Minimum and fixed child support assessments

A minimum amount is payable under each child support assessment. A fixed assessment applies to a paying parent who reports a low taxable income.

Minimum and fixed child support assessments

A minimum amount is payable under each child support assessment. A fixed assessment applies to a paying parent who:

  • reports a low taxable income
  • did not receive income support in the last relevant year of income (the financial year that ended before the start date of the relevant child support period), and
  • does not have shared care of at least one of the children in the assessment

If you can show that you are genuinely on a low income, and you either choose not to access income support or are not eligible to receive income support payments, you may submit an application for fixed annual rate not to be used form.

The minimum and fixed assessment rates of child support are indexed annually.

Minimum assessments

Paying parents will pay the minimum payment if they receive income support, have less than regular care of their child and an income of less than the self support amount.

The minimum rate of child support is indexed annually and you will be advised in writing of the new amount.

If your income is less than the minimum assessment amount, you may be eligible to have your child support assessment reduced to nil. Complete the application to reduce minimum assessment to nil form.

If you are on income support and have 2 or more child support assessments

If you have child support assessments for more than one family, you will pay the minimum amount per week per assessment. This ensures children won’t miss out because of a parent’s other child support cases.

If you have child support assessments for more than 3 families, the total amount you will pay will be limited to 3 times the minimum amount, per week. This will be divided equally between the families.

If you are on income support and have regular care of your child

If you have at least 52 nights a year regular care of your child, you do not need to pay the minimum to that family because you already meet some of the child’s costs directly through care.

If you are on income support and are returning to work

To help paying parents move from income support to work, the minimum payment of child support can continue for at least 28 days after you return to work.

After 28 days, your child support may be reassessed to take into account your higher income.

If you are on income support 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.

You can contact us to talk about the options available to you with relation to these deductions.

Fixed assessments

If you are a paying parent who reports a low taxable income and are not receiving income support, you may be required to pay a set amount per child per week. Where there are more than 3 children, the amount is capped. This is called a fixed assessment.

Fixed assessments address the situation where parents minimise their taxable income in a way that does not fairly represent their true income or real capacity to pay child support.

The total amount per child is still payable if the parent has less than 35% shared care of one of the children in the assessment. If a parent has a higher percentage of care, this amount is not payable because the parent is directly contributing to the child’s support through care.

If your income is genuinely low

If you received an income support payment in the last financial year that ended before the start date of the relevant child support period, you will have a minimum assessment.

If you do not claim income support, for example because your new partner supports you, you can apply for the fixed assessment. You will need to demonstrate that your income is genuinely low.

Page last updated: 22 August 2016

This information was printed Monday 5 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/minimum-and-fixed-child-support-assessments 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.