Child Support Payment
Check your Child Support account
The Child Support Info Service is an automated telephone service that gives receiving parents information about their Child Support payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To use this service you need your Child Support Reference Number and your Personal Identification Number. Call 131 107.
You can transfer Child Support payments privately or ask us to do it for you, once you have had a Child Support assessment or have registered an agreement or court order with us.
Paying Child Support privately (private collect)
Once a Child Support assessment has been made, you and the other parent can work out the most convenient way for payments to be made between yourselves.
You then need to agree how often transfers will be made (for example, weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and how they will be made (for example, cash, bank transfer or salary deduction).
Collection of Child Support payments
If you ask us to do it for you, we will collect and transfer the Child Support from the paying parent to the receiving parent. This can be done once a Child Support assessment has been made and we have received the payments from the paying parent.
If you are a paying parent, you can choose to make weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments to us and how you will make them. The payment options include direct credit, BPay, credit/debit cards using Government EasyPay, employer deductions, lodgement at an Australia Post office or by mail.
We then pay the receiving parent directly into an Australian bank account or by cheque. If one parent lives or is moving overseas, we may still be able to collect and transfer the Child Support payments. However, the way payments are transferred will depend on your situation.
If you have arranged Child Support independently, you and the other parent will have decided when and how Child Support should be paid. However, information and help is available if you need it.
You need to know
Estimating your Child Support payments
You may want to estimate what your Child Support payments might be. To help you, we have a range of tools available online.
Estimating your income for Child Support payments
Child Support payments are based on an assessment of your adjusted taxable income (last year of relevant income) from a previous year. If your last year of relevant income is no longer an accurate reflection of your current income, you may be eligible to lodge an estimate of your income if:
- your current Child Support assessment uses an adjusted taxable income from your previous tax return, or
- your current Child Support assessment uses an adjusted taxable income that you have previously advised us, and
- your current adjusted taxable income has reduced by 15 per cent or more than the income used in the Child Support assessment.
If you have already lodged an estimate for this financial year, you can also lodge a new estimate for a different amount.
You may not be able to lodge an estimate if your assessment is based on one of the following:
- an agreement
- a determination made under the change of assessment process
- a court order.
To find out more about your options, including how to lodge an estimate, call us on 131 272. You can lodge an ‘Estimate of income’ form using Child Support Online Services (currently known as CSAonline)
Overdue Child Support payments
There are a number of reasons why a Child Support payment may be overdue.
Provisional income and Child Support
Provisional income is used when you do not have an income assessed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). It is based on:
- a derived income—where we work out a 'reasonable approximation' of your income using all available income information for the required year. If we do not have this information we will use a deemed income.
- a deemed income—where we work out your income using your last ATO-assessed income indexed in line with wages growth. If we do not have your last ATO-assessed income we will use a default income.
- a default income—where we index the most recently available ATO income and compare it to two-thirds of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (2/3 MTAWE), using the higher of the two. If no ATO income is available, we will use 2/3 MTAWE.
Payment methods for Child Support
There are a number of ways to make your Child Support payments.
Collection and enforcement methods for Child Support
We use enforcement when there is little or no evidence of a parent’s commitment to meeting their Child Support responsibilities or there is evidence of fraud.
Child Support Private Collect
Private Collect is when Child Support is paid in a manner agreed by both parents under their own arrangement.
Collection of Child Support payments
We can collect and transfer Child Support payments between parents.
Lodging your tax return and Child Support
Lodging your tax return on time will ensure your Child Support payments accurately reflect your financial circumstances. All parents need to lodge a tax return or tell us their income.
If you do not lodge a tax return and we cannot work out your income from other information, we will use a provisional income to assess your Child Support. We do this by indexing your most recent Australian Tax Office (ATO) assessed income in line with wages growth.
If you lodge your tax return late and we have used a provisional income to make a Child Support assessment, we may not be able to backdate some income changes to your assessment if your ATO income is lower.
If you are not required to lodge a tax return, then you must lodge a Request for Taxable Income Details form on Child Support Online Services (currently known as CSAonline) and contact us to let us know.
The Child Support Guide
The Child Support Guide tells you about how we administer the Child Support Scheme.
The Parent’s Guide to Child Support
The Parent’s Guide to Child Support has relevant and important information to help you understand Child Support, your rights and responsibilities and the services we offer.
Me and my changing family
The Me and my changing family booklet provides tips on building healthy relationships after separation.