I have just had a telephone call from a client who told me that:
“My husband wants sole custody of our children and most of my wages.”
My client who has separated from her husband was very upset. I told her that this is not the case in Australia. In Australia under the Family Law Act the court must ensure that the best interests of children are met by ensuring that children have the benefit of both of the parents having a meaningful involvement in the lives, to the maximum extent consistent with the best interest of the child and ensuring the parents fulfil their duties and meet the responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of their children. Only in the very rarest of cases will a parent be awarded sole parent parental responsibility.
The Family Court does not have any power to make orders with respect to child maintenance. This is the province of the Child Support Agency a division of the Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth government. In determining the amount of child support one has to pay the Agency takes into account among other things, the rent you have to pay, your income, the other parent’s income, where the you are receiving any support payments from the government and with your employment is either full-time or part-time or casual. You can however agree to a Payment Plan for child maintenance.
Under the law in Australia, only under very rare and extreme circumstances, would a parent be granted sole parent responsibility of a child or children. The amount of child support a parent has to pay takes into account your cost of living and income. A parent’s contribution would not be equal to a large proportion of their wage.
I undertake many of these cases in both the Federal Circuit Court in the Family Court. If you have any questions please do contact me as each case is individual according to particular circumstances.
Wishing you all the best and until next time,