Learning about child support

Information to help you decide the type of child support arrangement that’s right for your family. There’s help to calculate and apply for child support.

Child support can be payments or payment arrangements made between separated parents to help the costs of raising children.

In some situations, it may be paid by one or both parents to another person who is looking after their children. We call this person a non-parent carer. They could be a grandparent, legal guardian or other family member.

Our services are for both parents and non-parent carers.

We can help you choose, manage and apply for child support.

Your child support options

There are 2 agreed types of child support:

  • a child support assessment
  • self-managed child support.

If you think a child support case isn’t suited to your circumstances, call us on the Child Support general enquiries line.

You can also get an estimate of your child support payments and estimate the percentage of care.

Child support assessment

If you choose not to self-manage child support, you can apply for a child support assessment. We’ll tell you and the other parent who needs to pay child support and how much this will be. We can also collect and transfer the child support payments.

You can start a new case online by applying for child support.

Apply for child support

Self-managed child support

Self-management means you and the other person manage your child support payments on your own. If you self-manage, you can only get the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A, which is a lower amount.

You will decide all of the following:

  • how much to pay
  • when to pay
  • how to pay.

If you self-manage, you won’t have to apply for a child support assessment. You’ll just need to let us know that you’ve chosen to self-manage.

Read more about child support and your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A.

Child support agreement

Once you have a child support assessment, you may decide you also need a child support agreement. You can make a formal child support agreement between both parents that can cover:

  • cash payments
  • non-cash items, such as health insurance or school fees
  • a combination of cash payments and non-cash items.

There are 2 types of agreements:

The type of agreement you choose depends on your circumstances.

If you’re leaving a relationship or living with violence or abuse, there are some things you need to do to keep your information safe.

Page last updated: 11 November 2022