An agreement about child support payments where both parties obtain independent legal advice.

What you need to do

With a binding child support agreement, you can agree on an amount that is more or less than the amount that would be payable under a child support assessment.

Both parents must seek independent legal advice. If you don’t seek legal advice and are able to make agreement with the other parent, you can get a limited child support agreement.

As a parent, you must:

Get legal advice

You’ll need:

  • advice from a registered legal professional
  • a legal certificate signed by a legal professional
  • to attach the legal certificate to the agreement
  • a statement in your agreement that you got legal advice before signing the agreement

We recommend legal providers give us a draft agreement before it’s signed so we can check that:

  • it satisfies the legal requirements
  • it can be administered by the department

We won’t accept your agreement without a valid legal certificate for each parent.

Get a child support assessment

This only applies if you want a lump sum agreement. You don’t need a child support assessment to make any other type of binding agreement.

Read more about child support assessments.

Payment amount

Payment can be any amount, but both parties must agree.

Payment type

Payments can be cash or non-cash items, such as school fees or health insurance.

Lump sum payments

You must have a child support assessment before we’ll accept an agreement.

A lump sum payment can be:

  • cash, or
  • the value of a transferred asset

The amount must be equal to or greater than the annual child support rate payable under the child support assessment. We’ll credit the amount against your child support rate each year until the credit runs out. We can credit 100% or you can set a lower percentage.

At the end of each year’s assessment, we’ll credit the lump sum payment against the liability that was payable for the previous year. We’ll index the lump sum amount left over using the Consumer Price Index.

Once the lump sum has been used up, the paying parent will need to pay their regular child support payments in line with the child support assessment or agreement that is in force at that time.

How binding child support agreements affect your family payments

You can agree on amounts less than the child support assessment. If this happens, we’ll still use your child support assessment to calculate your Family Tax Benefit. We call this a notional assessment.

We’ll make a notional assessment after we accept your agreement. The notional assessment is the child support that would apply if you didn’t have an agreement. It is used to assess the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A you receive. Read more about notional assessments.   

How to end a binding child support agreement

To end your current agreement, you must make a new one that either replaces the current one or terminates the current one.

If you aren’t able to agree, you can apply for a court order to set aside your agreement. These court applications can be costly and complex.

Please seek legal advice for more information about ending an agreement.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018