Your child support options

You can choose how to manage your child support.

Help with your child support choices

Our services are designed to work for both parents and non-parent carers. A non parent carer might be a grandparent, legal guardian or other family member. We can help you understand and apply for child support.

Organising child support

The first step is to decide how you want to manage your child support. We have options to suit your circumstances.

Self management

You don’t have to go through us. You can manage child support between yourself and the other person involved. You decide how much, when and how to pay child support.

If you self manage, you won’t have a child support assessment. You don’t need to register with us. You can still call us for information and help.

You won't be able to get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A. Read more about child support and your FTB Part A.

Applying for a child support assessment

If you choose not to self-manage you can apply for a child support assessment. We’ll tell you and the other person how much child support is to be paid. We’ll work out the amount using a formula.

Read more about child support assessments.

Making a child support agreement

You can make a child support agreement. This is a formal agreement between parents.

You and the other person may agree to:

  • cash payments, or
  • non-cash items such as:
    • health insurance
    • school fees, or
  • a combination of cash payments and non-cash items

There are 2 agreement types to suit your circumstances:

Court ordered child support

A court may make an order for child maintenance. For example, the court can make orders for a child who is over 18 and has disability or is seeking further education.

If you have a court order, you can ask us to collect the court ordered amount.

Making and receiving child support payments

The person who will receive child support can ask for child support to be paid by:

We can decide that child support payments will be private collect in some circumstances.

If you want to change your collection option, you can apply by:

If you’re the paying parent, there are a variety of payment methods for child support.

If you self manage child support, you arrange your payments without us. You can use any method that suits you.

Child support and FTB Part A

Child support payments and FTB Part A link closely. How you transfer your child support payments, either privately or through us, can impact your FTB. Read more about child support and your Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Changes of circumstances that affect your child support

Tell us about any change of circumstances so your child support assessment is correct. This includes changes to your income or care arrangements for your children.

You can quickly and easily update your details with your Child Support online account through myGov or with your Express Plus Child Support mobile app.

Child support when parents and children live overseas

Australia has arrangements for child support with a number of countries.

Read more about child support when parents and children live overseas.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017