Minimum and fixed child support assessments
A minimum or fixed amount is paid under each child support assessment.
Fixed child support assessments
A fixed annual rate is a set amount of child support payable for a child. The fixed amount is paid by a paying parent who:
- reports a low taxable income, and
- didn’t receive an income support payment in the last relevant year of income, and
- doesn’t have at least shared care of the child
If a parent pays the fixed annual rate for more than 3 children, the amount is capped at 3 times the fixed annual rate. If they pay the fixed annual rate to more than one person, the amount is divided between the receiving parents.
The fixed annual rate child support for child support periods starting from 1 January 2017 is $1390.
You can apply for the fixed annual rate not to be used in your assessment if you can show:
- you genuinely have a low income, and
- you choose not to access, or aren’t eligible, to receive an income support payment, and
- it would be unfair to expect you to pay the fixed annual rate
Minimum child support assessments
A paying parent must usually pay at least the minimum annual rate of child support. Paying parents will pay this for each of their child support cases if they:
- receive an income support payment
- have less than regular care of all of the children in the child support case, and
- have income less than the self support amount
The minimum rate of child support for child support periods starting from 1 January 2017 is $420.
If your income is less than the minimum assessment amount, you may be eligible to have your child support assessment reduced to nil. Apply using the Application to reduce minimum assessment to nil form.
If you pay the minimum rate and have 2 or more child support assessments
If you pay the minimum rate to 2 or more families you’ll pay the minimum annual rate for each case.
If you have child support cases for more than 3 families, the total amount you’ll pay is capped at 3 times the minimum annual rate. The amount to pay is divided between the families.
If you pay the minimum rate and your income increases
The minimum rate of child support can continue for up to 28 days after you’d otherwise be assessed to pay more child support. After 28 days, we’ll reassess your child support to take into account your new circumstances.
If you receive an income support payment and owe child support
If you have an outstanding child support amount or pay child support to more than one other parent, we can deduct up to 3 times the minimum payment amount from your income support payment.
This can continue until all the child support you owe is recovered or for any period that you need to pay child support.
Call us to talk about the options available to you with relation to these deductions.