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Providing for a child remains the joint responsibility of parents after a separation. The Child Support Scheme makes sure that parents contribute fairly to the costs of raising their children. You can seek child support payment from your former partner to help provide for your children while they are in your care. In a similar vein, you could be liable for child support payments even if you do not live with your children.

Knowing how much child support you have to pay or is entitled to receive, helps to provide for the costs of taking care of your children. A Child Support Assessment can help to determine a Child Support arrangement that is as fair and affordable to the parties as possible.


Self Management

Parents can agree privately as to the amount of child support and how it is to be paid. This could be formalised into a Binding Child Support Agreement as discussed in our previous publications. Self-managing your child support with your former partner will not require you to go through any assessment from a government authority. If you self-manage your child support, you will only receive the base rate for any Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB Part A) you receive.

However, if the parties cannot agree to how much Child Support should be paid, an application can be made to the Department of Human Services to provide a Child Support Assessment.


Child Support Assessment

The Child Support Assessment is an assessment of how much Child Support should be paid by and to a parent. To make this assessment, the Department uses a formula that takes into account the income of each parent, the number of children, the needs of the children, and the division of care between the parents.


Who can apply for an Assessment

You can apply for a Child Support Assessment from the Department of Human Services if you are entitled to receive child support. You may ask for child support from your former partner if both of you are the child’s legal parents. If you are a non-parent guardian or carer of the child, you may be entitled to ask for child support from one or both of the child’s parents.

Having a Child Support Assessment from the Department of Human Services can minimise disagreements about the amount of Child Support to be paid. Using the Child Support Assessment also means the Department can collect child support on your behalf and pursue the other party if payments are not made in the manner specified.

If you like to discuss suitable options for your child support arrangements, tax implications or your child support entitlements and obligations, simply contact Straits Lawyers by email at or call 08 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment.


Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.