If you are separated or came out of an abusive marriage and struggling to raise your children alone without support from the other parent, you can seek help to collect child maintenance from the other parent. This is paid by the non residential parent (usually the father) to the parent with day to day care of the children.
Parents are legally responsible for the costs of raising their children even if you don’t see them and agreement about access to the children happens separately. You need to have child maintenance arrangements for children under 21 or more if in approved education or training. If you make a private arrangement you can continue after then.
Private Child Maintenance Arrangement
You can arrange child maintenance yourselves. You can make these arrangements yourselves to support the children financially. You can agree between yourselves how much maintenance should be paid, how and when it should be made. If you are finding it difficult to come to an agreement you can seek the help of a family mediator. You both have to be willing to go to mediation.
Get Help to Make an Arrangement
A professional mediator who acts as a neutral third party facilitates discussion to help you make an arrangement or work out an agreement on child maintenance payments.
If you cannot agree or the private arrangement breaks down, you can get a mediator to help you resolve the problems. The mediator helps you reach an agreement about child maintenance arrangement and helps you record your agreement. Free Mediation and Legal Support.
Getting Payments without Sharing Your Location
You can seek help and support from appropriate state agencies if you feel at risk talking to the other parent. A private agreement would involve agreeing on amount with the other parent and being in contact. If you do not want to be in contact because you do not feel it is safe you need not talk to the other parent or tell the other parent your location.
You do not need to make contact with your child’s other parent to arrange child maintenance if you’ve experienced violence. You can seek help to collect payments from the other parent.
The family social offices can help you work out how much maintenance needs to be paid, take action if a parent doesn’t pay the agreed amount and review the payments if your circumstances change.