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How to get financial support for children whose parents have separated

Author: Leo Josh
Published: Sep 4 2013

The law requires parents to provide financial support for their children. Parents have an obligation to arrange everything in order to ensure that their children get the financial support that they need when they have separated. Most of the time, the parent who provides primary care for the children initiates the process of ensuring that the other parent provides child support.

How to ensure children receive financial support

The Child Support Agency is a government Agency that ensures parents provide their children with the necessary financial support. In order for this agency to achieve its objective, parents have to apply to it so that it can carry out an administrative assessment of the parent who is responsible for paying child support. This agency determines the amount of money that this parent should pay annually by using a formula. The factors that this formula takes into account are the number of nights that the parent who pays the child support spends with the children per year and the income that both parties have. Otherwise, the Agency can take the payments for the child support and distribute them accordingly to the party that is supposed to receive them.

The roles of the Child Support Agency

- Child Support Assessment

Sometimes the agency is unable to determine the appropriate amount that the paying parent should provide after carrying out an assessment. This may be the case when the parent who pays the child support is self-employed and his/her declared taxable income is low. In such a case where the assessment fails to consider other factors, the parent who pays the child support can make an Application to Change the Assessment. This application has to go through an internal process in the Child Support Agency and if one of the parties is not satisfied with the result, he/she may ultimately appeal to the Appeal Tribunal that deals with Social Security.

- Child Support Agreement

Most of the time parents prefer to arrange for child support especially if they are not satisfied with the process of administrative assessment and that of changing the assessment. Alternatively, where the children need special care like special health care or private education or the financial arrangements of the parties are more complex, negotiation of an Agreement is the alternative option. Parties may agree and in this case, the Agency will not conduct an administrative assessment. It can ensure that other expenses such as health insurance premiums, school fees, and extracurricular activities are paid for the children by fixing the rate of the payments that should be made periodically. Since the types of Agreement that are available are two, parties that want to agree should seek legal advice by calling the CSA Contact. The circumstances of their individual cases largely determine the type of agreement that is appropriate for them

Where separated parents want to arrange child support, they should give account to any property division that may occur and the financial settlement for taking care of the needs of the children after their separation, when they want to determine the arrangements that may be suitable.

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