Limited child support agreement

A formal deal about child support between separated parents that doesn’t involve lawyers.

You need to know


A limited child support agreement allows you to make an agreement about your child support payments and how they are paid.

Your agreement can include payment of cash or non-cash items, such as school fees and health insurance.

Before we can accept this type of agreement:

  • there must be a child support assessment in place, and
  • the amount payable under the agreement must be equal to, or more than, the child support assessment

A limited child support agreement may affect the amount of Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A you receive. Your assessment for FTB Part A will be based on the notional assessment, not the amount in the agreement.

Notional assessment

We assess what the child support rate would be if the agreement wasn’t in place. We call this a notional assessment.

Read more about Notional assessment

Ending a limited child support agreement

You or the other parent can end a limited agreement if:

  • both of you agree in writing to end the agreement
  • you make a new limited or binding agreement that reflects your new arrangements
  • it has been more than 3 years since the agreement was made, and a parent asks us in writing to end it, or
  • the notional assessment varies by more than 15% from the previous assessment because of circumstances not included in the agreement, and a parent asks us in writing to end it

A court may also make an order that sets aside the agreement.


Getting a child support assessment

We assess the amount of child support you should pay or receive if one or both parents apply for an assessment. We use a formula approved under Australian law.

Read more about child support assessment.

Child support and your Family Tax Benefit Part A

Any child support you get can affect how much Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A you get.

Read more about child support and your FTB Part A

Child support responsibilities

As a parent, you have responsibilities.

You must:

  • pay your child support in full and on time
  • make sure care arrangements are in place for your children
  • lodge your tax return on time
  • report your income accurately, and
  • tell us about any changes of circumstances


Once you've read about limited child support agreements, the next steps are to:

  1. decide if you'll negotiate a limited child support agreement with the other parent
  2. use the Child Support Agreement form or draft your terms separately
  3. submit your agreement and any supporting documents
  4. apply for acceptance of the agreement either in writing or over the phone


Paying child support

How to pay child support

There are different ways to make child support payments.

Read more about payment methods for child support

Collecting child support

Choose a collection option

The person who will receive child support can choose how the paying parent pays them.

Read more about collection options

Private Collect

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.

Read more about Private Collect payments

Child Support Collect

This is where we collect and transfer child support payments for you.

Read more about Child Support Collect payments

Changes of circumstances that affect your child support

We need to know about changes that could affect your child support.

Read more about how a change of circumstances can affect your child support

Page last updated: 27 August 2017