Child Support

Administrative assessments & child support agreements


The idea behind child support is that children under 18 should enjoy a similar standard of living in both of their parents’ households after separation.

You and the other parent can choose to make your own child support arrangements by private agreement. However, this is only binding if made as a Binding Child Support Agreement or a Limited Child Support Agreement.

If you and the other parent cannot agree to child support arrangements, one of you can apply for an administrative assessment through Services Australia. An assessment of child support is based on a formula that takes into account each parent’s income, care of the children, and the ages of the children.

Services Australia have an online calculator to help you estimate the amount of child support likely to be payable under an assessment.

In special circumstances, a parent can apply for a Change of Assessment to vary the administrative assessment.

For parents who are business owners or investors, an administrative assessment can produce a result which is artificial or which fluctuates significantly from year-to-year. This is because “taxable income” is not always tied to business profit and can be artificially low (e.g. if profit is retained in a company or distributed through a trust) or artifically high (e.g. if a large capital gain is made after sale of an investment). 

We often recommend to our clients in these situations that they have a tailored child support arrangement under a private agreement, which can also cover matters such as private school fees. 

Child support is usually only payable for children aged under 18. To obtain child support for a child aged over 18, the child must either have a disability or be studying, plus other criteria must be met. Applications for adult child maintenance must be made to the Court.

How we can help

We can provide you with confidential advice to better understand your rights in relation to child support.

If you believe the assessment is incorrect or unfair, we can advise you whether you have any grounds to lodge an Objection, Change of Assessment application, or take some other action.

We can also help you to make a Binding Child Support Agreement, which requires legal advice to be binding.

Book a Free Introductory Call

In this free 15-minute call, we will confirm if we can assist with your case, answer any questions you have about our services, and discuss the next steps. This call is with David Gale, Director & Accredited Specialist in Family Law.