How we assess the amount of child support you need to pay or receive. The formula we use to work it out is in Australian law.
You need to know
The assessment formula
The child support assessment formula looks at circumstances to work out how child support should be paid.
To be eligible for a child support assessment you meet residence rules and be the legal parent or non-parent carer of the child.
How your percentage of care affects your child support payments
Our child support assessment considers each parent or non-parent carer’s care of the child. This is their percentage of care.
How your income affects your payment
We consider each parent’s income equally when we make a child support assessment. We don’t use income from non-parent carers.
This formula is for parents with only 1 child support assessment.
A child support assessment period can be up to 15 months.
Your child is turning 18 and is still at school
Normally child support stops when your child turns 18.
Assessment for same-sex parents
You and the other person on your child support assessment application must be the child's parent or non-parent carer.
Assessments for non-parent carers
If you care for a child and you're not their parent, you may be able to get child support from one or both parents.
Parents with 2 or more assessments
We work out how much child support you pay or receive if you have 2 or more families from past relationships.
Assessments for parents with second families
If you have children from a new family, we reflect this in your assessment.
Fixed and minimum assessments
We can base some child support assessments on a fixed rate or a minimum rate.
We can make a child support assessment if at least 1 parent lives in Australia.
A parenting plan is a written agreement with the other parent. It sets rules for things like how much time the children will spend with each parent.
What ends an assessment
There are a few reasons why a child support assessment will end.
Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.
- apply for a child support assessment
- we'll assess your application and let you know the outcome
Choose a collection option
The person who will receive child support can choose how the paying parent pays them.
This is where you and the other parent make and receive payments directly between you. It’s for parents who don’t need much help from us to agree on a plan.
Child Support Collect
This is where we collect and transfer child support payments for you.
Self employed parents
If you're self employed and pay child support through us, you can use most payment methods.
Changes of circumstances
We need to know about changes that could affect your child support.
Changing your assessment in special circumstances
We can change your child support if we’re satisfied there are special circumstances and the change would be fair to both parents and the child.
Child support and military deployment
When you leave Australia on military deployment you need to tell us your new details. This is so we can make sure your child support is still accurate.
Child support if you go to prison
You must tell us if you go to prison. This is so we can make sure your child support is accurate.
While living outside Australia
In some cases we can help separated parents with child support arrangements for their children when one parent lives in another country.
Read more information about child support when parents and children live overseas.
The care estimator is a tool that calculates your care percentage.
Fact sheets in your language
We have information about child support in many languages.
Payment and Service Finder
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently get from us.
Manage your money
We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Read about how to manage your money.
Regular deductions using Centrepay
You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
Read more about how Centrepay works.