If you and your partner agree to contribute financially towards your kids’ expenses above what the child-support agency (Department of Human Services) may calculate to be your legal obligations, you can make that financial-support agreement official and binding in one of two ways: a limited child support agreement (LSA), or a binding child support agreement (BCSA).

Perhaps the most significant differences between a LSA and a BCSA are:

There are a few important things to consider with regard to both LSAs and BCSAs:

  1. Your agreement should be registered with the child-support agency so it can be enforced.
  2. Before you sign your final LSA or BCSA, your draft agreement should be approved by the child-support agency.
  3. Get specific advice from a family lawyer about the enforceability of what your agreement says about non-periodic child-support expenses. These are those irregular expenses that crop up from time to time, for example, extracurricular activities, and medical and school expenses.
  4. Consider including clauses in your agreement that stipulate what’s to happen regarding your respective financial obligations for the children if either you or your partner become ill, unemployed, suffer an injury, die, or either income increases above or drops below a certain amount.
  5. Have a think about including clauses that cover how you and your partner are going to pay your kids’ expenses. When considering this, also think about the degree of interaction you’re prepared to have with one another going forward and whether there is trust between you.

Here are a few ideas:

It might be that you do one or a combination of the above ideas for different expenses, but it is important that you and your partner are both clear on how you’re actually going to carry out the agreement. There are benefits, risks, advantages and disadvantages to the above ideas that a lawyer is best placed to speak with you further about.

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