Our services

Trusted child support lawyer Melbourne

Our experienced team of child support lawyers are here to offer tailored legal advice so you can reach your desired outcome.

Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2021Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2022Carew Counsel awarded Doyle family law firm of 2023
Carew Counsel Solicitors staff in meeting with client at meeting table
Carew Counsel Solicitors staff in discussion at meeting table
Carew Counsel Family law firm icon
Specialist family law firm

We have 40+ years of experience dealing with family law matters.

Carew Counsel Client first icon
Client focused

Get the help, guidance, and legal support you need to move forward.

Carew Counsel Award winning icon
Commendable service

We’re ranked in the top five family law firms in Melbourne.

Open and upfront

We will clearly outline expectations and a quote for legal fees following your initial consultation.

Our child support experts in discussion

Prioritising your child’s best interests

The child support scheme refers to the financial support provided by one parent to the other for the care of their children post-separation. Administered by the Child Support Agency (CSA), payments are calculated based on parents' incomes, care arrangements, and the number of children.

At Carew Counsel, our child support lawyers will help you navigate this situation with care and consideration, so you and your family can move forward. We provide tailored legal advice and outcome-focused solutions so you can reach your desired resolution as soon as possible. Book a confidential consultation with one of our child support lawyers to learn more.

Our awards and memberships

Our child support services

How we support you

Dealing with child support matters can lead to a lot of stress and tension between partners. Our aim is to provide support, guidance, and advice to help you reach the best possible resolution. Here are some of the matters we can assist you with.

Child support assessment

Our team can negotiate private child support assessments which determine financial contributions the non-custodial parent must make to the custodial parent.

Child support agreement

We can draft limited and binding child support agreements which are arrangements made between parents to determine financial support for their children. 

Child support payments

We can review your child support payments and apply to have them reassessed by the Child Support Agency or help you enter into a private arrangement.

Adult child maintenance  

If applicable, we can help you request financial support for a child over 18 to assist with education, living expenses, or other financial needs.

Make an enquiry

Get started by discussing your situation with a family law expert.

When to consult with child support lawyers

When children are involved in a separation or divorce, it’s important to prioritise their best interests, especially their financial wellbeing. While parents can arrange child support without the help of a lawyer, it is recommended that you seek legal advice to protect your rights and review your agreement. This can also be beneficial should circumstances ever change in the future and your non-binding child support agreement be disputed.

Whether your case is straightforward or complex, we can help make sure that your child is financially supported as per their entitlement.

Benefits of engaging a child support lawyer

Dealing with child support matters can be a challenge in any circumstance. A skilled lawyer can take some of the pressure off by working towards an outcome that is favourable to all parties. At Carew Counsel, we can help by:

  • Drafting your child support agreement
  • Assisting with child support applications
  • Reviewing your child support payments 
  • Liaising with the Child Support Agency on your behalf
  • Offering tailored legal assistance 
  • Informing you of your rights as per the Child Support Assessment Act
Our child support experts in discussion
Getting started

Our solution-focused process

1

Make an enquiry

One of our friendly team members will collect some details about your situation so they can match you with the most appropriate lawyer.

2

Meet with a family law expert, online or in person

During a 90-minute appointment, one of our highly experienced family lawyers will ask you more about your situation so they can determine the best path forward.

3

Consider your options

With a roadmap in place, your lawyer will then break down the fees, giving you a transparent quote for the legal services discussed.

The Carew Counsel team together
success stories

Client testimonials

Hear from our satisfied clients across Victoria.

"I highly recommend Carew Counsel Solicitors for anyone seeking a dedicated and knowledgeable solicitor for family law matters. Madison Ogilvie excelled in her communication, ensuring I was kept informed every step of the way. Although it got stressful, Madison's professionalism was top-notch."

Shawn C
Melbourne

"In what was a difficult time to go through, I'm thankful that I had the team at Carew in my corner. I received sound advice all the way through the process and felt proud of the dignified way that my case was being responded to. I would certainly recommend Madison and the team at Carew for their professionalism, experience, integrity and dedicated service."

Scott M
Melbourne

"10 Stars! Very happy & relieved that I chose Alex Carew & Carew Counsel for a family member in an extremely concerning & complicated Family Court/child protection matter. Highly professional, ethical, respectful, knowledeable, hard working, strategic, collaborative, communicative, caring, compassionate & child & family welfare focused. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us protect our little child."

Cygnet S
Melbourne

"I would like to thank and acknowledge all the team at Carew Counsel Solicitors for representing me in my recent financial settlement matter. I highly recommend that you engage Carew Counsel Solicitors to represent you in your family law matter."

Frank G
Melbourne
Carew Counsel reception

Why choose Carew Counsel

We’re human

Our caring team will support you through the process with sensitivity and compassion.

Experts in child support law

We have 40+ years of child support experience and advocate for you to achieve your desired outcome.

We speak your language

We avoid lawyer-speak, laying everything out simply so you can make the best decision for your family.

Upfront & honest

We’re transparent about our legal fees so you know what to expect when you engage our services.

Meet the team

Meet your team of child support experts

FAQs

Browse our most commonly asked questions about child custody and the family law services we offer.

What does the child support process involve?

Following your initial phone consultation, one of our family law specialists will meet with you for 90 minutes to find out more about your situation, discuss your options, and explain the process. 

If you or your partner already pay child support, we can review the payments to ensure the amount is accurate. If you choose to apply for a binding child support agreement or departure order, we can provide legal advice and representation. If needed, we can engage in negotiations or mediation with the other parent to reach a voluntary agreement on child support terms.

What does child support cover?

From a legal standpoint, there are no specifics around exactly what child support should cover, but it typically includes expenses such as:

  • Food, clothing, and housing
  • School fees, uniforms, and textbooks
  • Childcare
  • Healthcare and insurance
  • Extra-curricular activities
How much child support should I pay?

Services Australia have released a basic 8-step formula to help you calculate how much child support you should pay. It determines each parent’s:

  • Child support income
  • Combined income
  • Income percentage
  • Percentage of care
  • Cost percentage
  • Child support percentage

It then works out the cost of children based on your total income, before calculating the total child support amount. As this relies on data, there can be factors that aren’t taken into account; if you disagree with the outcome, reach out to our family lawyers who will be able to offer advice.

How is child support calculated in Victoria?

Child support in Victoria is assessed and collected by the Child Support Agency. Child support payments are assessed using a formula that takes into account the respective parents' income and the time that the child spends with each parent, among other factors. You can go onto the Department of Health and Human Services website and use the child support calculator to get an estimate of child support payments.

How do you formalise a child support agreement?

If you want your arrangements to be formalised, then you can enter into either a binding child support agreement or limited child support agreement. These are especially relevant if parents want to formalise non-periodic payments like school fees or health insurance payments which are not usually covered by a periodic child support assessment.

Binding child support agreements can only be entered into where both parents are represented by solicitors and have signed a certificate certifying that they have given advice on the advantages or disadvantages of entering into the agreement. It is difficult to discharge a binding child support agreement once you have entered it which is why you need to seek legal advice.

With a limited child support agreement, a child support assessment is issued and lasts for three years, after which the parties can renegotiate another agreement if they wish and can be discharged if the assessment changes by more than 15% from the previous year.

How do I dispute child support in Australia?

If you are unhappy with Services Australia’s decision, you can request an internal review or escalate to an external review which will be sent to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If you disagree with the decision made by the AAT, you can request a court appeal or judicial review. 

Our trained child support lawyers can help you navigate a dispute and provide legal advice on the best route to take.

Can you depart from a child support assessment?

Either parent can apply to depart from the child support assessment in special circumstances. 

For example, the parent liable to pay child support may encounter substantial or unusual expenses in spending time with the child because they live a considerable distance away from the other parent or because the child has special needs or because of disputes in the true nature of income of the other parent. If the child attends private school and one parent is paying private school fees, this may also be grounds for a departure from the child support assessment.

Parents will generally need to go through a departure application with the CSA to change an assessment. In some cases, an application may be made directly to court.

Knowledge Centre

Our Melbourne family law office

03 9670 5711
Level 10, 313 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5:30 pm
Wilson Parking on La Trobe St
Complete the enquiry form below and a member of our team will contact you and provide you with further information.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.