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.

We can help you choose and manage your child support. Our services are for both parents and non-parent carers. A non-parent carer might be a grandparent, legal guardian or other family member. We can help you understand and apply for child support.

Your child support options

There are 2 agreed types of child support:

There may be circumstances where you won’t have a child support case. This will depend on your circumstances.

You can 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 tell you and your partner who needs to pay child support and how much this will be. We work out the amount using a formula.

You can start a new case easily using our online tool to apply for child support.

After we’ve completed your assessment, we can collect and transfer your child support payments.

We can also do this for non-parent carers, like a legal guardian, a grandparent or another family member.

Self-managed child support

Self-management means you and the other person manage your child support. You don’t have to go through us. If you self-manage, you can only get the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A.

You decide all of the following:

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

If you self-manage, you won’t have a child support assessment. You don’t need to register with us.

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

Child support agreement

You can make a formal child support agreement between both parents. This 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.

Court orders

The Family Court of Australia has information on how to apply for a divorce and other orders for separated parents.

Each Australian state and territory has legal aid, community legal centres and other legal help for families. There’s a list of these organisations on the Attorney-General’s Department website.

Page last updated: 7 January 2022