If your children spend most of their time with you, you are likely to be entitled to child support payments. The amount of child support payable varies according to your specific circumstances and is decided upon and monitored by the Child Support Agency (now called the Department of Human Services).The amount of child support is worked out based on things such as the income of each of you, the cost of the care of the children and the percentage of time they spend with you.
How can I work out what child support I’m entitled to?
There is an online child support calculator provided by the Child Support Agency (Department of Human Services) which can help you estimate both your child support and family assistance payments. This is an estimation only, as the calculation is quite complex and tailored to your situation.
You might also benefit from reading the Parent’s Guide to Child Support.
What about other expenses?
Basic periodic child support payments are intended to cover basic costs only. These include things such as food, shelter and clothing for your children. If your children have other expenses such as special medical costs and private school fees these won’t usually form part of the basic periodic assessment. If agreement can’t be reached about payment of these you may need to apply to the court for what is known as a Child Support Departure Order.
Can I overturn a decision made by the Child Support Agency if it’s not fair?
Yes, you may be able to. You have the right to object to the decision within 28 days and then an internal review of the decision will take place within 60 days of the objection being filed.
You can also continue to appeal if the original decision was upheld by applying for a review through the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.
What if my ex-partner doesn’t pay?
The Department of Human Services has the power to investigate and enforce payment which includes the power to collect the payment from employers, the tax office and social security. It also has the power to stop people from leaving the country while there are outstanding payments.
We can help
Child support issued can be sensitive and difficult to work through, but we can help you find your way through the process and the legislation. Contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.