Child support responsibilities if you enter prison

If you enter prison, a number of things will change that we need to know about. This will make sure your child support assessment is accurate.

If you don’t let us know you’ve gone to prison, you may have to pay more child support or build up a debt. You might have to pay back child support you’ve been paid. In most cases, we can only change your assessment from the date you tell us your change in circumstances.

Changes we need to know about if you enter prison are:

  • your address – we may need to contact you while you’re in prison
  • your income – your income may change when you enter prison and this means your child support assessment will change:
    • in most cases, if your income drops by more than 15%, we can reassess your child support payments and you may be able to pay less
    • you also need to tell us about any income and allowances you earn in prison, including investments or income outside of prison, to make sure you’re paying the right amount
    • we’ll assess you on your income from previous years until you tell us about your changed circumstances and lodge an income estimate
  • your children's care – if you provided at least regular care for your children before going into prison, your assessment may need to change

Getting someone else to deal with us on your behalf while you are in prison

If you’re entering prison, you can authorise another person or organisation to make enquiries about your child support case, represent you in dealings with us or provide information about you to us. Use the Child Support Representative authority form to nominate someone or call us.

Telling the other parent

We won’t tell the other parent if you’re in prison. We must, however, tell them if your child support assessment is reduced or if you’ve made a successful application to reduce your assessment to nil.

We won’t provide specific information about why this has happened.

Read more about changing your child support assessment in special circumstances.

Page last updated: 29 December 2016

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