Child Maintenance Orders Not Cover by the Child Support Scheme

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The Child Support Agency administers the Child Support Scheme to enable separated parents to financially support their children. The amount of child support payable is calculated by using a specific formula. However, in some circumstances, the Family Court can make “child maintenance” orders for matters that are not covered by the Child Support Scheme.

When can I apply to the Court?

The Family Law Act imposes a duty on parents to maintain their children. The Court can make a child maintenance order by consent of the parties or by judgment of the Court. Usually, the legislation does not allow a Court to make a child maintenance order if the Child Support Agency could issue a child support assessment for the child.

There are some circumstances where a parent or carer may not be eligible for a child support assessment or there is some urgency. In those cases, the Court can deal with applications for maintenance for children.

Adult Child Maintenance

The Court also has power to make a child maintenance order for a child over 18 years. To make such an order, the Court has to be satisfied that it is necessary to enable the child to complete their education or because the child has a physical and/or mental disability.

Who can apply for a child maintenance order?

A parent of the child (including an adoptive parent), a grandparent or other person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child. A child can also apply in their own right.

What factors does the Court take into account?

The Court takes into account a number of factors when determining a child maintenance matter, such as the costs involved in maintaining the child, the financial circumstances of the parents/carers and also the child and any other relevant matters.

We can advise you about matters relating to financial support of your children.