices usually have dedicated Child Support Legal Services which may also be able to help you.