Custody of Children and Child Support - Should Ex Contribute More?

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8 September 2014
My ex husband is soon to be moving in with his girlfriend.

Currently he pays the bare minimum child support for our two children ($165 a week + half childcare costs), based on both our incomes and the amount of care he provides. As it is, I struggle to pay my rent, child care payments and daily expenses!

If he moves in with her, his disposable income increases dramatically - he will have to pay half rent, half bills etc since he will be sharing the house with her. He has told me that he will not pay any more child support once this happens.

He also says when he moves in with her, he will be moving to a big house to contain her and take custody of children, whereas I will most likely have to move to a smaller, older apartment as I am struggling to pay rent as it is. In my eyes, this means the standard of living for the kids will differ between me and my ex. He can also afford to bring them on holidays, etc. with all this extra disposable income which I can't.

Do I have any chance of arguing that he should contribute more towards the children under family law?



Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Have you called the child support agency to have a child support assessment done?

Basically, yes, you could pursue a departure from the assessed child support amount, but whether or not you would succeed is a different story.

Only the taxable income of the biological parents is considered in child support assessments, so partners and their contributions to their lifestyle are excluded from the equation.

Further, child support isn't paid to cover the other parent's rent and other living expenses. Such payments would be spousal maintenance, also a difficult order to have made because you would need to show significant financial hardship as a result of the marriage (rather than because you're not working or because the children live with you, etc.). Instead, child support covers the costs that exist even when the child is not in your care, such as school fees and uniforms. Costs like food, clothes, rent, etc. are day-to-day costs imposed when the child is in your care and thus, expected to be covered by you (and same for the father).

Hope this helps.