Changes of circumstances that affect your child support

Changes of circumstances may affect your child support assessment, so it’s important that you tell us as soon as possible.

If you don’t tell us when your circumstances change:

  • your payments may be delayed
  • you may pay more child support than you need to
  • you may have to return excess child support, or
  • you may miss important information

Changes to your contact information

You need to tell us when your contact details change, including your:

  • postal address
  • telephone number, or
  • email address, if you have one

If you have asked us to pay your child support into your bank account, you need to tell us when there are changes to your bank account details, including your:

  • bank account name
  • bank account number, and
  • BSB number

Changes to your income

It’s very important to make sure that we’re using the right income for you in your child support assessment.

Most child support assessments are based on the adjusted taxable income for the last completed financial year of income. You only need to call us to discuss your options if your current income is lower than the income used in your assessment. You may be able to estimate your income.

If your child support assessment is already based on your estimate of income, you need to tell us if your current income is higher or lower than the amount you estimated.

Read more about the income used in calculating child support payments.

You don’t have to tell us about changes to your income if you’re a non-parent carer. Non-parent carers include legal guardians, grandparents or other family members.

Read more about applying for child support as a non-parent carers.

Other changes that may affect your child support

You need to tell us if:

  • your child is turning 18 years of age and will remain in full-time secondary school after they turn 18 years of age
  • there’s a change to how much you care for your child, as your child support is affected by the percentage of care each parent provides
  • your child is legally adopted by another person
  • you and the other parent have another child together and want this child included in your child support assessment
  • your child marries or starts to live in a de facto or marriage-like relationship
  • you have another child with another person
  • you, the other parent or your children move overseas, because this may change your child support payments, or
  • a child, parent or non-parent carer dies

Changes to your relationships

If you have a child support assessment and you and the other parent decide to get back together, we can suspend your child support assessment. Your assessment can be suspended for up to 6 months. After 6 months, your child support assessment will end automatically. If you’re the receiving parent, you can ask us to end your assessment before 6 months has passed.

If you or the other parent have another child support assessment with someone else, your children who are living with you will be treated as relevant dependent children in that assessment.

Read more about child support assessments with second families.

If you separate again

If you separate again while your assessment is suspended, either parent can reinstate the assessment by telling us when you separate again. The paying parent will start child support payments again from the new date of separation.

If you separate again after 6 months, you’ll need to apply for a new child support assessment within 13 weeks of separating to get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Changes that affect your child support agreement

If you have a limited or binding child support agreement, you need to tell us about changes which can be reflected by any clauses you included in your child support agreement. For example, if your child support agreement includes an unemployment clause, you need to tell us if you become unemployed.

Page last updated: 9 December 2016

This information was printed Friday 24 March 2017 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.