Working out arrangements for sharing the cost of raising children is one of the things you need to consider after separation. Parents must provide financial support for their children. If you have children who live with someone else (all or some of the time), you may need to help with the cost of that person caring for and raising your children. This is called paying child support.
You are responsible for giving financial support to your children, even if:
- you never lived with the other parent
- you do not live or spend time with the children, or
- you are an adoptive parent for the children.
Child support is usually paid for each child until they turn 18 years old. It can be extended to when a child finishes secondary school, if they turn 18 before they graduate. You might be able to stop paying child support earlier if a child becomes independent, gets married or is part of a de facto relationship.
In special cases, a parent might need to continue to provide financial support for children when they are adults or have become independent. This is called paying child maintenance.
This section has information on child support and child maintenance. Find out:
- what help you can get about child support
- how child support payments are set and collected, and
- what you can do if there is doubt about who are the parents of a child.