The Child Support Agency is responsible for assessing, administering, collecting and enforcing Child Support in circumstances where parents are unable to reach an agreement in relation to the costs associated with raising their child.
The child Support Agency assesses the contributions to be paid using a particular “formula” that looks at a number of different factors. Some of these considerations are related to the following:
1. The level of care that each parent has with the child;
2. The annual income earned by both parents; and
3. The costs associated with raising a child (which is based on independent research).
It is important for parents to note that the “formula” used to assess the child support payable by a parent only looks at the general day to day expenses for the child. It does not take into account any additional expenses such as child care costs, private school education, certain health expenses and so forth. These are considered as “special” expenses and should be looked at separately.
Once a decision has been made in relation to the assessed amount of child support, the Registrar from the Child Support Agency will advise both parent’s in writing of the decision reached and the method used to calculate the amount of child support that will be payable.
If one of the parents does not feel that the administrative assessment accurately reflects the circumstances of the parties, then they may be able to lodge an Application with the Child Support Agency for a change of assessment to have these circumstances considered.
An Application for a change of assessment can be made if any of the following reasons are applicable:
1. The costs involved with spending time with the child is more than 5% of your adjusted taxable income;
2. The child has special needs;
3. There are additional costs for educating and caring for the child that both parties intended to occur;
4. The child has financial resources available to them or they are earning an income;
5. You have provided goods, property or money for the benefit of the child;
6. The costs of childcare for a child under twelve years of age is more than 5% of your taxable income;
7. You have out of the ordinary necessary and reasonable expenses for yourself;
8. The administrative assessment does not accurately reflect the other parent’s income, financial resources or property available to them;
9. You have a legal duty to support another person; and
10. You have a responsibility to support a resident child.
If you are not happy with the outcome of an administrative assessment or the decision made in relation to a change of assessment, please book an appointment today with one of our solicitors to discuss your concerns.