Separated Couples: Child Maintenance Arrangements and Payments

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Parents are legally responsible for the financial needs and security of their children after separation and divorce even if you do not see them or if agreement about access to the children happened separately. Visitation and child maintenance are separate issues in the eyes of the court.

Child maintenance (child support) is for the welfare of the children. This is paid by the non custodial parent (usually the father) to the mother who has day to day care of the children. A child has a right to maintenance from their parents and action can be taken by the custodial parent to claim maintenance for the children.

You can make financial arrangements with your former spouse for the care of your children. This entails sending money for their upkeep to the parent who is the primary carer often monthly to enhance their well-being and safeguard their future. Do not allow your children suffer. You can create an agreement between yourselves or get help to make one. This way you ensure your children are safe and healthy even though you are not living in the same house.


Family – based Arrangements

Private agreement between you and the other parent on arrangements for your child. You work out your own financial arrangements for the child and reach an agreement. You can come to your own agreement about financial support for your children. You can agree between yourselves how much child maintenance should be paid, how and when it should be made.

If you are finding it difficult to come to an agreement or the private arrangement breaks down, you can go to mediation, you both have to be willing to go to mediation or go to court to enforce the right of the child for an order of maintenance.


Getting Help to Reach Agreements 

Mediation for separated parents to resolve disputes and agree on child arrangements without going to court. Parents sort out differences following separation with the help of a neutral third party mediator, come to their own agreement while focusing on the needs of their children.

Mediation is a confidential process, quicker and less stressful than going to court. The process promotes parental responsibility so that children receive maintenance from parents even if they live in separate households. The mediator. helps parents make decisions about financial support for the children.

The mediator facilitates discussions between both parents, helps them work out their parenting arrangements and reach an agreement. Free family mediation.


Getting Help to Enforce Payments 

Social welfare Payments. Child support enforcement services. Getting payments without sharing your location. Custodial parents and children obtain financial support from the non-residential parent to enhance the well-being of children. They get help to locate absent parents and enforce support obligations. Services are available to a parent with custody of a child who has a parent living outside of the home.

Survivors of family violence can access child support services safely. If you feel at risk talking to the other parent because a private agreement would involve being in contact or 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 the other parent if you have experienced violence. You can seek help to collect payments through the social welfare office and can help in the calculation of the amount and enforcement. It will take action if a parent fails to make financial provision for their children.

Social Welfare Department/Child Rights Enforcement