Support services for separated families

We provide separated parents support and information to help with their family situation.

Separation is a time of many changes and it’s important to seek support if you need it. There is help available to support you and your children. These include a number of groups, websites, publications and services.

Our services

We provide services to help separated parents.

Our services include:

  • referrals to a private and confidential counselling service if you’d like to speak with a professional about your situation
  • support products and services with information and advice to help with the changes to your situation
  • the Child Support Information Service - an automated phone service parents receiving child support can use to get details about their account
  • a budgeting tool and information to help you manage your money.

To find out more about these services, call us on the Child Support general enquiries line.

We also refer to third party services such as:

Your Child Support online account offers a quick, easy and secure way to manage your child support. You can:

  • get letters and statements
  • let us know if your care levels change
  • update your personal details
  • check your payment details
  • send documents.

Further information on child support policy

The Child Support Guide on the Department of Social Services website explains how the Child Support scheme is administered.

Information in other languages

You can read information in your language. This includes information about:

  • paying child support when the other parent is overseas - amount established overseas
  • paying child support when the other parent is overseas - amount established in Australia
  • paying child support when you live overseas
  • receiving child support when you live overseas
  • receiving child support when the other parent lives overseas
  • paying child support to the other parent in New Zealand
  • receiving child support when the other parent lives in New Zealand.

Things to consider during separation

Some things you may need to do include:

  • use our Payment and Service Finder to find, estimate and compare payments and services that you may be eligible for
  • arrange for care of the kids - for example, setting up a parenting plan
  • considering how the separation affects your finances - for example, budgets, mortgages, loans, bank accounts, credit cards, superannuation, and taxation
  • considering legal matters - for example, remaking wills, property settlement and court orders
  • keeping safe - if you’re in immediate danger, call 000.

You should also tell us if you have a change of circumstances.

You may also need to update your details for your:

  • Medicare card
  • driver’s licence
  • postal address to have your mail re-directed
  • utility companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, schools, the ATO and other organisations.

Support groups and services for parents

There are support groups and services to help you.

Some of the groups that support parents are:

Counselling and support services contact details

Service Phone number How they can help
1800 RESPECT 1800 737 732 National sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling service.
beyondblue 1300 224 636 Information on depression, anxiety and related alcohol and drug problems. Also, available treatment and where to get help.
Family Relationships 1800 050 321 Information about family relationship issues for all families. These range from building better relationships to dispute resolution.
Financial Counselling Australia 1800 007 007 Helps people in financial difficulty. Has free and confidential access to financial counsellors, information, support and advocacy.
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 Free and confidential counselling for young people aged between 5 and 25. 
Lifeline 131 114 Free over the phone counselling by trained volunteers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 Free, 24 hour support over the phone for men with relationship and family concerns.
Stepfamilies Australia 03 9663 6733 A network of state stepfamily groups and community services. Information, family support services, practitioner training, research and advocacy for step families.
Men's Referral Service 1300 766 491 Free phone counselling, information and referral service for men to end violence and abuse against family members.

International Support Options

If you live overseas, the following services may be able to provide support.

Country Website How they can help
New Zealand Ministry of Social Development’s Family Services Directory. A list of service providers that can help New Zealand families.
United Kingdon UK government’s GOV.UK.

UK Department for Work and Pensions Sorting Out Separation website.
Information and online services for the public all in one place.

Help and support for separated families.
United States of America US government's official web portal.

US Department of Health and Human Services’ How Do Our Partners Help webpage.
Makes it easy for the public to get US government information and services online.

Provides information about services for separated parents.
Canada Department of Justice has a directory. Customers can browse services by province or territory or by type of service.

Useful contacts while paying or receiving child support

You may find this contact information useful if you pay or receive child support.

Government services

Service Phone number
Australian Taxation Office 132 861
Commonwealth Ombudsman 1300 362 072
Department of Veterans' Affairs 133 254
Fraud tip-off line 131 524
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Freecall 1800 228 333

Legal help services

Service Phone number Location
Family Law Courts 1300 352 000 All states except WA
Family Law Court of Western Australia 08 9224 8222 WA only
Family Law Court of Western Australia 1800 199 228 country areas of WA

Legal Aid offices

State Legal Aid offices Phone number
Australian Capital Territory 1300 654 314
New South Wales 1300 888 529
Northern Territory 1800 019 343
Queensland 1300 651 188
South Australia 1300 366 424
Tasmania 1300 366 611
Victoria 1300 792 387
Western Australia 1300 650 579

Page last updated: 15 November 2019