Amendments to the Child Support (Assessment) Act that came into
effect on 1 July 2008 introduced 2 different types of Child Support
Agreements; being a Binding Child Support Agreement and a Limited
Child Support Agreement. Further, those amendments abolished the
provisions in the Act that enabled a party to seek variations to a
Child Support Agreement and instead provided that a Binding Child
Support Agreement could only be terminated.
The circumstances in which a party can seek to terminate a
Binding Child Support Agreement are limited.
Prior to 1 July 2008 the Child Support Agency "vetted"
all existing Child Support Agreements to determine whether those
agreements could be "transitioned" into the post 1 July
2008 Child Support regime. If so, those agreements have been
classified as a special type of Binding Child Support Agreement.
Such an agreement can no longer be varied and can only be
There have been a number of decisions of Federal Magistrates
since 1 July 2008 whereby "old" Child Support Agreements
have been terminated and where the Court took into account the fact
that the Agreement was a pre 1 July 2008 agreement.
1 July 2008 also saw the introduction of a totally different
formula for the calculation of child support.
If you are a party to a pre 1 July 2008 Child Support Agreement
that has been "transitioned" as a Binding Child Support
Agreement and you are financially disadvantaged as a consequence
because the amount of child support that you are paying pursuant to
the "old" agreement is more than you would be paying
under the post 1 July 2008 assessment formula or, under the
"old" agreement you are now receiving less than you would
be entitled to receive by way of child support post 1 July 2008,
you should investigate whether you could today commence proceedings
to have the "old" agreement terminated. If the
"old" agreement is terminated by the Court, the child
support that you would thereafter pay (or receive) would be
pursuant to the new child support formula for payment of periodic
child support. Alternatively you could negotiate a new limited or
binding agreement with your former spouse.
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The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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