Child Support

Child Support

The department assists separating and separated families to ensure their children are supported through the Child Support Scheme. This includes working with other government departments and community agencies to make sure that separated parents have access to the range of support services available.

Child support assessment, registration, collection and disbursement services are provided to parents and non-parent carers such as grandparents, legal guardians or other family members. We also provide separated parents with a range of referral services and products to help them with their child support needs. The person entitled to receive support payments can elect to transfer child support privately (Private Collect) or ask the department to transfer the payments (Child Support Collect).

Child Support transfers

In 2015-16 the department worked with separated parents to transfer $3.5 billion to support approximately 1.2 million children. This is the same as in 2014-15.

Table 33: Amount of child support transferred between parents1
Total child support transferred 2013-14
$ billion
2014-15
$ billion
2015-16
$ billion
Child Support Collect 1.5 1.5 1.5
Private Collect2 2.0 2.0 2.0
Total 3.5 3.5 3.5

1. Numbers in this table have been rounded.

2. The amount of Private Collect transferred assumes 100% of Private Collect is collected.

Private Collect

The department encourages separated parents to manage their child support responsibilities independently through Private Collect arrangements. In 2015-16, 52.6% of cases used Private Collect arrangements. This compares to 53% in 2014-15 and 53.3% in 2013-14.

Child Support Collect

Parents can ask the department to collect and transfer their child support.

In 2015-16, $1.5 billion was collected. This is the same as in 2014-15. See Table 33.

Table 34 outlines the percentage of child support debt under a payment arrangement.

Table 34: Percentage of child support debt under an arrangement
  2013-14
%
2014-15
%
2015-16
%
Child support debt under an arrangement 40.5 39.1 37.4

Active paying parents with debt under arrangement and without debt

Active paying parents are responsible for paying child support in at least one active child support case, not including cases that ended with arrears. Of all active paying parents 76.3% had no debt at the end of June 2016 compared to 75.8% at the end of June 2015.

The remaining active paying parents had an outstanding child support debt. Of these 51.8% had a payment arrangement in place in 2015-16 compared to 51.9% in 2014-15.

Table 35 below shows the percentage of active paying parents who do not have a child support debt, as a proportion of all active paying parents. It also shows the percentage of active paying parents with a child support debt and a payment arrangement in place, expressed as a proportion of all active paying parents with a child support debt. The department focuses on reducing debt through its compliance and enforcement programmes.

Table 35: Active paying parents with debt under arrangement and without debt
  2013-14
%
2014-15
%
2015-16
%
Active paying parents without debt 75.7 75.8 76.3
Active paying parents with a child support
debt which is under a payment arrangement
51.1 51.9 51.8

Change of assessment and objections to child support decisions

In 2015-16 the number of parents applying for a change of assessment fell by 4.7% from 18,092 in 2014-15 to 17,232 in 2015-16.

The number of objections to change of assessment decisions decreased 5.5% from 3,056 in 2014-15 to 2,888 in 2015-16. Parents who object to child support decisions, including change of assessment, can expect to have a final decision within 60 days for domestic customers and 120 days for international customers.

Page last updated: 18 November 2016

This information was printed Friday 9 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/corporate/annual-reports/annual-report-2015-16/part-2-report-performance/child-support It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.