You can apply for a child support review, also called an administrative review, when you think the amount we have worked out in our formula assessment does not take your special circumstances into account.
You can apply under one or more of the 11 grounds for a review, which cover things like having another child or person in your care, unexpected costs or inability to earn income.
Either the liable parent or the receiving carer can apply for a review. The other parent or non-parent carer involved in the child support assessment will have the option to respond with their point of view.
Child support reviews are free and managed by us. We aim to finish reviews within 10 weeks of receiving your application. We do this so you and the other people involved have time to see and respond to the information provided.
How reviews work
If we accept the application, we’ll arrange for a hearing. You can choose if you will attend the hearing or not. Hearings take around 30 minutes and are:
- informal compared to court hearings
- can be held separately with each party
- for clarifying information.
Hearings are carried out by a review officer who is contracted to us. Review officers do not make a decision at the hearing, but afterwards.
If a review officer finds there are other circumstances that should be taken into account, they may make a decision that has the opposite effect of what you were hoping for.
For example, if you’re a liable parent and it costs you extra to cover your dependent child’s special needs, you could apply for these extra costs to be taken into account when your child support payments are worked out. But if the review officer sees that you’ve also recently had a large pay rise, you may find your child support payments go up overall.
When you’re thinking about applying for a review under 1 ground, keep in mind that the review officer may also consider other grounds.