About child support in Australia
Child support makes sure that when parents separate, they both still put money 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 pay for them. It also means that if you have the main job of looking after your children, you can get money from your former partner to help raise them.
Parents who separate from married, de facto and same-sex relationships and in circumstances where children were adopted need to pay child support.
What is child support for?
Child support aims to make sure that:
- children get an appropriate level of financial support
- both parents are responsible for providing child support
- child support payments are made regularly and on time
- parents provide a level of financial support they can afford.
Services Australia can be more or less involved, depending on what parents decide. Some parents make their own agreements and handle their own child support payments, and others rely more on the Child Support scheme to assess, collect and transfer payments.
How much child support?
The amount of child support you will either pay or get depends on:
- how much you earn
- how many children you have
- how old your children are
- who cares for your children and how often.
Laws about child support payments change regularly.
And if you or your partner doesn’t agree with Services Australia’s assessment of your child support responsibilities, you can request a reassessment.
For information about how child support is assessed and calculated, look at Services Australia’s Parent’s guide to child support. 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 former partner, 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 parents are having trouble with issues like these, it might become a matter for the Family Court.