The Kardashian/West split and child support law of Australia

The Kardashian/West split and child support law of Australia

The highly publicised divorce of businesswoman Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West (now known by his mononym ‘Ye’) was originally set to go to trial next month but has now reached a financial settlement.

The Kardashian/West settlement includes an agreement on the parenting of their four children and, despite Ye’s frequent public controversy, shared joint custody of the children.

West will therefore be responsible for 50% of the children’s healthcare and education costs. However, what drew more attention to the former couple’s agreement was that West will pay Kardashian an additional $200,000 every month in child support.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at the Basketball, smiling and looking at each other
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 12: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West talk from their courtside seats before the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

For those in the process of separation and who might be negotiating arrangements for the care of children, this news may raise some eyebrows.

The Australian and American family law systems are substantially different and you may be asking yourself things like, how much will I need to pay in child support? Or how much am I entitled to receive in child support? Those questions are understandable because the law is hard to navigate.

Dowson Turco Lawyers’ family lawyers have the expertise to answer those questions for you.

How is child support assessed?

The starting point is the Child Support Agency, Child support is usually calculated using Government formulas that consider various factors, including:

  1. each parent’s income;
  2. the parents’ combined income;
  3. each parents’ percentage of their combined income;
  4. the proportion of care each parent provides for the children;
  5. the proportion of child-raising costs already met by each parent;
  6. each parent’s child support percentage, which is their percentage of the combined income minus their contributions towards child-raising costs – if this amount is above zero, that parent will be responsible for paying child support.

The test also determines the child-raising costs, including how much is already being spent on the children, the number of children and their ages.

The final child support amount is the child support percentage multiplied by the children’s costs. If both parents need to pay child support, the larger amount will offset the smaller amount.

The effect of this formula is that generally the higher-income parent will be responsible for paying child support, unless they offset their income by contributing more to the child-raising costs already.

You can view more information about how child support is calculated, including in relation to you and your former partner’s combined income, on the Services Australia website.

Child support agreements

Parents do not need to pay child support as assessed by the child support agency if they reach an alternative agreement. This is known as a Child Support Agreement or (CSA) which can be both binding and limited in nature.

For a binding child support agreement to be valid, both parties must engage legal representatives who will draft and prepare the agreement, setting out the details of child support payments. The lawyers will also independently advise their clients. Legal advice must set out the various advantages and disadvantages of entering into the proposed agreement.

Alternatively, a limited child support agreement will not require independent legal advice, but the parties must undergo a child support assessment. Limited agreements are generally more appropriate for smaller payments, or the payment of specific costs such as a child’s school fees or healthcare expenses.

Further enquiries

While you are probably not talking about child support of $200,000 a month, Dowson Turco Lawyers’ family lawyers can always assist, no matter how large or small the property pool is.   Call us on 8000 7300 or email us at