About child support in Australia
Child support makes sure that when parents separate, they both still contribute financially towards raising their children, just as they would if the family hadn’t separated.
It means that even if you don’t live with your children, you still have to help with paying for them. It also means that if your children are mainly in your care, you can get money from your former partner to help raise them.
Parents who separate from married or de facto relationships and in circumstances where children were adopted need to pay child support.
The Australian Government’s Child Support scheme is run by Services Australia. Services Australia can help you with child support. For example, it can assess, collect and transfer payments for you. Or you can make your own agreements and handle your own child support payments.
What is child support for?
These are the aims of child support:
- Children get an appropriate level of financial support.
- Both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children.
- Child support payments are made regularly and on time.
- Parents provide a level of financial support they can afford.
If you’re caring for a child as a legal guardian, grandparent or kinship carer, you might be eligible for child support. You can apply for a child support assessment if you care for the child 35% or more of the time and aren’t in a relationship with either of the child’s parents. Find out more at Services Australia – Non-parent carer.
How much child support?
The amount of child support you will either pay or get depends on:
- how much you and your child’s other parent earn
- how many children you have
- how old your children are
- how much time your children spend with each parent.
And if you or your partner doesn’t agree with Services Australia’s assessment of your child support responsibilities, you can request a reassessment.
Go to Services Australia – Child support assessment for information about how child support is assessed and calculated. You can also contact Child Support General Enquiries on 131 272 if you have any questions.
Arguments about child support
If you’re having trouble working through child support issues with your child’s other parent, problem-solving techniques can help you find solutions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when you need it.
Child support isn’t about who the children live with or who gets to keep what after a separation. If you’re having trouble with issues like these, you might need help with family mediation and dispute resolution. It might also become a court matter.