Child Support Assessments - When can they be changed?

31/01/2018

Since 1989 the Child Support Agency has determined the level of financial support for children who do not reside with both of their parents.  When parents are separated, the parent with whom the children are residing may make an application to the Child Support Agency for assessment of the other parent’s obligation for payment of child support.  This is an administrative assessment.

In making the assessment, the Child Support Agency applies a statutory formula to calculate how much child support must be paid.

The Court does have the power to review the amount of the child support assessment by the Child Support Agency by making an Application for Review which is called Departure Orders.

The Court will make a Departure Order from an administrative assessment if there are special circumstances.  The special circumstances include:

  1. It costs you more than 5% of your child support income to spend time with your children.
  2. It costs you extra to cover your children’s special needs.
  3. It costs you extra to care for, educate or train the children in the way that you and the other parent intended.
  4. The child support assessment does not take adequately into account the income, earning capacity, property or financial resources of the children.
  5. The children, the payee or someone else has received, or will receive money, goods or property from the payor.
  6. You are or you have the sole care of the children and it costs you more than 5% of your child support amount for child care for the children younger than 12 years of age at the start of the child support period.
  7. You have necessary expenses in supporting yourself that affect your ability to support the children.
  8. The child support assessment does not take into account the income earning capacity, property or financial resources of each parent.
  9. You have a legal duty to maintain another person or other children in the child support assessment.
  10.  You have earned additional income for the benefit of resident children.

If you have any query or concern in relation to your obligations to pay child support or if you are the parent with whom the children reside and wish to know your rights in relation to child support, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson our experienced family law solicitor or Shereen Da Gloria his assistant to discuss your concerns.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 02 9221 6011.

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