Parent’s Guide To Child Support

What is Child Support?

Parent’s Guide To Child Support - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

Child support is the ongoing legal responsibility of separated parents to provide an appropriate level of financial support for their children to ensure that the child’s needs are met.

The Child Support Scheme is governed by the Child Support Agency (CSA) and the Child Support (Assessment) Act, which aims to ensure children to the age of 18 are financial supported.

What is Child Support meant to cover?

Broadly speaking, child support is meant to cover such things as;

  • Food
  • Housing costs
  • Clothing
  • Schooling costs
  • Medical costs
  • Extra-curricular activities

How is Child Support calculated?

The CSA follows a formula to calculate how much Child Support needs to be paid. This formula takes into consideration;

  • The number of children the payer and payee parent has
  • How old the children are
  • The income of each parent
  • How much time each parent cares for the children

Visit CSA, who provide online estimators to help calculate how much Child Support needs to be paid.

How is Child Support paid?

Once the Child Support amount has been agreed upon, parents have the choice for the management of Child Support payments to be either; self management, Private Collect or Child Support Collect.

Self management:

This is where parents arrange the child support payments without involving CSA. Both parents need to;

  • Agree on the amount of child support
  • Agree on how and when it is paid
  • Manage the payments between each other

Private Collect:

Is where a child support assessment, agreement or court order sets the amount and the parents work out how and when to pay.

Child Support Collect:

This is where the CSA tells the payer parents how and when to pay, collects payment and transfers to the receiving parent.

More in depth information regarding these three methods of organising and paying child support can be found here.

What if I don’t think the assessment is fair?

If you don’t believe your child support contributions or receiving amount is fair, you can either use your legal team or apply to the CSA to change your child support assessment due to special circumstances.

Special circumstances might include, but not limited to;

  • The costs of raising the child are significantly affected by the high costs of spending time or communicating with the child.
  • The costs of raising the child are significantly affected because of their special needs.
  • The costs or raising the child are significantly affected because the child is being cared for, educated or trained in the way both parents intended.
  • Your necessary expenses significantly reduce your capacity to support the child.
  • The child support assessment in unfair because of the income, earning capacity, property or financial resources of one or both parents.

Child support for many parents is not a complicated issue, however for others it is far more contentious. If you and your child’s parent aren’t able to reach an agreement on child support matters please contact us on (03) 9620 0088 or email

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email

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