Payment methods for child support
There are a number of ways to make a child support payment.
Self management and Private Collect payment methods
If you use self management or Private Collect to manage your child support, both parents must agree how to make payments between yourselves. You don't need to tell us about your plans, but you both need to understand and agree to them.
It's important that you keep records to show the payment was for child support, including:
- who received the payment and when
- who the payment was for
- how much was paid
These are some of the most common payment methods for self management or Private Collect. You should check with your bank or credit union to see if they charge fees for these options.
|Cash||Keep all receipts and records.|
|Bank transfer||Include 'child support' in the description field of these transfers so it appears on the bank statement.|
|Salary deduction||If you’re the paying parent, you can ask your employer to deduct child support payments from your pay, and transfer to the receiving person’s bank account.
Talk to your employer to see if this option is available and ask them to record the transfer as 'child support'.
|Personal cheque||Find out from your bank or credit union how long a personal cheque will take to clear.|
|Money order or financial institution cheque||You can get a money order from Australia Post, or a financial institution cheque from your bank or credit union.
Check if there are fees for these options.
Child Support Collect payment methods
If you use Child Support Collect to manage your child support payments, you can choose from the payment methods below.
|Payment option||Details||You will need|
|We ask your employer to automatically deduct child support payments from your salary, wage or contract payment.
You can also request this free payment option - it's an easy way to make your payments.
It can take us some time to set up employer deductions. We need to give your employer written notice and some time to adjust their payroll systems. You'll need to use another payment option until deductions are set up.
|BPAY®||Make your payment from your nominated bank to us through phone or internet banking. BPAY payments can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
®Registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518
BPAY details are on your payer account statement.
|Bank transfer||You can transfer funds from your nominated bank or credit union account to our bank account.||
You must use your 16 digit payment reference number without spaces as your payment reference. You can find this number on your payer account statement. This ensures your payment is made correctly and on time. You'll also need:
Account Name: Department of Human Services
|BillPay||You can make a payment at any branch of Australia Post using the BillPay facility.||You'll need a payment advice slip, located on your payer account statement, to make these payments. Australia Post will give you a receipt - keep it for your records.|
|Credit or debit card||You can pay through the Government EasyPay system using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. Payments can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online or over the phone.
There are fees to use this service. Details about fees are available on the Government EasyPay website.
Before using this service, you should consider if this is the best and most cost effective payment option for you to pay child support. You should also seek financial support if you’re unsure of the best option for your current situation.
To make a payment you'll need:
|Express Plus Child Support mobile app||You can pay through the Express Plus Child Support mobile app using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You'll incur a card payment fee to use this service.
To make a payment you will need:
|You can send us a cheque or money order.||
You need to make each cheque or money order payable to the Department of Human Services, Child Support. Attach the payment advice slip, located on your payer account statement, with your payments. This ensures your payment is made correctly and on time.
Send mail payments to:Department of Human Services
Locked Bag 11
Melbourne VIC 8006
|Deductions from income support payments||We can deduct your child support directly from payments you get from us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs.||Call us for more information.|
Even if we collect and transfer payments for you, sometimes you can make payments we recognise as child support. We refer to these types of payments as non-agency payments.
If you both agree a payment was made towards child support
We can credit 2 types of payments:
- direct payments - these are payments made by the paying parent to the receiving person, and
- third party payments - these are payments made by the paying parent to a third party for the benefit of the receiving person
Examples of third party payments include:
- food, clothing and household goods
- rent and mortgage payments
- health insurance or payments for essential medical or dental items
- school fees, tuition or child care expenses
- loan, credit card or store account repayments
- travel or holiday expenses
- the children's or receiving person's household bills such as gas, electricity, phone or council rates
- motor vehicle expenses
- sports, coaching fees or other sporting expenses, and
- non-cash payments, such as a transfer of property or providing services, such as household repairs
You can request a credit for a payment made towards child support by contacting us.
If one of you don't agree a payment was made towards child support
We can count some payments as child support even if the customer receiving child support doesn’t agree. We call these types of payments prescribed non-agency payments.
As long as the paying parent continues paying 70% of their normal monthly child support payment on time, we can credit up to 30% of the monthly payment as a prescribed non-agency payment. We’ll keep crediting 30% of the monthly payment each month until the full value of the prescribed non-agency payment has been credited.
Prescribed non-agency payments can be for:
- child care costs
- school fees
- school uniform and book fees
- essential medical and dental items
- the receiving customer's share of rent
- utilities and rates
- some motor vehicle costs
We only credit these if the paying parent has less than 14% care for any children in the assessment. This is because if you have more than 14% care of any of the children, we acknowledge you contribute to the cost of raising them through regular care. Read more about how your percentage of care affects your child support payments.
Jodie and Phillip have 2 children, Steven and Gemma. Jodie, the paying parent, pays $200 a month in child support to Phillip.
Jodie pays $600 in school fees to the children's primary school and asks us to credit the payment as child support. Phillip doesn't agree the payment of school fees should count as child support.
However, because payment of school fees is a prescribed non-agency payment, Phillip's agreement isn't required.
Jodie has less than 14% care of the children. In this situation, we can credit the school fees payment as long as Jodie pays 70% of her normal child support payment every month.
Over the next few months, Jodie pays $140 a month by the due date which is 70% of her monthly child support payment. The remainder of her monthly payment, $60, is credited until the whole $600 credit for the school fees has been used.
Child support and spousal maintenance income
Child support and spousal maintenance may include:
- cash payments, including lump sums
- non-cash amounts, and
- payments made to third parties, such as payments for mortgage, rent or school fees
Spousal maintenance counts as income for some types of income support payments.
For Family Tax Benefit Part A purposes:
- child support means financial support you get from a child's parent, and
- spousal maintenance means financial support you get from an ex‑partner
- to support you, or a child not in your ex-partner's care, and it's included in the parental income test, and
- to support your partner or a child not in your ex-partner's care, and it's included in the partner income test
For Assistance for Isolated Children payment purposes, child support and spousal maintenance means financial support you get from an ex‑partner:
- to support you or a child not in your ex-partner's care, and it's included in the parental income test