A Binding Child Support Agreement (BCSA) is an agreement made between 2 parents in relation to child support after the parents separate.
In most cases a parent would contact the Child Support Agency and make an application for the other parent to pay child support. It can be privately collected by the applicant parent or the Child Support Agency can collect on your behalf and then pay you periodically.
However, child support does not usually cover other expenses like medical or dental or activities such as dancing or sports. Where the paying parent also agrees to pay for these activities, it is worthwhile asking a solicitor to draw up a BCSA.
It is not wise to sign one without legal advice as sometimes it is not in your best interests to sign this kind of document. It must be detailed with a percentage figure that each parent has to pay for each activity. If there are no details of what the payment covers then there is a possibility that the agreement may be overturned by a court for lack of clarity.
These agreements are usually drafted to assist with financial support of the children until they are 18 or have left high school and therefore the age of the children should be considered when drafting one as they are binding. A flat rate of child support is not advisable as incomes can change or the paying parent might lose their job and still be liable to pay.
Once an agreement is done, it is lodged with the Child Support Agency and then they no will longer collect child support on your behalf. The agreements are also hard to overturn so even though it may give you peace of mind to know exactly what you will be paid/paying, if there is a change of care of the child or you lose your job, it will not easily be overturned. Always seek legal advice before signing any such agreement.