If you have an ex-spouse who is not that great with money and seems to struggle with ensuring that the child support you pay goes to the kids needs, you may be interested in knowing how you can restructure your payments to minimise the amount you need to pay your ex.
Make agreed payments
If your ex-spouse is not great with money you can claim a credit for making payments on your child's behalf on an 'agreed' basis, such as school fees (including associated costs such as uniform fees, or school books) and other payments associated with the kids' wellbeing such as electricity payments, rents and rates. These need to be agreed with your spouse but you can always ensure that when you get requests from your spouse and agree to making the payments, you also get an agreement that these amounts will be deducted from the child support payments. Your spouse may be happy to operate this way, especially if they are not great at budgeting and struggle with making large irregular or annual payments.
Reduce your payments by your costs of raising the children
If you are taking on significant costs of raising your children, beyond the reasonable costs of providing care to the children when they are in the care, you can make an application to reduce the cost of care by the costs of the care you are taking on. This could include any large costs such as taking on responsibility for health insurance for the children, or taking on regular payments for required medical treatments. It can be useful to get a family lawyer to help engineer the application to the Child Support Agency for a reduction in child support.
Recognition of the income of your ex-spouse
Your child support calculation is also contingent on your ex-spouse's reported income. Particularly if your ex-spouse has a career that has a large portion of cash transactions which go unrecorded, or has structured their business income to avoid reporting personal income, you might feel they have a higher actual income than has been recognised by the Child Support Agency. An experienced family lawyer can help you work through how to report this issue to the Child Support Agency.
An experienced family lawyer can be an invaluable support to restructure your child support payments in a way that truly recognises the contribution each parent is making in supporting their children.