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How is Child Support Calculated in Australia?

how is child support calculated | Justice Family Lawyers

Parents are responsible for the financial support of their child or children. This is the case for birth parents, adoptive parents and people who have become parents as a result of assisted conception.

Financial responsibility for a child does not change in the event that the parents separate or divorce, where the child lives, the amount of time they spend with one parent or the remarriage of one or both parents.

A formula is used to calculate child support payments.

The formula is based on the income available to a parent. This adjusted taxable income minuses the cost of ‘self support’ and the number of other dependent children the parent is liable to support, to calculate the Child Support Payable for a particular child.

A breakdown of the Basic Formula is available from the Department of Human Services.

The formula, in calculating the Child Support Payable, will take into account the time that the child spends with each parent. The Department of Human Services also bases the Basic Formula on research into the costs of raising children to determine the exact amount payable for a particular dependent Child.

The DHS collaborates with the ATO to maintain fairness and accuracy. This partnership ensures that the most recent and accurate income details are used in the assessment process.

Also read: How to Deal With An Ex Not Paying Child Support in Australia

Factors That Affect Child Support

The calculation of child support payments is a structured process designed to ensure that children receive adequate financial support from both parents after separation or divorce. Here’s an overview of the key factors and steps involved in this calculation:

Understanding the Child Support Formula

  • Basic Principles: The Australian government’s formula takes into account both parents’ income, the number of children, and the time each parent spends with the children.
  • Income Assessment: The combined income of both parents determines the total amount of support needed for the children.
  • Self-Support Amount: Each parent is allocated a self-support amount before child support is calculated, recognising their need to support themselves.

Factors Influencing Child Support Amounts

  • Number of Children: The more children requiring support, the higher the payment.
  • Age of Children: Payments may vary based on the age of the children, with higher amounts often required for older children.
  • Parental Income: Both parents’ income levels are considered, with higher earners typically paying more.
  • Level of Care: The amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren) affects the payment, with higher payments expected from the parent who spends less time with the child(ren).

Also read: Child Support After 18: Everything You Need to Know About Adult Child Maintenance

Special Circumstances and Adjustments

  • High or Low-Income Parents: Adjustments may be made for parents with very high or very low incomes.
  • Additional Needs: Extra expenses for the child, such as medical costs or educational fees, can be considered.
  • Shared Care: If care is shared relatively equally, the child support amount may be reduced.

Using the Child Support Estimator

  • Online Tools: The Australian Government provides an online child support estimator to help parents understand potential payment amounts.
  • Personalised Assessment: For a precise calculation, parents can apply for an assessment through the Department of Human Services.

Review and Dispute Process

  • Regular Reviews: Child support assessments are regularly reviewed to reflect changes in income and circumstances.
  • Dispute Resolution: Parents who disagree with the assessment can seek a review or mediation.

Understanding how child support is calculated in Australia is crucial for both payers and recipients to ensure fair and adequate support for the children involved. This process aims to balance both parents’ financial responsibilities in the child’s best interest.

Also read: When Do You Stop Paying Child Support

Ready to face child support matters with confidence?

Contact Justice Family Lawyers for personalized guidance and expert advice. We’re here to help you ensure your child’s financial well-being.

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