You have 28 days to object to a child support decision.
If you have a child support assessment, you must notify Services Australia within 28 days of any changes to the parenting arrangements for your child or your personal circumstances.
You have 56 days from when you are notified of the child support assessment to apply for a declaration that you are not responsible for paying child support.
Child support is money paid by one parent to another parent to support the care of their child.
Both parents are legally responsible for financially supporting their child regardless of:
Child support is different to spousal maintenance.
If you have recently separated from your spouse and you have a child together, you may need to discuss child support.
Depending on your parenting arrangements and financial circumstances, you may be eligible for, or have to pay, child support.
There are three different ways you can deal with child support:
An application for a child support assessment can be made by:
It does not matter whether you are the person who will receive or pay child support.
When undertaking a child support assessment, Services Australia will look at:
The amount of child support that a person receives can affect their entitlement to Family Tax Benefit.
You can apply for a child support assessment:
You will need to provide proof that your ex-partner is the parent of your child. Services Australia will only accept the following types of proof of parentage:
If you have a parenting plan or parenting orders, you must submit them with your application.
For more information, see Child support factsheet 1: Taking action to get child support.
If you disagree with a child support decision made by Services Australia, you may be able to object within 28 days.
You can object to a decision:
For more information, see Objections to child support decisions on the Services Australia website
If you are assessed to pay child support, but don’t think you are the father of the child, you may be able to apply to for a court order declaring that you are not responsible for paying child support.
You must apply for a declaration within 56 days of being notified of the child support assessment. After this, you will need to ask the Court for leave (permission) to apply for a declaration.
Applying for a declaration doesn’t suspend your obligation to pay child support. If you want to suspend your child support, you need to apply for an order to stay (stop) your assessment until your case is heard.
For more information, see Child Support Factsheet 2 – Taking action to question paternity.
If you change your parenting agreement or your circumstances change, and you have a child support assessment, you must notify Services Australia within 28 days. This may affect your child support assessment and entitlements to Centrelink benefits.
You must notify Services Australia of any changes to your contact details, income, relationship status or care arrangements for your child.
If you don’t, and you pay child support, you may:
If you receive child support, you may:
You may also incur a debt with Centrelink that you have to pay back.
You can tell Services Australia about the change in care arrangements online, either:
For more information, see Change of circumstances on the Services Australia website.
If you are eligible to receive child support, you may also be eligible for:
Services Australia and Centrelink use the same rules to determine the percentage of care you and your ex-partner provide for your child. When one agency determines percentage of care, the other agency will automatically use the same percentage.
For more information, see Centrelink.
For information and tools to help you manage your finances, see:
If you are experiencing financial stress, you should speak with a financial counsellor.
If you have, or are experiencing domestic violence, there are specialist financial counsellors that can help you deal with debt, financial hardship, Centrelink and managing your money.
For more information, see Find a Financial Counsellor on the National Debt Helpline website.
If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you can call Mob Strong Debt Help to speak to a First Nations financial counsellor. For more information, see Mob Strong Debt Help on the Financial Rights Legal Centre website.