The Family Court does not generally have powers to order child support maintenance for children.
Maintenance for children is dealt with by the Child Support Agency (‘CSA’). All applications for child support (child maintenance) are by way of an application to the CSA. If you are not satisfied with an assessment that has been made using a formula set out in the legislation, then you may seek a review of the assessment with the CSA. If you are not satisfied with the Review Officer’s report, then you can lodge an appeal with the CSA and, if you are not satisfied with the decisions made on the appeal, you can then apply to the Family Court for a variation of the assessment that has been made.
If you and your partner reach your own decisions about how child maintenance is to be applied and paid, you can enter into a child support agreement. Once drafted by your lawyers, the agreement can then be lodged with the CSA.
The CSA will accept an agreement if you and your partner are gainfully employed and not receiving pensions or government assistance (apart from child assistance). Child support payments will then be paid in accordance with the terms of that agreement. If either you or your partner want to vary the child support agreement in any way, this can only be done by making an application to the Family Court. The CSA does not have the power to vary or alter a child support agreement.