The Child Support Registrar, based at the Department of Human Services, administers Australia’s child support legislation. Child support assessments are calculated using a formula based on the number of children, age of the children, the amount of time they spend in each household, and the taxable incomes of the parents and carers.
Centrelink often requires people who apply for parenting payment and Family Tax benefit to also apply for a child support assessment.
You can apply to have the assessment reconsidered or changed if the Department is not aware of relevant information or has made a mistake. The child support assessment and review process is designed to work outside family courts, so there are limited circumstances when family courts decide child support. Beyond the internal review, the appeal processes for Western Australian children are different if the child’s parents were married to one another or not. We can advise you about the process to use.
Parents and carers can agree arrangements for child support, and take into account different issues than the Child Support Registrar does, or build in adjustments if care arrangements change. You can agree different payment methods, such as transfer of a car, or payment of a large instalment to cover a longer period of time, rather than paying weekly or monthly. These require binding agreements, and independent legal advice on these agreements is mandatory under the child support legislation.