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Wed 12th October 2005

Australian fathers to pay less child support

Filed under: Child Support — JohnPotter @ 12:42 pm

Fathers will pay less for child support Sydney Morning Herald

Minimum child support payments are to be raised, but most fathers will find themselves paying less, after the federal cabinet approved the biggest revamp since the inception of the controversial system.

Instead of payments being calculated as a percentage of taxable income of the child support payer they will be based on the combined income of both parents. The changes could take effect as soon as July 1 next year.

The amount of time each parent spends caring for the children will also be taken into consideration and the cost of raising children will be assessed in two age groups – up to 12 years and 13 to 17 years. As a result, about 60 per cent of non-custodial parents – usually fathers – can expect their payments to be reduced.

The decision comes as the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, prepares to take amendments to the Family Law Act to Parliament, including the requirement that separating couples visit a counsellor at one of the new Family Relationship Centres in an attempt to settle their differences out of court.

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