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Parents and non-parent carers can apply to us for a formula assessment.

Based on each parent or non-parent carer's situation, we work out who pays child support and how much. Once we work out the details, we collect money from the liable parent and pass it on to the receiving carer or Government.

If you're getting a sole parent rate of benefit or the Unsupported Child's Benefit, any child support paid will go to the Government to help pay for your benefit. If the amount paid is more than your benefit, you'll receive the difference.

How the formula works

If both people are parents, the formula is based on:

  • both parents' taxable incomes
  • an allowance for both parents' living costs
  • the amount of time the child is in each parent's care
  • the cost of raising a child
  • an allowance for other children in their care.

If the carer is not a parent, their income is not included in the formula. 

How payments work

After a parent or non-parent carer applies, we make an assessment. Each person gets a notice saying how much they will receive or pay each month.

Child support payments are due from the liable parent on the 20th of the month and are paid to receiving carer by the 7th of the following month. We can only pass on payments if we receive them from the liable parent.

The liable parent can set up automatic payments or ask us to deduct the payments directly from their salary or wages.

When a formula assessment ends

A formula assessment ends when 1 of the following situations happen.

  • A child no longer qualifies, usually when they turn 18.
  • You start living with the person you pay child support to, or receive child support from.
  • Both people agree to change to another type of agreement.
  • The person or people caring for the child choose to end the formula assessment.

You cannot cancel a formula assessment or change to another type of child support agreement if you're getting a sole parent rate of benefit or the Unsupported Child's Benefit

Voluntary agreement

Private agreement

Cancelling my child support

Applying for a formula assessment

If you're a parent or non-parent carer, you can apply for a formula assessment.

You'll need to give us the details of any shared care arrangements for the child or children. These details will help us work out who will pay or receive child support and the amount.

If you're applying as a parent and do not have proof you're a parent of the child, you can acknowledge you're a parent on the application or by writing to us.

If you believe using your real name when applying for child support will cause safety concerns for you, a carer or your child, we may be able to leave your name out when communicating with the other parent.