A Binding Child Support Agreement (BCSA) is an agreement made between 2 parents in relation to child support after the parents separate.
In most cases a parent would apply to the child support agency and make an application for the other parent to pay child support.
It can be privately collected by the paretn or the Child Support Agency can collect on your behalf and then pay you.
However, Child Support does not usually cover other expense like medical, dental or other activities such as dancing or sport. Where the paying parent also agrees to pay for these activities it is worthwhile getting a solicitor to draw up a BCSA. It is not wise to sign one without legal advice as sometimes it is not in your best interests to sign this king of document. It must be detailed with a percentage figure that each parent has to pay for each activity. If the details on what the costs are for there is a possiblity that the agreement may be overturned by a Court for lack of clarity.
These agreements are usually drafted for children until they are 18 or have left high school and this should be considered when drafting any such agreement. A flat rate of child support is not advisable as incomes can change or the paying parent might lose their job and still be liable to pay.
Once an agreement is lodged with the Child Support Agency, they no longer will collect child support on your behalf.
The Agreements are also hard to overturn so even though it may give you piece of mind to know exactly what you will be paid/paying, if there is a change of care of the child or you lose your job, it will not be overturned.
You should always see legal advice before signing any such legal document.
For more information call Ruth Single on (02) 4324 7699.