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Once we've accepted your application and contacted the other party or parties to discuss if they want to be involved we'll organise a hearing. The hearing generally takes approximately 30 minutes.
You can choose to:
We'll then set a date and time for the hearing and let you know the details of where and when it will be held. The hearing is informal and not at all like a court hearing. A child support officer may be there if the review officer requests this and the review officer may ask you some questions. The whole review and hearing process is free.
You can ask to be represented by someone else or have a support person at the hearing but this person can't be or have been:
You may be allowed a representative to stand in and speak for you if you can't:
Your support person could be a relative, friend or business associate. They can help you prepare your information and attend the hearing but they don't have an automatic right to speak. How much they can participate will be up to the review officer.
If you want to have a representative or support person at the hearing you should apply to do this before the hearing date as approval is required. After looking at all the necessary factors, we'll determine whether a representative or support person can be at the hearing.
Review officers can only consider information known to all parties. After the hearing the review officer considers all the information already held by us. This includes tax information we hold such as:
In deciding whether to change an assessment the review officer looks at how the child support assessment affects:
They must be satisfied that:
Review officers can only consider an application to review the assessed amount of child support. They can't negotiate payment of debt or consider the charging or waiving of penalties.
Review officers won't give a decision at the hearing. The decision is usually finalised within three weeks of the hearing and we'll send all parties a copy of the written decision.
Written decisions will include:
Any information given to the review officer may appear in the written decision.
We aim to complete reviews within 10 weeks of receiving the application.
We can't amend the review decision once it has been issued to the parties involved in the review.
If you disagree with a child support review decision you have the following options: