The Family Law Specialists

child support

The Child Support (Assessment) Act provides that the primary carer of a child or children can apply for child support from the other parent.

The Scheme is administered by the Department of Social Services and delivered by the Department of Human Services. It is based on the principles of parental responsibility for the wellbeing of children and aims to allocate costs of raising children in separated families between parents and the Government.

The Scheme uses an administrative formula to calculate appropriate payments, it uses an income shares approach and is based on research about how much it costs to raise children in Australia.

The formula:

  • Uses the combined income of both parents;
  • Recognises both parents’ contributions to the cost of children through care;
  • Calculates payments based on the cost of raising children appropriate to the incomes of both parents.

If one parent believes the formula calculations are not fair or do not reflect a special circumstance, they may make an application for a change of assessment. A broader look can then be taken at the family situation and any unique special circumstances.

Payments

Payments can be transferred privately, or they can be collected by the Department of Human Services. If payments are not made voluntarily, the Department can enforce collection a number of ways:

  • Deducting from a parent’s wage;
  • Intercepting tax returns;
  • Collecting from third parties (banks);
  • Deducting from government payments;
  • Litigation

If your relationship has broken down and you need assistance understanding how child support works and would like support to negotiate and reach an agreement, call our team. We can provide advice on the best options for you and your family, take away the stress and worry that you may be facing and endeavour to reduce conflict in the family.