What information and considerations are taken into account for the child support formula in NSW?
There are five key components to a child support assessment and the formula for the child support scheme (NSW):
- The costs of raising children based on independent research
- The income of both parents are taken into account and considered equally
- The same self-support amount is deducted from each parent’s income before any assessment is made.
- The level of care that each parent provides
- Any children from previous or subsequent marriages.
The Child Support Agency is an Australian Government Agency that will consider the factors above before following the steps to calculate the amount of child support.
The factors listed above are applicable where both parties to the assessment are parents of the child. The considerations may vary if one the parties to the assessment is a non-parent for example carers.
A calculator is available on the Department of Human Services (DHS) website, which also estimates any Centrelink and Family Tax Benefit payments you may be entitled to.
If I pay child support, am I required to pay additional costs such as school fees?
The factors considered in calculating child support includes independent research on the cost of raising children.
The cost of raising children takes into account the costs of schooling. Therefore, the parent paying child support is not obligated to pay additional money for school fees. If, however, the parent paying child support insists that the child attends a private school then that parent could face the prospect of having to pay additional school fees either by agreement or court order.
How to make a child support assessment?
Child support assessments can be made by telephoning the Child Support Registrar. An application can also be completed on the on the Department of Human Services (DHS) website.
Change of circumstances and child support
If your employment changes, or the amount of time that the children spend with you changes, you should notify the child support agency.
Child support and paternity testing
You are not able to object to a child support assessment purely on the basis that you are not the parent of the child. You will need to make an application to the Court seeking a declaration that you are not the parent and the Court will usually make an order for paternity testing.
If the Registrar of the child support agency is refusing to make an assessment due to lack of evidence that someone is a parent, then the person seeking the assessment will need to make an application to the court for a declaration and paternity testing.
Objecting to a child support assessment
You can object and request a reconsideration for a child support assessment, but you will need to do so within 28 days of the assessment being made. Your objection should clearly set out the grounds for requesting that a reconsideration be made, and must also be served on the other party to the assessment.
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of any reconsideration by the Registrar, you can make a further application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within 28 days of the reconsideration decision.
If your matter is already in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court, it may be possible to make an application for a departure order from an existing child support assessment.
Gillard Family Lawyers is able to assist you with:
- Providing advice in relation to the child support process.
- Draft grounds and submission for requesting a reassessment.
- Make a court application for a declaration as the paternity and paternity testing.
- If appropriate, make an application to Legal Aid for a grant to cover your child support dispute.