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. Each ground has a list of the information we need. When you apply, make sure you give us all the information we need to consider your application.
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.
How reviews work
When we have everything we need, we’ll arrange for a hearing. You can choose if you will attend the hearing or not. Hearings take up to 30 minutes and are:
- informal compared to court hearings
- will be held separately with each party
- for clarifying information provided and discussing all parties’ circumstances.
Review officers do not make a decision at the hearing, but afterwards. We'll let you know the outcome, in writing, usually within 3 weeks.
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 finds that you’ve also recently had a large pay rise, they may increase the income we use to assess you and 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. The review officer may also consider different child support years than the year you apply under, if they think it’s appropriate.
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