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 on how payments will be made. 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, and
- how much the payment was
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 as a description when making a bank transfer so it appears on the bank statement.|
If you’re the paying parent, you can ask your employer to deduct payments from your pay. They’ll then be able to transfer them to the receiving person’s bank account.
|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.
Child Support Collect payment methods
If you use Child Support Collect to manage your child support, you can choose from different payment methods.
|Payment option||Details||You will need|
A free payment option, that can be an easy way to make your payments.
|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
Your reference number is on your payer account statement.
|Bank transfer||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 reference description. You can find this number on your payer account statement. This ensures your payment is made correctly and on time.
Account Name: Department of Human Services
|BillPay||You can pay 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. You can make a payment 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 your 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:
Then log on to the Express Plus Child Support mobile app
|You can send us a cheque or money order.||
You need to make your 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 payment. This ensures your payment is made correctly.
Send mail payments to:Department of Human Services
Locked Bag 11
Melbourne VIC 8006
|Deductions from income support payments||We can deduct your payment directly from the 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 other payments we recognise as child support. We call these types of payments, non-agency payments. They can be credited towards your normal child support payment. It’s important you discuss these types of payments with the other parent before making any so you know if they agree the payment will be counted as child support.
If you both agree a payment was made towards child support
We can credit 2 types of non-agency payments:
- direct payments made by the paying parent to the receiving parent, and
- third party payments made by the paying parent to a third party for the benefit of the receiving parent
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 non-agency payment by contacting us.
If one of you don't agree a payment was made towards child support
We can credit some non-agency payments as child support even if the receiving person doesn’t agree. We call this a 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 their child support as a prescribed non-agency payment. We’ll keep crediting 30% of their 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. 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 a non-agency payment. Phillip doesn't agree the payment of school fees should count as child support.
Payment of school fees is a prescribed non-agency payment and Jodie has less than 14% care of Steven and Gemma. This means Phillip's agreement isn't required and we can credit Jodie for the school fees.
In this instance, this will reduce Jodie’s monthly payments by $60 or 30%. Jodie will need to pay the remaining $140 or 70% of her normal child support payment every month.
This will happen 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
- non-agency payments, 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 (FTB) 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
Child support and your FTB
The way you choose to collect your child support may affect your FTB payments.
Read more about child support and your FTB Part A.