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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 full situation into account.

You can apply under one or more of the 12 grounds for a review, which cover things like expenses we do not know about, 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. 

Grounds for child support reviews

How reviews work

If we accept the application, we’ll arrange for a hearing. A hearing takes around 30 minutes and is:

  • informal compared to court hearings
  • held separately with each party
  • for clarifying information.

If the other parent or non-parent carer applies for a review, you have the option to respond with your point of view. You can choose if you will attend the hearing or not.

Hearings are carried out by a review officer who is contracted to us. They do not make a decision at the hearing, but afterwards.

Contrary decisions

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 one ground, keep in mind that the review officer may also consider other grounds.