Payment methods for child support
There are a number of ways that a paying parent can make child support payments.
You can choose from the payment methods below, based on your personal circumstances.
|Payment option||Details||You will need:|
A convenient bill payment service that lets you make a 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
You can find these details on your payer account statement.
If you are employed, we are required to 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.
If you don’t want us to start employer deductions or you no longer want to use this payment method, you can apply to make child support payments directly to us.
To apply call us or complete the application to stop deductions from salary or wages form.
It can take us some time to establish employer deductions because we need to give your employer written notification and give them time to adjust their payroll systems. You will need to use another payment option until deductions are set up.
|Call us on 131 272 to talk about arranging salary deductions and to find out when they will take effect.|
|Direct credit||You can transfer funds from your nominated bank account to our bank account.||You must use your 16 digit payment reference number without spaces as your payment payment reference. This ensures your payment is allocated correctly and without delay. You will 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 will need a payment advice slip, located on your monthly 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 child support 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. You will incur a card payment fee 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 most appropriate and cost effective payment option for you to meet your child support obligations. You should also seek financial support if you are unsure of the best option for your current situation.||To make a payment you will need:
|Express Plus Child Support mobile app||You can pay child support using 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 will 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 will 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 monthly account statement, with your payments. This ensures your payment is allocated correctly and without delay.
Send mail payments to:Department of Human Services
Locked Bag 11
Melbourne VIC 8006
|Benefits deduction||If you receive a Centrelink payment or Department of Veterans’ Affairs benefit, we can arrange for your child support payments to be deducted directly.
If you do not want us to deduct payments in this way, call us so that we can arrange an alternative payment method.
|Call 131 272 for more information.|
Even if we collect and transfer payments for you, sometimes you may want, or need, to make payments that can be recognised as child support. These types of payments are often referred to as non-agency payments.
If both parents agree a payment was made in lieu of child support
We can credit 2 types of payments if both parents agree these payments were made in lieu of child support:
- direct payments, which are payments made by the paying parent to the receiving parent, and
- third party payments, which are 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, mortgage payments
- payments not in money, such as a transfer of property of the provision of services, for example, household repairs
- health insurance or payments for medical or dental treatment
- school fees, tuition or child care expenses
- loan, credit card or store account repayments
- travel or holiday expenses
- the children’s or receiving parent’s household bills such as gas, electricity, phone or council rates
- motor vehicle expenses, and
- sports, coaching fees or other sporting expenses
To request a credit for a payment made in lieu of child support complete the Non-agency payment details form.
If one parent does not agree a payment was made in lieu of child support
Some payments can be credited as child support even if the parent receiving child support does not agree the payment was in lieu of child support. These types of payments are referred to as prescribed payments.
As long as the paying parent pays 70% of their normal monthly child support payment on time, a maximum of 30% of the monthly payment can be credited in this way. We will continue to credit 30% of the monthly payment each month until the full value of the prescribed payment has been credited.
Prescribed payments can be for child care costs, school fees, school uniform and book fees, essential medical and dental items, the other parent’s share of rent, mortgage, utilities and rates, or some motor vehicle costs.
We can only credit prescribed payments if the paying parent has less than 14% care for any of the children of the assessment. This is because if you have more than 14% care of any of the children, the direct costs you incur when you care for them are already recognised in the child support formula. Read more about how care is taken into account when we work out child support assessment using the child support formula.
If you have made a direct, third party or prescribed non-agency payment, read more about these payments in the Department of Social Services Child Support Guide or call us on 131 272.
Jodie and Phillip have 2 children, Steven and Gemma. Jodie, the paying parent, pays $200 a month in child support to Phillip, the receiving parent.
Jodie pays $600 in school fees to the children’s primary school and asks us to credit the payment as child support. Phillip says he did not agree that payment of the school fees was in lieu of child support.
However, because payment of school fees is a prescribed payment, Phillip’s agreement is not required.
Jodie also 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 payments of cash, including lump sums, non-cash amounts and payments made to third parties, for example, payments of mortgage, rent or school fees.
For Family Tax Benefit Part A purposes:
- child support means financial support you receive from a child’s parent, and
- spousal maintenance means financial support you receive from an ex-partner for your support
For Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY payment purposes child support and spousal maintenance means financial support you receive from an ex-partner for:
- your support, or for a child not in your ex-partner's care, and it is counted towards the parental income test, and
- the support of your partner or a child not in your ex-partner’s care, and it is counted towards the partner income test
For Assistance for Isolated Children payment purposes child support and spousal maintenance means financial support you receive from an ex-partner for your support, or for a child not in your ex-partner's care and is counted towards the parental income test.